Who Was Fritz Perls Pt 3
In 1927, Fritz Perls moved to Vienna, because it was the place to be, for anyone involved in the psychoanalytic world. As time went by, Perls became increasingly dissatisfied with Freudian theory and practice, so he began to set about devising his own system.Â For his own personal analysis he consulted WilhelmÂ Reich, another major influence on his theory development.
Perls found Reich was the first man he could ever really trust, following on from his unfortunate fathering, and they did relate extremely well to each other. Like Karen Horney, Reich believed in havingÂ aÂ ‘real’Â relationshipÂ withÂ hisÂ clients – professional, yet also warm and lively.
It was Reich who taught Perls how life-energy can become blocked and remain trapped in the body causing physical disease; and how to release that energy by body-oriented psychotherapy.
By now Nazism in Germany was on the increase, causing Perls toÂ flee to Holland, which was not much safer, and from there to South Africa, where he and Laura (by now also an analyst) set up as trainers and psychoanalysts. From there eventually they would travel to the United States and become key players in the advent of humanistic psychotherapy.