• Sabina Alispahic Filozofski fakultet Univerziteta u Sarajevu
  • Enedina Hasanbegović-Anić Filozofski fakultet Univerziteta u Sarajevu
  • Đenita Tuce Filozofski fakultet Univerziteta u Sarajevu
Keywords: gestalt therapy, contact, pain, anxiety, panic attack, broken heart syndrome


In Gestalt therapy, good psychological health implies good contact with oneself and with others. Contact, with awareness and experiment, is one of the basic terms in gestalt therapy. It is defined as a relationship between oneself and the other (the environment or internal aspects such as alienated parts of self, blocked emotions, thoughts, memories, or anything that is not integrated into a person, and is not perceived as “I” but as “the other”). To be able to contact others and their hearts, we must first be aware of our heart – its condition, needs, and desires. We usually become aware of our heart when some negative emotion arises or when its rhythm changes, which is characteristic of the broken heart syndrome. This condition manifests with abnormal chest pain and/or lack of air, preceded by strong emotional stress that is most often associated with anxiety and/or panic attack. The paper describes the process of development of the broken heart syndrome, as well as possibilities of treatment. Finally, we can conclude that the broken heart syndrome is a paradox: it is an expression of vitality but also a defense against vitality; the manifestation is a “problem” but also a means of solving it. The primary purpose of suffering and negative experiences is healing: suffering can be a tool that  helps us become complete.  True healing always implies the spread of the heart and the expansion of consciousness. Ultimately, every successful healing of the broken heart will result in an emotional-spiritual growth and development.