Why a Web Site Now?

Frank Rubenfeld and YoyoThe “Now” is towards the end of my 77th year (July 2014). The “Why” takes a little more explanation.

I believe that I have valuable perspectives to share with both those active in the field of psychotherapy and the public – and if not now, then when?

I also know that by maintaining this site and communicating with responders I will create a context and process energizing my ongoing personal/professional growth.

(From Yeats)
Sailing to Byzantium
An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress.

How much richer this world would be if more of us, no matter our age, would heed Yeats and sing from our soul in the manner that suits us best. This site will help me do so. My wish is that it will encourage you to do the same.

The poems, essays, reviews, visuals, and commentary that compose this site are offerings that hopefully will move the reader to consider the theme of differentiation and connection within the field we live in – from the intra and interpersonal out to the group and societal – and beyond to the universal. I will also include past and contemporary perspectives of others.

To fulfill our humanity we need to manifest our authentic selves through contact and connection, helping others in turn to be themselves. Engaging in that process places us squarely in the evolutionary flow. This website is my personal contribution to the flow – may it encourage your soul to sing and louder sing!

Some Personal/Professional History

I was born in pre-war Paris, and thanks to my father’s vision and audacity our family survived the Holocaust. His working with the Emergency Rescue Committee led by Varian Fry enabled us to obtain the visas we needed to sail to New York City in October of 1940.

In 1964 I received my doctorate in clinical and social psychology from Yale. Three years later I began working with Fritz Perls at Esalen Institute and became one of his closest associates until his death in 1970. During the seventies and eighties I gave many Gestalt workshops at Esalen and other growth centers throughout the United States and Europe, and was a member of the Gestalt Institute of San Francisco where I served as president for two years. In the eighties I co-founded Psychotherapists for Social Responsibility, and wrote The Peace Manual: a Guide to Personal-Political Integration. More recently, I served for a decade on the Board of Directors of American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, the only fully integrated Arab-Jewish village in Israel. In 2009 I became a member of the editorial board of the Gestalt Review.

I continue teaching, giving workshops, and seeing clients. In 2010, I co-founded the Bay Area Gestalt Institute (BAGI), a non-hierarchical community of Gestalt therapists whose members have graduated from the Gestalt training clinic at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) where I have taught for the past decade. My interactions with the BAGI community; advanced students from CIIS; and other members of the Gestalt community have provided me with the context and inspiration to create this website.