No matter to what extent the physical (stop using "the body" when discussing Gestalt therapy) may be integral to the therapuetic process, physical contact with the client is not necessary and should, given the potential problems involved, be avoided. As I thought I made clear in my previous post, those body therapists who influenced the development of Gestalt therapy theory did not touch those they worked with. As you are able to work with the physical without touch, it is irresponsible to suggest that touching should be a psychotherapeutic tool whether you practice Gestalt therapy or use another approach.
Whatever contribution Kepner's book may make to the body of therapuetic literature, it does not articulate Gestalt therapy theory as developed by Perls, Hefferline and Goodman and further explored by the Polsters or by Gary Yontef in their books. No matter how "wholistic" (I assume Brownell means "holistic") you may be, there are things that are and things that are not Gestalt therapy. These differences are not, as Brownell suggests, mere matters of opinion. The founders of Gestalt therapy selected another name for their approach because, no matter to what extent it was grounded in psychoanalysis, they were intellectually obligated to recognize the differences between the two. We must do the same and continue to assimilate those new ideas that expand Gestalt therapy and chew on and spit out those which don't.
End of my comments on this thread.