In the box below is the formal way I would describe our Center and what it is about. And it is still true. I’m proud of our work. Even now.
The only exception is that in July of 2018, we lost Mariah after 45 years as the Founder and leader of the Center, during 37 of which she was also carrying the progressive effects of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or ALS. Her death was a devastating blow to our Center.
This Gestalt Center was built around Mariah, her spirit and soul that wanted to support, care for, love and heal. Her approach was health-based; she never saw pathology in anyone she met; only people wanting to live better lives, love better, relate better, be better people and have the opportunity to learn how to do that. She believed that each of us is a powerful agent of change and as more people spread love, compassion and forgiveness, the more we will create peace in our hearts, our families, our community, our country, and ultimately peace in our world.
Even after her life-threatening diagnosis, Mariah still went on to become a wife, mother, world-class psychotherapist, motivational speaker, community leader, international workshop leader and author. She was also, as one person put it, “A renegade Gestalt therapist whose wisdom and kindness were the instruments that brought comfort, healing and hope to so many broken spirits.”
Since Mariah’s passing, I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have two of Mariah’s colleagues, partners and friends and brilliant professionals in their own right, Dr. Dori Middleman and Dr. Mark Putnam, step into the therapeutic space of helping me guide the Center forward. After working closely with and being mentored by Mariah for over 35 years, Mark and Dori have taken up the mantle of furthering Mariah’s work and her mission; caring, helping, supporting and even loving clients to achieve their best in a safe and supportive environment. They are both masters of the concept of self-love and positive internal relationship as a foundation for living a healthy life, and have made their imprint on our Center and it’s community. They both have my whole-hearted respect, love and support.
The Pennsylvania Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training, founded in 1973 by Mariah Fenton Gladis, MSS, QCSW, has built a reputation for its unusually creative and caring approach, which emphasizes appreciation and enhancement of each individual client and student. Our Training Program for human service practitioners is an intensive three-year didactic and experiential curriculum, combining solid academic study with structured clinical training. The Center also trains people from other fields in the implementation of Gestalt principles of living which can enhance functioning in and enjoyment of all professions. Our mission today is the same as it was from the beginning, to offer a safe and supportive environment for growth and change.