Mary Lou Schack, PhD

Board Member and Faculty Member


Educational Background

Ph.D in Psychology from Temple University

Professional Experience

Clinical Psychologist

About Me

Mary Lou is a clinical psychologist, working with individuals , couples, and the supervision of therapists in her Bala Cynwyd, Pa. practice. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Temple University and has been training therapists in experiential methods for more than 30 years. She herself trained in Gestalt Therapy with James Simkin, Isadore From, Laura Perls, and Erving and Miriam Polster. She, with the help of Joyce Lewis, founded GTIP in the early ’80’s. Mary Lou’s current areas of theoretical interest include mutuality and connection in relationships, the experience of time,  scapegoating phenomena, body/mind functioning, forgiveness, and the healing of early psychological wounds. But mostly, these days she is retired.

“I am fascinated by moments of mutuality: those inspired, energized instants when we find ourselves on the same wavelength as someone else. These are the times when relationships are born, and when a sense of connection occurs and deepens. How we can encourage these moments to happen is the important question. I believe that the obstructiveness of conflict diminishes as mutuality develops.

“We are born with the ability to heal and grow, but when we are emotionally damaged or traumatized we creatively adjust to survive, if not to thrive. Yet in that adjustment, we frequently limit our possibilities so that life becomes more manageable, though less fulfilling. The  role of the therapist is to create safe emergencies in which people can experiment with moving beyond their created defending to begin fully experiencing themselves and the world again. The job of Gestalt Therapy Theory is to help people grow beyond their self imposed limits into lives that are vivid and lively.