I would like to give the benefit of the doubt: It seems that Wysong makes a point when he alludes to Kepner's book not being a clear explication of Gestalt theory, such as in the case of the Polsters, et.al. However, I really wasn't trying to say that it was. I see Kepner's book as an application of Gestalt theory focused on body processes, and as such, a great illustration of Gestalt principles in action, applied as it is to a subject of value to Gestalt practitioners. (I'm sorry for not communicating this more precisely before.) As such, I think it can be useful in practice for those who wish to be more adept at understanding physical expression and contact - more in touch with the "physical" (thanks, a helpful way to express what I've been trying to say). Having said that, I merely notice that it seems inconsistent to advocate a theory that views human beings as whole organisms, of which their bodies (sorry, that is a word in my vocabulary. I understand the whole organism idea, but at some point one must refer to the body and distinguish it for practical discourse), are members, but then to say that touch is rejected automatically without any consideration. Of course it's not necessary to touch; it's not necessary to talk either. It's not necessary to meet as client and therapist; however, I think these things can, under certain circumstances, be helpful. (And, no, I don't think it is irresponsible of me to say so. Specific people may behave immorally, but I have not shouted fire in our little theater by merely wanting to talk about this subject.) This is my opinion. I think we are still entitled to have one of our own, and I can read Gestalt theory as well as the next person, making my own judgement about what is, and what isn't, an appropriate application of it. I don't need someone else's polarity as my guiding light. I’d like to make it clear that I respect Joe Wysong's opinion, but when he speaks with his thirty-year history in Gestalt, and his pedigree as editor of the Gestalt Journal, that is still all he is putting out - his opinion. I like hearing it. I sense a precision in his thinking that helps me, and I value his expression here, but I choose not to retreat from the contact or to be intimidated into letting someone else think for me. I express where I'm at in my thinking right now, and to make myself available for the growth that comes from meeting and interacting with others.
Now, here is one new emerging figure: applications of Gestalt theory. If we are to chew on various options, each claiming a Gestalt nomenclature, and spit out some that don't adhere to true Gestalt theory, by what criteria do we evaluate the applications being made widely in the field today? I think of the work of Ed Nevis, and John and Veronica Carter, and others who have been very instrumental in applying Gestalt to organizational development. I wonder if Wysong would ding such work as also not truly Gestalt. Why, or why not, given the way he's responded to Kepner's book?