Our vision is to help people live more fully and vividly through the strengths of the philosophy and theory of Gestalt Therapy. GTIP is on a journey to see what is imaginable at the intersections of theory, applications, community and accountability. Initially designed as a three-year training program for clinicians, we came to understand that Gestalt Therapy Theory offers possibilities for growth to many.
In 2018 we changed our name to the Gestalt Training Institute of Philadelphia. We recognize that the Eurocentric view of Gestalt therapy’s founding was no longer as relevant and that GTIP itself was built upon and was still organized under the principles of White supremacy culture.
That one, simple change reflects our acknowledgement that while our organization was perhaps reflective of the times, it was not as inclusive or open as it could have been at its founding. Our deep commitment to making our theory and training available to more people includes noticing who and what is being left out and challenging ourselves to stay relevant.
GTIP has embraced policies and programs that interrupt microaggressions and racial ruptures and foster repair. We developed a Change Team, recruited a more diverse Board of Directors, and we are including reading materials published in recent years by BIPOC writers.
We believe that Gestalt therapy isn’t just for therapists. We see it as an approach to promote ways to work cross-racially. We know that work worth doing is often messy; yet the tenets of the theory — presence, self-awareness and the importance of context — contribute to dismantling oppression. We see the practical applications of Gestalt Therapy Theory as a way to support healing at a time when our communities face unprecedented challenges as well as exciting opportunities for change.
Under the leadership and advocacy of our Executive Director, Jennifer C. Jones, PhD., GTIP is undergoing culture change at every level of the organization. We now understand the possibilities that come from working collectively to diversify the institute. We are on a journey to see what is imaginable at the intersection of Gestalt theory and accountability.