The Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia welcomed its first class of trainees in September, 1984.
The Institute, now widely known as GTIP, began in 1982. Mary Lou Schack and Joyce Lewis, two therapists who had studied Gestalt Therapy, saw potential in starting a new theory-and-practice-based training program in the Philadelphia region.
In 1983, they asked fellow Gestalt Therapists Philip Lichtenberg and David Henrich to join them in developing the program, and it was this foursome, the directors of GTIP, who taught that first class. They have taught every class since and have also remained the directors, with Joyce becoming a director emeritus upon her retirement in 2002.
This core group came together over shared beliefs in the philosophy and theory of Gestalt Therapy and in its strength to help people live more fully and vividly. They have since been assisted by like-minded adjunct faculty members, who teach in the training program and also support another primary GTIP mission: furthering the study and heightening the influence of Gestalt Therapy. The GTIP faculty sponsors workshops and conferences, encourages attendance at other Gestalt conferences, and contributes to the professional literature.
Over time, GTIP graduates, trainees, and faculty have grown into a community of people deeply connected by an enriching personal and intellectual experience. This dynamic community welcomes interested others.