Alan SchwartzAlan Schwartz, PhD

Alan Schwartz, as an early Gestalt therapist, performed a major role in the development of humanistic psychology.  A student of Dr. Laura Perls, co-founder of Gestalt therapy, he also studied at the Institute of Bioenergetic Analysis. Alan has taught the Gestalt approach worldwide since 1970. A champion of effective communication, he has helped to clarify the relationship between struggle and freedom and between suffering and lack of growth. His work has evolved to focus on the dynamics caused by life transitions. He continues as a competitive age group triathelete; a multiple-time member of Team USA with numerous National Championships and All-American titles.


Private practice; currently counseling individuals; specialized in counseling individuals, couples, families, and particularly survivors of sexual abuse and addictions; facilitated self-awareness, strength building, forming healthy patterns, and healing fear and anger.

Educator and Administrative Director

Associate professor, founder, and former chair of Communications Studies, Iona College, New Rochelle, New York (1962 to 1994); courses include Psychology of Communication, Interpersonal & Group Communication, Group Leadership, and Gestalt Communication & Theory; director of Remedial Program in Communication Anxiety; and founder of one of the first undergraduate majors in Humanistic Communication in America. He has also taught at City College of New York, NYU, Queens College of the City of New York, and Lehman College of the City of New York.

Speaker, Trainer and Seminar Presenter

Permanent faculty member Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California (since 1972); current workshop example is The Profound Simplicity of Being Present - A Gestalt Workshop; programs emphasize the Gestalt process, bioenergetic analysis, team building and group communication, training for therapists in Gestalt Therapy, and conquering personal and professional burnout; has conducted over 2000 groups focused on training, therapy, growth, and healing addictions; keynotes conventions and meetings on issues of executive burnout, addictions, sexual abuse, and the benefits and desirability of cross training for those 50 and older.


Numerous articles for scientific and popular publications; Life Force – Death Force: The Structure of Human Energy and the Biology of Greed (Vantage Press, 1988).

Education and Professional Affiliations

  • B.A., English, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • M.A., Communication, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • M.S.W., Clinical Social Work, Adelphi University, Garden City, LI, NY
  • Ph.D., Communication, New York University, NY
  • L.C.S.W., State of Connecticut
  • C.S.W., State of New York
  • New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy, Full Teaching Member

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