In 1983, together with Mary Lou Schack, Joyce Lewis founded the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia. Philip Lichtenberg and David Henrich joined them soon after. Joyce graduated from the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. She taught there for decades and was a much sought after faculty member. She trained in Gestalt therapy with Erv and Miriam Polster. She was a member of AA for 25 years, a provider of mental health services at EROMIN, joined the Sisters of Katie Luther when she received her Masters of Divinity in Boston and was a valued member of her religious community at St. Michael’s in Mt. Airy.
Joyce was highly principled, warm and compassionate. A keen observer of human frailty, she was also acutely aware of our capacity for resilience. She recognized the complicated and often messy baggage we carry with us. She helped students and clients quiet their inner critic and embrace the positive.
It was fun to be around Joyce. She was authentic and easy-going. Her joyously unrestrained and full-throated laughter could light up a room.
The Joyce E. Lewis Memorial Tuition Assistance Fund was established after her death in 2006. It helps those of more modest means join the Three-Year Training Program. GTIP has awarded close to $115,000 to 68 trainees.