At the risk of sounding like a cheering section, I am very glad that Dr. Kepner took issue with the above claims, (and sir, I truly valued your comments)
I am not a Gestaltist, per se, but I live in the Cleveland, OH area, and have attended seminars at the Gestalt institute of Cleveland, of which Dr. Kepner is a part. I am a practicing martial artist, and I have been working for years on how to integrate the practice of the martial arts (as body process) into psychotherapy. Dr. Kepner's books was one of the first that I read in the area of body process, and I found it to valuable and helpful. I have not yet read his "Healing Task", but I am looking forward to reading it, as I am working with a number of survivors.
Dr. Kepner's comments about using touch as an appropriate therapeutic technique was, I believe, right on the mark. And I would extend his comments to include not only survivors, but also offenders. I work with adolescent sex offenders (many whom are survivors themselves), and I believe that it is very important to show these young men what appropriate physical touch can be. This frequently occurs in the context of family therapy, as I work with the entire family to identify and experience appropriate touch (And to head off unhelpful discourse, of course, I pay attention to the dynamics of incest offenders vs. extrafamilial offenders, etc.) But in any event, learning appropriate touch is very critical for adolescent offenders.
I'll be the first to admit that I am only a beginner in the area, and I am seeking to continue to learn appropriate ways to use touch in psychotherapy. (If I can save my pennies, maybe I can attend Dr. Kepner's presentation in June :)
I also found Wysong's comments to be rather fundamentalist. I hail from a Jungian background, and there are people who make similar comments in the area as well. My limited experience with Gestalt to this point is that is it an ever-changing, on-going process. And that is part of what attracted me to it (as well as Jungianism) in the first place. I found the theories that I was taught in graduate school to be, for the most part, pendantic, dry and empty. Jung, and Gestalt seemed to be viewed by traditional academics are more of the "radical fringe". And to some extent, I think they are. And that is a positive thing, because then these schools of thought can be vibrant and alive and changing.....not tied to some unchanging fundamentalist doctrine which does not take into account new developments in psychotherapy.
OK - I'm done. Let the discussion continue.