Contact and Resistance - Summary and Key Ideas

In 'Contact and Resistance: A New Approach to Gestalt Therapy', Gordon Wheeler intricately explores the concept of resistance in Gestalt therapy, challenging traditional approaches and offering new insights for individual and systematic interventions. The book delves into the works of Perls, Goodman, and other seminal thinkers, unveiling a critical understanding of contact and resistance within therapeutic contexts.

This book is aimed at practitioners in the field of psychology and psychotherapy, specifically those interested in or practicing Gestalt Therapy. Readers seeking to explore new perspectives on therapy, contact, and resistance will find deep insights in this book.

Buy the book
Contact and Resistance

Key ideas


This work aims to evolve Gestalt therapy by integrating overlooked aspects of its foundational theory.


Gestalt psychology asserts perception actively forms meaningful wholes, influencing consciousness and behavior.

Play in App

Perls pioneered Gestalt therapy, prioritizing physicality and aggression, but overlooked relational contexts.

Play in App

Gestalt therapy views neurotic disorders as creative, adaptive processes, focusing on present experiences.

Play in App

Gestalt therapy evolved, focusing on interpersonal relationships and broader societal contexts.

Play in App

Resistance isn't an obstacle but a form of contact requiring balance in self-organization.

Play in App

The ground is the underlying, enduring framework of a person's perceptions, relationships, and existential stances that shapes their experience of the world.

Play in App

Adressing the "Ground" is essential to enable profound psychological transformation beyond mere symptom management.

Play in App

The concept of the also Ground applies to organizations.

Play in App

Play in App

Play in App

Play in App
Get the App
Access all 10 key ideas for free!

Summary & Review

Final Summary: The book 'Contact and Resistance' by Gordon Wheeler, a clinician with many years of experience, explores the subconscious dynamics influencing human interactions, organizational issues, and their eventual influence on psychotherapy. He sheds light on the work of pioneers in the field of Gestalt therapy while venturing into the aspects of resistance and contact that form a reflexivity within the therapy model.

Gordon Wheeler

In his many years of clinical psychological practice, Gordon Wheeler studied systemic dynamics and organizational issues. He was a student of the successors of Perls and Goodman at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and the successor of Lewin at the National Training Laboratory (NTL). Wheeler uses the Gestalt model in reference to Lewin's work to integrate intrapsychic, interpersonal, and systemic dynamics for change and transformation interventions. He is a member of the faculty of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, which he led for many years, and President of the Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California. In addition, he is editor of Gestalt Institute of Cleveland Press.


Is Your Domain Name at Risk?

90% of domains are vulnerable to email fraud and spoofing. Cybercriminals can send emails as you, even if you don't. DMARC stops this.

Check DMARC Now
check is instant and free

Find all the book summaries

Quality book summaries

The Good Life ... und wie es gelingen kann

„The Good Life ... und wie es gelingen kann“ bietet einen tiefgehenden Einblick in die 83 Jahre lange Harvard-Studie zur Entwicklung Erwachsener – eine der längsten Studien über das menschliche Glück. Das Buch gewährt Einblicke in das Leben der Teilnehmer und enthüllt bisher verborgene Erkenntnisse darüber, was ein gutes Leben ausmacht.

Fooled by Randomness

The book Fooled by Randomness (2001) is about the hidden role of luck and chance in our lives, and how we often mistake it for skill or ability. Nassim Nicholas Taleb argues that we are too quick to attribute success to our own abilities and too slow to acknowledge the impact of randomness, leading to dangerous misconceptions and flawed decision-making.


In 'Tomorrowmind' geht es um die PRISM-Kräfte: Prospektion, Resilienz und Agilität, Innovation und Kreativität, soziale Verbindung durch schnelle Beziehungsbildung sowie Bedeutung. Zusammen bilden sie die Bestandteile eines Tomorrowmind – einer Denkweise, die es uns ermöglicht, Veränderungen vorauszusehen, angemessen zu planen, auf Rückschläge zu reagieren und unser volles Potenzial zu entfalten.


Flow is a book that explores the concept of optimal experience, which is a state of deep engagement and enjoyment in an activity. It presents general principles and examples of how people have used these principles to transform their lives and achieve greater happiness and fulfillment.

The Good Life

‘The Good Life‘ is a deep dive into the 83-year long Harvard Study of Adult Development - one of humanity's longest studies on happiness. It provides insights into the lives of the participants and reveals previously underlying concepts of what makes a good life.

Mixed Signals

The book 'Mixed Signals' brings to light the complexities of incentive systems. It delves deep into exploring how the relationship between incentives and human behavior can be tweaked and optimized for personal and institutional benefits. It also highlights the ill effects of poorly designed incentives which can lead to unexpected outcomes.