Course Descriptions

One of several of the types of Gestalt psychotherapy courses and trainings offered by GCLI.

Our Gestalt courses are perfect for psychotherapists, social workers, mental health counselors, and other professionals in the mental health field seeking additional training.  The following coursework is a requirement of the Certificate Training Program in Gestalt Psychotherapy.

*Please Note: Some courses offerings & course instructors may change from year to year.


Course 101 / Theoretical Concepts of Gestalt Therapy – Course Instructor:  Jill Swensen, Ph.D., LMHC
An introduction to the basic concepts underlying the practice of Gestalt psychotherapy. Concepts such as figure/ground organization of the field, etc will be explored in the work of early Gestalt psychologists. Various formulations of body-mind integration and the theory of neurosis developed by Fritz Perls will also be examined.

Course 102 / Experiential Psychotherapy – Course Instructor: John Bottone, LMHC
Gestalt therapy is essentially an existential, experimental, and experiential psychotherapy. It focuses on the function and structure of experience, the contact and interruptions with one-self, and with the environment. The principles, theory and methodology of Gestalt therapy will be discussed theoretically and demonstrated experientially.

Course 103 / Psychodramatic Techniques – Course Instructor: Christian Caputo, LCSW
This course will develop an understanding of sub-personalities and the dynamics of internal conflict. Trainees will be taught how to stage dialogues utilizing psychodrama methods, including the “empty-chair” technique, towards identifying, clarifying and resolving internal splits. The inter-relationship of internal and external conflicts (both present and past) will be studied along with working with resistance to these techniques. Lecture, discussion and practicum will be utilized.

Course 104 / Ethics / Cultural Competency – Course Instructor: Diane Roach, LCSW
This course will provide trainees with guidelines for enhancing professional and ethical practice and address issues regarding professional liability. Trainees will have an opportunity to discuss their own particular concerns regarding ethical standards of practice.

Course 105 / Workshop Elective
Trainees are required to attend a workshop, of their choosing, offered in the Gestalt Center of Long Island’s continuing education Saturday Workshop Series.


Course 201 / Working at the Contact Boundary – Course Instructor: Peter Turkl, LCSW
This course will explore the writings and teachings of K. Goldstein, Perls, Hefferline and Goodman, and others that have contributed to the theory and practice of Gestalt therapy with an emphasis on the I-thou and contact boundary approach. Sensory deprivation and sensory re-stimulation will also be examined from didactic and experiential points.

Course 202 / Neurosis and Health I – Course Instructor: Carole Rose, CSW
This course will explore the concepts of “health” and “neurosis” as defined by a Gestalt theoretical framework. The Gestalt concepts of self (id, ego, and personality), the contact cycle (figure-ground formation) and the interruptions at contact will be presented and explored.

Course 203 / Neurosis and Health II – Course Instructor: Carole Rose, CSW
This course will review Freudian and neo-Freudian theories of the unconscious, defense mechanisms, the etiology of neurosis and major neurotic styles as well as the Gestalt theory of neurosis, as developed by Fritz Perls. Included will be discussion of the layers of personality, neurosis and interruptions of the contact boundary. Orthodox and Gestalt theory, terminology and concepts will be compared. Lastly, the relevance, selection and timing of Gestalt techniques within the treatment strategy will be explored.

Course 204 / Methodology & Theoretical Approaches to Body Work – Course Instructor: Ruth Samuel, LMFT
This course focuses on a body-mind integrative approach to psychotherapy and is based on the theories of F.M. Alexander, M. Feldenkrais, Fritz and Laura Perls and Ilana Rubenfeld. The course will focus on: experiencing and expressing body, mind and emotions as a congruent whole, use of touch (when, where, how and whom to touch), releasing tensions stored in the body and establishing new alignments and posture, habitual vs. non-habitual thought, attitude, posture and movement, and theoretical and practical applications of this holistic approach.

Course 205 / Workshop Elective
Trainees are required to attend a workshop, of their choosing, offered in the Gestalt Center of Long Island’s continuing education Saturday Workshop Series.


Course 301 / Psychodiagnostics: A Gestalt Approach to Diagnosis – Course Instructor: Peter Turkl, LCSW
The paradigm for Gestalt therapy diagnosis is predicated on the assumption that a unique person, not a type of disease, is being treated. Thus, the person is viewed in terms of his contact-functions and the diagnosis focuses on what function of the person is disturbed, how the disturbance is made and where in the contact making and withdrawal cycle the disturbance manifests itself. The course will present the theory, concepts and methodology of this unique approach to diagnosis.

Course 302 / Current Issues: Addictions and Gestalt Therapy – Course Instructor: Phyllis Zaslav, LMFT
This course will integrate the use of the 12 steps of recovery and the application of Gestalt concepts in the treatment of addiction. The course will include didactic and experiential exercises to increase our awareness in diagnosing, healing and understanding addictions within the Gestalt framework.

Course 303 / Diagnosis and Treatment of Character Disorders – Course Instructor: Andrea Quatrale, LCSW
This course is designed to introduce the trainee to the diagnosis and treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. The emphasis is on the practical aspects of treatment, including how to de-mystify this diagnosis and engage the client effectively. The trainee will learn how to identify the wound of the client, identify common issues in treatment of this disorder and learn how to implement various modalities of treatment including grounding techniques and chair work to help externalize the traumas associated with this diagnosis. A mixture of didactic and experiential work will give the trainee a starting point to effectively identify and work with the Borderline condition.

Course 304 / Colloquium Presentation
Each trainee (in their third year) is required to make a formal two and one-half hour colloquium presentation to the faculty and fellow trainees before graduation. This presentation is on a topic of the trainee’s choosing, representing either a deeper research into a topic or concept covered during the program, or a synthesis of Gestalt therapy or philosophy with some other interest of the student. A faculty member serves as the coordinator of the Colloquia Program, and assists trainees in their presentations. All trainees are required to attend colloquia presentations as a course requirement.

Course 305 / Workshop Elective
Trainees are required to attend a workshop, of their choosing, offered in the Gestalt Center of Long Island’s continuing education Saturday Workshop Series.

Gestalt Center of Long Island
The Gestalt Center of Long Island, established in 1977, is a non-profit educational institution provisionally chartered by the Board of Regents, State of New York Education Department. Our continuing education provides mental health professionals with quality instruction in Gestalt psychotherapy methods.
Contact Us
33 Walt Whitman Road, Suite 301
Huntington Station, NY 11746

phone: 631.692.4254
fax: 631.692.4211

Sign up here to receive occasional updates about GCLI, upcoming events, and more.

By submitting this form, you are granting: GESTALT CENTER OF LONG ISLAND, 33 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station, NY, 11746, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy ( for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.