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Philip Brownell

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Philip Brownell, M.Div., Psy.D. (Western Seminary, 1980; George Fox University, 1998) (b. 1947 - ) is a noted writer, pastoral theologian, psychologist, psychotherapist, organizational consultant, and trainer.



His assimilative perspective is strongly influenced by reformed theological traditions and emerging church priorities on the one hand, and gestalt therapy theory, with its roots in theistic existentialism (Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, Otto, Tillich, and Buber), phenomenology (Brentano, Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Wojtyla), and field theory (Lewin) on the other. These interests led to his work on the impact of theistic thinkers on the theory and practice of gestalt therapy.


In 2007 he presented on the thinking of Karol Wojtyla at the Roots III conference in Rome, Italy, and on the role of faith in the life and work of a gestalt therapist at the X Congreso (for gestalt therapy) in Cordoba, Argentina. He is a columnist for The Royal Gazette, Bermuda's largest national newspaper (a member of the Times family of papers), writing a weekly column titled "Crossroads," which is an integrative look at life through the lenses of psychology, gestalt therapy, and Christianity.

Dr. Brownell is a Registered Clinical Psychologist, Organizational Consultant, and Coach, in private practice in Bermuda with Benedict Associates.[1] He is also a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Oregon and North Carolina, USA. He is the Sr. Editor of Gestalt!, an electronic journal listed in the PsycInfo database; Consulting Editor, The European Journal for Qualitative Research in Psychotherapy ([1]); a member of the Editorial, Production, and Marketing Board for Studies-in-Gestalt Therapy – Dialogical Bridges. He is the chapter author of “Gestalt Therapy in Community Mental Health” for Gestalt Therapy: History, Theory and Practice, Woldt, A. & Toman, S. (eds) and has written articles for gestalt journals in Australia, the UK, and the USA.

Philip Brownell is the founder and facilitator of Gstalt-L, an eCommunity started in 1996 for gestalt therapists, trainers, trainees, theorists, and writers, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy, an international community ([2]; [3]) as their Information Technology Officer. He also founded the listserv discussion groups of GestaltResearch, GestaltConsult, AAGT Leaders', and the AAGT Members'List.

He is Editor of the current work in progress titled The Handbook of Theory, Research, and Practice in Gestalt Therapy, and he has over thirty years experience working with people in various capacities, from line staff in residential treatment centers for children and adolescents, to full-time Christian ministry, to residential and outpatient psychotherapist, to Senior Psychologist conducting complex assessments, to organizational consultant and coach working with international law firms and re-insurance companies.

He is the Director and Resident Faculty of the Gestalt Training Institute of Bermuda, and is one of a group of leaders of gestalt training centers worldwide. This group met in 2007 in Spetses, Greece. The same group will be meeting in Hungary in 2009. This is a group of leaders who transcend regional and associational allegiances to discusses how best to conduct the training of gestalt therapists. Members in this group are also associated with the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy - an international community (AAGT), the European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT), and Gestalt Australia and New Zealand (GANZ).

Dr. Brownell is also a member of the American Psychological Association, The International Study Center, and the Christian Association for Psychological Studies.


  • Brownell, P. (Editor) Handbook for Theory, Research, and Practice in Gestalt Therapy. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing – in production)
  • Brownell. P. Personal experience, self-reporting, and hyperbole, in Miracles: God, Psychology, and Science in 'Inexplicable' Events, 3 volume set, Hal Ellens (ed). (Praeger Publishers – in production)
  • Brownell. P. Faith: An existential, phenomenological, and biblical integration, in Miracles: God, Psychology, and Science in 'Inexplicable' Events, 3 volume set, Hal Ellens (ed). (Praeger Publishers – in production)
  • Brownell, P. (in production) Gestalt therapy, in the Professional Counselors’ Desk Reference, Mark A. Stebnicki, Ph.D. and Irmo Marini, Ph.D. (eds.), New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
  • Brownell, P. (2005) Gestalt therapy in community mental health, in Gestalt Therapy: History, Theory, and Practice, Sarah Toman, Ph.D., and Ansel Woldt, Ed.D (eds.), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
  • Brownell, P " (2006) This is what I know - a response to “Spirituality and Gestalt: A Gestalt-Transpersonal Perspective,” by Lynn Williams, Ph.D. Gestalt Review, 10(1), p. 26-32
  • Brownell, P " (2005) Contemporary gestalt therapy theory: Organizing perspective for juvenile sex offender treatment" Gestalt Review, 9(2), p. 175-190
  • Brownell, P (2004) "Perceiving you perceiving me: Self-conscious emotions in gestalt therapy." Gestalt!, vol. 8, no. 1. Available on-line [4]
  • Brownell, P. (2002) Psychological testing, a place in gestalt therapy? The British Gestalt Journal, 11(2), p. 99-107.
  • Crocker, S., Brownell, P., Stemberger, G., Gunther, S., Just, B., Sen, A., Wolfert, R. (2001) Field and boundary, Gestalt!, vol. 5, no. 2. Available on-line [5]
  • Brownell, P. (2000) A Gestalt theoretical matrix for training and practice. The Australian Gestalt Journal, 4(1), p. 51-61
  • Brownell, P., Cook, C., Toman, S., Wolfert, R., Gregory, S., Bowman, C., Fodor, I., Grey, L., Robertson, B. (2000) Experiments in community building. Gestalt Review 4(2).
  • Brownell, P. (1999) The Gestalt! editorial: Advocating for gestalt therapy. Gestalt!, vol. 3, no.2. Available on-line - [6]
  • Brownell, P., O'Neill, B., Goodlander, M. (1999) "Field in flux: Gestalt in the world through internet technology." Gestalt!, vol.3, no. 1. Available on-line [7]
  • Brownell, P. (1998) Condensing the field: Internet communication and gestalt community. Gestalt Review 2(2).
  • Brownell, P. (1998) Renewing our roots in neuropsychology: A gestalt perspective on the work of Joseph LeDoux. Gestalt!, vol.2, no. 1. Available on-line [8]
  • Greenberg, L., Brownell, P. (1996) Validating gestalt: An interview with researcher, writer, and psychotherapist, Leslie Greenberg. Gestalt! 1(1) available on-line [9]


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