The Art of Living and the Joy of Life
Developing and Maturity in a Changing World
by Hans Peter Dreitzel
In collaboration with Brigitte Stelzer-Dreitzel
Foreword by Thomas Rieger
«This book is the product of the author’s life-long learning adventure toward a well life. His approach is scholarly and concrete at the same time. His journey is shaped by his master’s
knowledge of gestalt therapy, sharp social criticism, and his spiritual practices. He entwines those three influences into one whole that points us readers to the possibilities for our own
Dan Bloom, Fellow, New York Institute of Gestalt Therapy
«As psychotherapist and sociologist Dreitzel continues the founders of Gestalt therapy‘s attempt to create a field approach that includes their criticism of the political and socio-ecological context of their time and the possibilities to live a meaningful and responsible life in our present situation by linking insights from stoic philosophies, Karl Marx, Ken Wilber, and Buddha, and also by sharing his concrete experiences practicing what he calls “Embodied Mindful Awareness“. The book is also in itself a strong statement against a possible slide of Gestalt Therapy into an effective but purely medical-psychotherapeutic method.» Bernd Bocian, Gestalt therapist, author of Fritz Perls in Berlin 1893-1933.
«Dreitzel’s book presents profound reflections which will appeal not just to therapists and academics but to all readers interested in their own ongoing developmental process. Definitely it is recommended reading for therapists and educators, but also it is heartily recommended for anyone keen to keep on with personal development while being equally interested in the constructive development of our culture in difficult, prospectively even stormy times. This book is for those who are willing to take responsibility.»
Dr. Roland Stein, Professor of Education.
«This book can be a companion for a long time in one’s life.»
Kathleen Höll, Gestalt therapist, Vienna
Introductory Note, by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb
Translator’s Note, by Michaela von Britzke
Foreword, by Thomas Rieger
Introductory Question: What Is a Good Life?
Part I – The Project of a Good Life
1. Throwing Oneself into Life’s Adventure
2. Fostering Curiosity and Thirst for Knowledge and Experience
3. Allowing Everything To Flow
4. Living in the Here-and-Now
5. Sensing One’s Needs; Organising Them; Declaring Them
6. Cultivating Our Ability to Express Emotions
7. Finding the Hidden Beauty of Life
8. Living with Inner Freedom
9. Making Friends
10. Living Moderately without Losing Zest
Part II – Development and Maturation
11. Life – Its Meaningful Gestalt
12. A Developmental Theory for Gestalt Therapy?
13. Ken Wilber’s Holographic Developmental Model
14. Problems of Balance in the Holon: Confluence and Narcissism
15. Shadows of Catastrophic Developments
16. What Else Should We Expect?
17. Tendencies Towards Autonomy in the Private Realm
18. Life Crises as Practice Grounds
19. Reciprocity and Participation
20. Practising and Maturing, Unknown Destination
Part III – The Practice of Embodied Mindfulness
21. Why We Have To Start with Ourselves
22. Atisha’s Instructions – Practising Awareness
23. Kinomichi and Kum Nye – Practising Bodily Awareness
24. Constructing Ego-attachment and No-self as Opposites Is a
Misunderstanding – The Self and Its Functions as Process
H. Peter Dreitzel, born in 1935 in Berlin, taught sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York and hold a chair in this field at the Free University Berlin for 30 years until his retirement in 2000. He is also a co-founder of the Berlin Gestalt Center (GZB). He has been trained mainly by Isadore From. He has worked as Gestalt therapist in private praxis for more than 40 years. He is also a teacher and supervisor in Germany and internationally. He is the author of many books and articles on sociological and psychotherapeutic themes.