Barry Stevens (therapist)

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Barry Stevens, born Mildred Fox[1] (1902–1985), was a writer and Gestalt therapist. She developed her own form of Gestalt therapy body work, based on the awareness of body processes. For the human potential movement of the 1970s, she became a kind of "star", but she always refused to accept that role. She worked - among others - with the psychotherapists Fritz Perls and Carl Rogers. Bertrand Russell and Aldous Huxley were among her friends.

Life[edit]

Stevens was a self-described "High School drop-out, 1918, because what she wanted to know, she couldn't learn in school."[2]

Fritz Perls described Barry Stevens as "a natural born therapist."[3]

Publications[edit]

Her publications include Don't Push the River (It Flows by Itself), a first-person account of Stevens' investigations of Gestalt Therapy. It shows the author during a period of several months in association with Fritz Perls at Perls' Gestalt Institute of Canada at Lake Cowichan, Vancouver Island, in 1969. Barry Stevens describes both Gestalt therapy theory and practice and her relationship with Fritz Perls in a sensitive way. Thus creating a vivid image of Perls in the last months of his life.

In addition she explored Zen Buddhism, the philosophy of J. Krishnamurti, and American Indian religious practices in an effort "to deepen and expand personal experience and work through difficulties." "We have to turn ourselves upside down and reverse our approach to life."[4] Alternating with episodes from her earlier days, it became a "best-seller" in the circles of humanistic psychology.[3]

Her earliest published work is "Hideaway Island" a loosely autobiographical novel about a woman on the far end of Long Island.

She met Nakata Yoshimatsu, a former valet of Jack London, in Hawaii in the 1930s, and helped him to write down his recollections.[5]And she wrote an article about Nakata that was published posthumously in 2000.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Barry Stevens is the mother of John O. Stevens who is also a writer, Gestalt therapist and NLP-trainer. John O. "Steve" Stevens founded Real People Press, a publisher of works on psychology and personal change in 1967, in order to publish a book by Carl Rogers and Barry Stevens entitled "Person to Person". He published books on Gestalt therapy; he was responsible for the compilation of Gestalt Therapy Verbatim, the media event that brought Gestalt therapy to public attention in the late 1960s. And he is also the editor of the 1973 book Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain: The Essence of Tai Chi by Chungliang Al Huang, to which he and Barry Stevens wrote the preface. He later changed his name to Steve Andreas.[3]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Hide-away Island, Barry Fox. New York, Greenberg, 1934.
  • Person to Person: The Problem of Being Human, by Carl Rogers and Barry Stevens, with contributions from Eugene Gendlin, John M. Shlien, and Wilson Van Dusen, Real People Press, 1967, ISBN 0-911226-01-X (paper) and ISBN 0-911226-00-1 (cloth).
  • Don't Push the River (It Flows by Itself), Real People Press, 1970.
  • Body Work, in: Gestalt is, John O. Stevens ed., Real People Press, 1975, p. 157 - 184, ISBN 0-911226-15-X pbk.
  • Burst Out Laughing, Barry Stevens, Celestrial Arts, 1985.
  • Nakata - Son of Jack London, in: Jack London Journal, No 7, 2000, p. 9 - 25. (published posthumously)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kranz, D. (2011): Barry Stevens: Leben Gestalten. In: Gestaltkritik, 2/2011, p. 4-11.
  2. ^ Source: About the Authors, Person to Person: The Problem of Being Human, by Carl Rogers and Barry Stevens, with contributions from Eugene Gendlin, John M. Shlien, and Wilson Van Dusen, Real People Press, 1967, ISBN 0-911226-01-X (paper) and ISBN 0-911226-00-1 (cloth).
  3. ^ a b c http://www.gestalt.org/Journal.pdf
  4. ^ Person to Person: The Problem of Being Human, by Carl Rogers and Barry Stevens, 1967.
  5. ^ Nakata and Stevens Papers. North Bay Regional & Special Collections, University Library, Sonoma State University; [1]
  6. ^ "Nakata - Son of Jack London", in: Jack London Journal, No 7, 2000, p. 9 - 25

External links[edit]