Mary Lou Schack is a clinical Psychologist who has practiced Gestalt therapy for 38 years. She was trained in Gestalt Therapy by Jim Simkin, Isadore From (also her therapist), Erv Polster, and Laura Perls. She received her doctorate in psychology from Temple University. She studied shame with Donald Nathanson, hypnotherapy with Milton Erickson, couples therapy with Harville Hendrix and EMDR with Francine Shapiro.
Together with Joyce Lewis, Mary Lou founded the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia’s training program in 1983. They invited David Henrich and Philip Lichtenberg to join them. She was often invited to speak at conferences and present workshops. She also co-conducted (along with Philip Lichtenberg) residential workshops in Europe. Her theoretical interests include trauma and anxiety, mutuality and attachment and the development of resilience.
Mary Lou taught at GTIP for 35 years before her retirement in 2019. She continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Mary Lou was a beloved teacher. She was relaxed and contactful and easily brought her wealth of knowledge and her experience into any subject. In experiments and exercises she often became playful, resembling a mischievous child pushing the boundaries. Her enthusiasm was palpable. Mary Lou’s teaching on moments of mutuality (affectionately called MOM) was a highlight for many of her students.
The Mary Lou Schack Annual Fund was created for special programming or other major administrative expenses at GTIP.