Magic of Fritz Perls demystified. Part One.

Written by Lilia Moskalchuk - 05.12.2014

The Magic.

Frtiz Perls was magic. About 25% of the time. The other 75% of the time he was horrible. But that was easy for him, because he said that in front of him was a resistant client.

A client comes to see Fritz, an impossible client, nobody can work with her. She sits down in front of him and he asks her demographic questions like name, age, marital status, questions like do you have parents, are they alive, do you visit them, how about kids etc. He would continue asking questions for 10 minutes and then he’d say:

– (With his German accent) I want you to put your mother in the chair and tell her: “Mother, I hate you!”

The client wouldn’t understand, explain that her mother isn’t there with her. The trainee psychologists were observing the process and asked themselves too – What? Why?

– (Fritz with his German accent) Don’t why, I’m telling you, put your mother in the chair and tell your mother you hate her!

– Uh, – responded the client, – she’s not here.

– (Fritz getting angry)You want to change? Mother in the chair and tell her you hate her!!

So pretty soon the client would meekly say: “Mom, I don’t like you”.

To which Fritz would reply in disgust: “You make me sick. I want to throw up. This is not hate, again, again, again!” And he would yell at the people until finally 15 minutes later the person would scream from the top of her lungs:  “I hate you, mother!” , and she would start pounding the chair. And Fritz would say: “Yes, now it’s better, keep going, keep it going!”

So she’d break the chair up and throw it out the window, and would get all bloody in the process. And Fritz’s thrilled because now the person is catharting. And after the process is done he gets up, and hugs her, and tells the client: “Now you’re free!” and the client would run out of the building and yell: “I’m alive, I’m alive! Life is wonderful”.

And there would be 45 trainee psychologists watching, blown away by the emotion and the crying and the screaming. And after the client had left they would ask him: “Fritz, mother in the chair?! Why? Where did this come from?”

And Friitz would say in one breath: “You don’t understand, its introjection. When one person loves or hates something about themselves and they can’t deal with it, they put their love or their hate in the other person when they see something similar in the other person and then they attack or love this person for what they actually hate or love in themselves. Introjection. Simple.”

And people would ask further question about how he knew it was introjection, and he would say – “You must feel it in your guts!”

Psychologists would look at their stomachs and not understand what exactly they have to learn to feel in their guts.

And then John Grinder, Richard Bandler and Frank Pucelik started studying him fanatically.

To be continued…


Ever studied Fritz Perls? Tell us about your experience below!

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Posted Under: Developing

"You must feel in in the guts"
It has to be intuitive - you have to get a feeling about the person you are communicating with.
But I can't imagine lobbing bloodied chairs out the window nowadays. There's bound to be some Health and Safety law it would violate