Our founders, Greer White and Maria Vogt’s journey began years before GTB was founded. When they were leaders of two separate institutes, the Brisbane Gestalt Institute, and the Gestalt Association of Queensland Inc. At that stage they were competing for students from the same population, yet they were able to respect one another and collaborate with one another.
On several occasions, they pooled their resources and efforts and invited Gestalt therapist from overseas to conduct workshops for both of their institutes. This formed the base of a good working relationship so in 2007 after they had both attended a Directors of Training meeting, Greer proposed to Maria, in the Qantas lounge and asked her if she would be interested in merging and forming one institute. Maria was gracious in her ready acceptance.
They sat together once a week for almost 12 months working through how they would work together and how the new Gestalt institute would work. It was a beautiful time envisioning the new. In this process they aimed to take the best that both institutes had to offer and bring them together into something amazing. They discussed all aspects of the curriculum and shaped a program that met both our needs and aspirations. Greer and Maria laughed, fought, cried, and truly met one another.
Greer honours the memory of Maria Vogt in 2020 when we celebrated the 10th anniversary of her death.
“I honour the time I shared the leadership of Gestalt Therapy Brisbane with her.”
“I admired the Gestalt therapist, businesswoman and friend that I met in Maria. Maria knew how to collaborate with me in a way that I have never experienced before or since. We worked together so that what we produced was insightful and creative and satisfying to both of us. In the process we build a deep respect for one another. We reflected that it took two woman to join two institutes at a time when the predominate story of Gestalt institutes was division.
Maria and I shared with others two significant rituals. One was in 2008 when we celebrated the opening of GTB, and the second was in 2010 when Maria knew she was dying, and we celebrated her life. The photo was taken in 2008 at the GTB opening. This was a time of great joy and promise. The promise was readily realised with our student numbers quickly growing and the quality of our beginning Gestalt therapists successfully showing their skill within the community. The second ritual was the celebration of Maria’s life. I honour how Maria met the certainty of her death and the humility that she accepted the acknowledgements of her beauty and sensitivity. She was very sick on the day of this honouring, yet she maintained her strength and courage to be there to accept the gratitude from so many who loved her. Maria and I shared after this event that it happened just at the right time as she would not have had the strength at any later time. This gathering was a true gift of Maria to the community. It was a beautiful event.”