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This international conference is designed to nurture the establishment of a research tradition for Gestalt therapy. This conference is in line with two previous conferences in Cape Cod (2013 & 2015) organized by the AAGT and the GISC. And it is a follow-up to the Rome seminar (2014) organized by the EAGT.

The conference is addressed to Gestalt practitioners and also to trainees of Gestalt training institutes. Colleagues trained in other modalities are welcomed, too.

The conference will address issues related to research design, exhibit current research by Gestalt practitioners, and explore research relevant to the Gestalt and the humanistic approach.

The conference is designed to support the growth of the international community of Gestalt practitioners interested in research. Thus, the conference will last three full days in order to help build new research projects. It will feature established clinician-researchers who can stimulate and encourage those new to the field.

Three world-class psychotherapy researchers will present their keynotes and will be available for consultation and advice regarding participants´projects.

Louis Castonguay

Professor at the Department of Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University, USA.

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After his undergraduate studies in Psychology at the University of Sherbrooke and a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of Montreal, he completed his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, a clinical internship at U.C. Berkeley, and a Post-doctorate at Stanford University.

He is currently Professor at the Department of Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University, where he also served as the Associate Director for the Clinical Program and the Director of the Graduate Studies.


His research focuses on the process of change in different forms of psychotherapy (cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and integrative), especially for the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression. Within this context, he has investigated several factors related to the client (e.g., emotional experience), therapist (e.g., focus of intervention) and the therapeutic relationship (e.g., working alliance). He is also involved in the investigation of the efficacy of new integrative treatments for generalized anxiety disorder and depression. With students and colleagues, he is also conducting effectiveness research aimed at better understanding and possibly improving psychotherapy as practice in natural settings.


He has more than 150 publications, including six co-edited books: On empirically based principles of change in psychotherapy (with Larry Beutler); psychopathology research and psychotherapy (with Thomas Oltmanns); insight in psychotherapy (with Clara Hill); corrective experiences in psychotherapy (with Clara Hill); the integration movement in psychotherapy (with Conrad Lecomte); and on the legacy of influential figures of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, SPR (with Christopher Muran, Lynne Angus, Jeffrey Hayes, Nicholas Ladany, and Tim Anderson).


Based on his dissertation research (on the process of change in cognitive therapy for depression), he won the Graduate Student Paper Competition awarded by the Division of Psychotherapy of the American Psychological Association (APA). He has also received the Early Career Contribution Award from SPR, the Jack D. Krasner Memorial Award from the APA Division of Psychotherapy, and the David Shakow Early Career Award from the APA Division of Clinical Psychology. With Thomas Borkovec and Stephen Ragusea, he has received the Pennsylvania Psychological Association Presidential Award for their work on a state-wide Practice-Research Network. He has also received three additional recognitions from the APA Division of Psychotherapy: the Distinguished Psychologist Award for his life time contributions to the field of psychotherapy, the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Mentoring, as well as the Distinguished Research Publications Award.


He served as President of the International Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) and the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research (NASPR), and co-chaired (with Larry Beutler) the APA Division of Clinical Psychology and NASPR Task Force on Empirically Based Principles of Therapeutic Change. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI). Moreover, he has co-chaired (with Clara Hill) The Penn State Conferences on The Process of Change, which has regrouped prominent psychotherapy researchers interested in delineating quantitative and qualitative methods that can help us better understand how clients’ change.


He chaired the Pennsylvania Psychological Association-Practice Research Network (PPA PRN), and has been chairing for several years the committee responsible for the creation and implementation of a Practice Research Network at the Psychology Clinic of the Penn State University. He has also team up with Ben Locke and Jeff Hayes in developing a Practice Research Network involving more than 150 Counseling and Psychological Centers on college campuses in the US. With David Kraus, he is also in the process of creating an international Research Practice Network, which will allow them to develop a large infrastructure for the conduct of clinically meaningful and scientifically rigorous studies on the process and outcome of psychotherapy. These are part of a number of initiatives that he has been involved in with the goal of fostering an active collaboration between researchers and clinicians. He also maintains a part-time private practice.

Wolfgang Tschacher

Professor at the Department of Psychotherapy, University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Bern, Switzerland.

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Professor Wolfgang Tschacher, PhD, of the Department of Psychotherapy, University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Bern, Switzerland.  Dr. Tschacher was born in Germany and studied psychology at Tübingen University where he received his Ph.D. in 1990. He has psychotherapy training in systemic therapy from the Institute of Family Therapy, Munich. He currently works at the University Hospital of Psychiatry, where he is head of the department of psychotherapy research. His main interests are in empirical psychotherapy research and experimental psychopathology, with an emphasis on dynamical systems approaches, complexity science, embodied cognition, and phenomena of cognitive self-organization. He is a member of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, the Society for Mind-Matter Research, Society of Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences and he is the organizer of the series of ‘Herbstakademie’ conferences on systems theory in psychology (17 conferences since 1990).


His interests and experience include psychotherapy, mindfulness, embodied cognition, systems theory, and the philosophy of mind. His latest book, co-edited with Claudia Bergomi, is The Implications of Embodiment: Cognition and Communication.  Some of his papers include:

  • Time-Series Panel Analysis (TSPA) – Multivariate modeling of temporal associations in psychotherapy process
  • Nonverbal synchrony in psychotherapy: Coordinated body movement reflects relationship quality and outcome
  • The Assessment of Mindfulness with Self-Report Measures: Existing Scales and Open Issues
  • Nonverbal synchrony or random coincidence? How to tell the difference
  • The transfer of principles of non-equilibrium physics to embodied cognition
  • Embodiment and the arts
  • Editorial: The Significance of Psychotherapy in the Age of Neuroscience
  • The Self: A Processual Gestalt
  • Embodied Cognitive Science: Concepts, Methods and Implications for Psychology
  • Time dependency of psychotherapeutic exchanges: The contribution of the Theory of Dynamic Systems in analyzing process

Xavier Briffault

Researcher in social sciences and mental health epistemology at CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Paris, France.

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Coming soon.

The registration fee covers participation in the conference. It does not include any dinner or lunch. Lodging costs are separate and conference participants must make their own arrangements. There will be a social event on the night of Friday 26 of May,  which will be detailed later on the registration section of the website.

Main organizer

European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT)

Local Organizers


The conference is co-organized by

  • European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT)
  • Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy (AAGT)
  • Société Française de Gestalt (SFG)
  • Collège Européen de Gestalt-thérapie (CEG-t)

Conference conveners

  • Vincent Béja
  • Gianni Francesetti
  • Mark Reck
  • Jan Roubal

Local Coordination Committee


  • Vincent Béja
  • Florence Belasco
  • Anne Berthelin
  • Barbara Fourcade
  • Lynne Rigaud
  • Sylvain Risse
  • Marie-Hélène Thouin

Planning & Scientific Committee

  • Claire Asherson Bartram
  • Vincent Béja
  • Florence Belasco
  • Philip Brownell
  • Soneide Caetano Jungnitz
  • Michele Cannavò
  • Michael Cotayo
  • Gianni Francesetti
  • Heather Keyes
  • Brad Larsen-Sanchez
  • Jack Van Liesdonk
  • Joe Melnick
  • Frans Meulmeester
  • Sue O’Rourke
  • Lynne Rigaud
  • Mark Reck
  • Jan Roubal
  • Sari Scheinberg