Vera Felicidade de Almeida Campos is a Brazilian psychologist, creator of Gestalt Psychotherapy, a psychotherapeutic theory based on Gestalt Psychology. She developed a clinical practice and a theory that supports it, based on gestalt and phenomenology, breaking with psychoanalytic concepts that influence virtually all clinical psychology approaches, even gestalt approaches. Since the 1960s she has devoted herself to writing and to clinical work. Gestalt Psychotherapy (a term coined by Vera Felicidade to designate her theory) is different from Gestalt Therapy (Fritz Perls), both in the methodology and in the theoretical basis, especially regarding the unconscious, accepted by F. Perls and denied by Vera Felicidade. The clinical practice is individual and based on the dialogue between the psychotherapist and the client. Her eleven books expose the development of the theory’s concepts, such as: to perceive is to know; psychological life is perceptive life; the human being is a possibility of relationship; non-acceptance; autoreferencing etc.
From an early age, she became interested in philosophy and its general and fundamental problems (epistemology, ontology, materialism, existentialism, etc.), and in psychology, coming to work at the Juliano Moreira Psychiatric Hospital in Salvador-BA, where she was responsible for the sector of praxitherapy and for the confrontation of clinical diagnoses through the Rorschach test, free drawing, etc. Following her experience at this Hospital, she continued her interest in work and study in psychiatric hospitals.
In the 1960s she moved to Rio de Janeiro, where she worked in test application services for selection in Industrial Psychology. In 1968, she graduated in Psychology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). In Rio, she was also the founder and a teacher of the Kafka Pre-Vestibular Course (1965 to 1968), which prepared students for the Psychology entrance exam. She carried out research on perception, with blinds, at “Museu do Indio” (Museum of the Indian) and participated in several types of research and works in the elaboration and application of psychological tests. During that time, she was responsible for the selection of personnel for the Rio-Niteroi Building Consortium (Rio-Niteroi Bridge). Furthermore, she structured and organized the Psychology Service of the Bela Vista Clinic, one of the first private clinics to offer this service; and was also responsible for the Psychology Department of the School of Medicine and Surgery of Rio de Janeiro at the Gaffrée and Guinle University Hospital. At the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), she taught extension courses in Gestalt Psychotherapy in the early eighties. In 1998, the discipline Vera Felicidade’s Psicoterapia Gestaltista (approved by the Brazilian Education Authority) was created at the UFBA’s psychology department.
Vera Felicidade has been working in clinical psychology since the late 1960s and has been consistently developing her theory in her many books, articles, and research reports for decades, from the first book published in 1972 to the most recent ones published in 2017, several of them are cataloged in the Library of Congress in Washington (USA) and other public libraries. Her books are also found in Libraries of American Universities (Yale and Harvard), as well as in Libraries of Brazilian Universities (University of Brasilia - UnB and others) and in the National Library (Rio de Janeiro). In addition to books, she regularly publishes articles in magazines, journals and a personal blog (most of her articles and all of her books are written in Portuguese).
More information about her work can be found on Wikipedia and on her websites.