The Aesthetic of Otherness: Taormina Conference Proceedings

The Aesthetic of Otherness: Taormina Conference Proceedings

The Aesthetic of Otherness:

meeting at the boundary in a desensitized world
edited by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb
Dan Bloom, Jan Roubal, Jelena Zeleskov Djoric, Michele Cannavò, Roberta La Rosa, Silvia Tosi, Valentina Pinna

ISBN: 978-88-989-1208-7

Back Cover

This book gathers proceedings from a conference of more than 1000 participants from across the world: the first joint AAGT (Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy) and EAGT
(European Association for Gestalt Therapy) conference – with the organizational support of the Italian association, the SIPG (Società Italiana Psicoterapia Gestalt).
The conference theme, “The Aesthetic of Otherness in a Desensitized World,” expressed how the interests of the international Gestalt therapy communities converged in the last few years. This theme brought together three principal concepts from the wide range of developments in Gestalt therapy literature, practice and teaching. They were the “aesthetic values in psychotherapy,” our “interest in the other” and our concern for “changes in society”.
What new ways have Gestalt psychotherapists developed that help clinicians to understand and address the needs of this world where we live?
Seventy-two authors have contributed different types of articles – workshop narratives, panel or plenary presentations, and didactic papers.
Now, looking over the table of contents of this book, seeing all the countries where the authors live and practice, we are especially happy and proud of our work of editors.
As in the international conference at the crossroads of civilizations, you will “hear” different voices as you read different styles: a wonderful experience in which people transcended professional, personal and theoretical differences – to meet and value the otherness of the other. The major success of this conference confirmed that Gestalt therapy is a lively and developing approach well-grounded in theory and practice, addressing itself more and more to research.
Dear readers, welcome to what has been called the “Taormina wave”!
From the Introduction by the Editors

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Introduction, by the Editors


A. My Other’s Keeper: Resources for the Ethical Turn in
Psychotherapy, by Donna M. Orange
Comment, by Dan Bloom, Lynne Jacobs, Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb

B. A Gestalt Research Program: Politics and Purity, by Leslie
Greenberg, introduced by Jan Roubal
C. Atmospheres and Pathic Aesthetics, by Tonino Griffero
Comment, by Monica Alvim Botero, Gianni Francesetti, Jean-Marie Robine


1. Hunger for Relationship. From Desensitizing One’s Own
Bodily Boundaries to Contacting the Other. A Gestalt Vision of
Binge Eating Disorder Related to Obesity, by Silvia Alaimo
2. Embodied Interventions and Experiments as Body-to-Body communication within a Relational Gestalt Approach, by
Julianne Appel-Opper (Germany)
3. Please Mind the Gap, by Despoina Balliou, Exarmenia
Pappa (Greece)
4. Evil: The Sight That Cannot Be Seen; the Speaking That
Cannot Be Said, by Dan Bloom (USA)
5. The Aesthetics of Holding Space for Women, by Ann
Bowman, Gail Feinstein (USA)
6. Gifts from the Underworld: Restoring Self, Other, and Field,
by Rosie Burrows (Ireland)
7. Bodies, Images and Stories. How To Meet and Sensitize the
Other in the Co-created Field, by Michele Cannavò, Jelena
Zeleskov Doric (Italy-Australia)
8. Between You and Me, by Emilyn Claid (England)
9. Unique Adaptations of Methods from Psychodrama,
Movement, and Couples and Family Therapy, by Victor Daniels
10. Soma-aesthetic Group Therapy: Moving Bodies, Changing
Lives, by Billy Desmond (Ireland)
11. Falling Through the Bottom, Grounding in Bottomlessness,
by Marianne De Wulf (Belgium)
12. What Does a Group Need To Become a Group. What
Supports Individuals To Take the Risk of Contact in a Group?,
by Ulla Diltsch, Günther Kuhn-Ditzelmüller (Austria)
13. The Aesthetic of Otherness: Creative Processes in
Education, by Claude Falgas (France)
14. World View of Ancient Mexican: Reflections on the Gestalt
Theory, by Claudia Fernández Santoyo (Mexico)
15. Correlations of Gestalt Effectiveness Measurement
Instrument (GIRL) with Psychiatric Diagnoses in Clinical
Settings, by Susan Grossman, Alan Cohen (USA)
16. Presence, Rupture And Repair: At The Edges Of Contact,
by Belinda Harris, Deborah Lane (UK)
17. The Aesthetic of Otherness. Gender as Other, by Di
Hodgson (UK)
18. Relationships with Talent: Some Reflections on a
Workshop in Progress, by Gerrie Hughes, Piergiulio Poli (UK Italy)
19. The Experience of Relationship in the Argentine Tango:
“Haptics” Concept and Gestalt Experience Cycle, by Lina
Jurkstaite-Pacesiene, Alvydas Soraka, Daina Milikauskiene,
Kaylyn Kretschmer, Laima Sapezinskiene (Lithuania-Canada)
20. Existential Dimension of Supervision: Supervision of
Psychotherapeutic Practice, by Elena Kaliteevskaya (Russia)
21. Infinite Desire in a Finite World: How Sharing Supports
Belongingness, by Antonia Konstantinidou, Fotini Maroglou,
Georgios Giaglis, Katerina Manolaki, Katerina Siampani
22. The Outcome’s Research in Gestalt Therapy: the SIPG
Project, by Roberta La Rosa, Silvia Tosi (Italy)

23. Aging and Beauty, Living and Dying: Through a Gestalt
Lens, by Madelon Rudman Clark, Anne Leibig (USA)
24. Model of Diagnostics of Eating Disorders in Gestalt
Approach, by Irina Lopatukhina (Russia)
25. Aesthetics of Contact and Alzheimer’s Disease: Which
Support in a Desensitized World?, by Grace Maiorana (Italy)
26. The Beauty of Contact in “Chronic Situations”. Gestalt
Therapy in Long-term Therapeutical Relations, by Riane
Malfait (Belgium)
27. The Aesthetics of Otherness. The Communicative
Dimension of the Felt Body: Introducing the New
Phenomenology of Hermann Schmitz, by Friedhelm Matthies
28. Fear and Seduction in Encountering the Other, by
Alessandra Merizzi (Italy)
29. The Awarness and Responsability in a Desensitized World:
the Challenge of Gestalt Therapy Here and Now, by Pilar
Ocampo (Mexico)
30. Dancing the Aesthetics of Otherness, by Peter Philippson
31. Gestalt Approach in Support During and after Traumatic
Experience, by Jasenka Pregrad (Croatia)
32. “Sib Dimension”: the Post Modern Experience of Siblinglike
Relationships, by Alessia Repossi (Italy)
33. How Retrospective Client Interviewing Can Inform
Psychotherapists’ Practice, by Jan Roubal, Tomáš Řiháček,
Roman Hytych, Rolf Sandell (Czech Republic-Sweden)
34. Art in Supervision: Working with Professional Impasses
and Family Themes, by Sandra Salomão Carvalho (Brazil)
35. A Clinical Experience with Suffering from Gambling
Disorder. A Gestalt Therapy Approach, by Giovanna Silvestri
36. Figure and Ground Experiences of the Self. Integrating
Development and Psychopathology in Research and Clinical
Practice, by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb (Italy)
37. Undoing the Splits: A Relational Field Perspective on
Trauma, by Miriam Taylor (UK)
38. The Eyes in Which I Was Mirrored: Eros, Sexuality and the
Illusional Presence of the Other, by Petros Theodoru (Greece)
39. Spontaneity and Intentionality of Contact: A Modality of
Working with Children, Their Parents and Their World, by
Silvia Tosi (Italy)
40. Addictive Experiences and Gestalt Therapy: A(n)
(Im)possible Relationship?, by Maya Van Zelst (Belgium)
41. Every Creativity Is Worth a Psychotherapy. The
Architecture of Beauty in Everyday Life, by Alessandra Vela,
Rosa Salvo (Italy)
42. Professional Competencies as Qualitative Inspirations for
the Gestalt Therapist, by Ivana Vidaković, Beatrix Wimmer
43. Defining Competencies: Heresy or Bringing Out an
Intrinsic Quality of Gestalt Therapy?, by Andreas
Weichselbraun (UK)
44. Every Creativity is Worth a Psychotherapy. The Beauty of
Words, by Yianna Yiamarelou (Greece)
Conference Planning Committee
Conference Program
Photo Gallery

The Editors

Starting from left: Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb, Dan Bloom, Jan Roubal, Jelena Zeleskov Djoric, Michele Cannavò, Roberta La Rosa, Silvia Tosi, Valentina Pinna

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How to quote this book

M. Spagnuolo Lobb, D. Bloom, J. Roubal, J. Zeleskov Djoric, M. Cannavò, R. La Rosa, S. Tosi, V. Pinna (Eds.) (2018). The Aesthetic of Otherness: meeting at the boundary in a desensitized world, Proceedings. Siracusa (Italy): Istituto di Gestalt HCC Italy Publ. Co. (
ISBN: 978-88-989-1208-7

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