Gestalt Prayer

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Fritz Perls created the Gestalt prayer to provide a model that expresses Gestalt therapy and a means by which we should live. The Gestalt prayer is a statement which is an exemplary representation by Dr. Perls that accurately summarizes his new method of psychotherapy.

The meaning of the Gestalt prayer is for the individual to live in harmony according to their own needs and what feels right instead of looking to outside influences to determine the individual's needs. The statement also emphasizes the fact that when we are fulfilled then we are better equipped to help others to do the same which creates stronger relationships.

Text of "Gestalt prayer"

I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.

(Fritz Perls, 1969)

Impact and legacy

The Gestalt prayer describes in 56 words the focus of Gestalt therapy and its viewpoint of personal independence and is legendary in the practice of Gestalt and psychotherapy professionals. Although critics in opposition believe that relationships must be developed through hard work, those who believe in Gestalt feel that relationships should never be based on obligation or as a result of the expectations of others. The Gestalt prayer is also well known for sparking arguments in academic discussions related to personal autonomy and interdependence and it is widely used by the general culture as a creed to live by.