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The foundations of color psychotherapy were laid in the 1970s by Dr. George Stern, a psychoanalyst and child neurologist. The approach he founded was based primarily on the foundations of developmental psychological theories, on the understanding and application of perceptual processes, on the foundations of Gestalt psychology, and on existentialist theories.

Since he considered the therapeutic process a kind of learning, Stern saw his approach as a suitable foundation for educational work that shapes personality and is preventive in schools and kindergartens. Indeed, the first experiences with his approach were with children in kibbutzim. He also taught his approach at Bar-Ilan University and at the Oranim Seminar.

The emphases that Stern gave to his approach are on connecting to the patient's ego forces, and creating the process of change through expression, which is made possible through non-verbal work with colors and materials. Stern shifted the focus that is common in other common treatment approaches, from focusing on and understanding the content of the patient's inner world, to the question: "How does he function?".

Stern actually took the foundation on which the Rorschach test is based, which assumes that perception and thinking processes operate differently with the exposure of the subject to emotionally stimulating stimuli, and turned it from a diagnostic process to a therapeutic intervention. The understanding that underlies the Rorschach test, that the reference and response to the formal components of the stimulus primarily reflects the use of cognitive processes, and that the reference to the dimensions of color is associated with emotional functioning, was adopted by Stern for the needs of therapeutic intervention, which creates psychological change.

Dr  George Stern
The late Vitka Kovner

The successors of Dr. Stern, Vitka Kover, who was his student, and Rachel Shamir, a student of Vitka, further deepened and developed his teachings and spread them to their students. In addition to them, a large group of therapists who studied with Dr. Stern deepened in the approach and treated hundreds of children according to its principles, mainly in kibbutzim.


Over the years, Yoav Fischer has expanded the original foundations of Stern's approach and those of Vitka Kover and Rachel Shamir, towards emphasizing the connection and links between this approach and common psychodynamic treatment approaches. Based on his experience, he expanded the bridge between the focus on content and the dynamics of the therapist-patient relationship, and this unique approach, which focuses on the process and the joint creation.


In various meetings over the years, a collaboration has been formed between Yoav Fischer and Dina Cohen-Or. This is a renewed meeting between two of Rachel Shamir's students, who were partners for 7 years in the learning group.

Dina Cohen-Or is a psychotherapist and lecturer in the fields of bibliotherapy, story-telling therapy, and the integration of the arts in therapy and education at the Lesley Israel branch, Levinsky College, Beit Berl College, Bait VeGan College, and Lifshitz College. She is a doctoral student at Bar-Ilan University in bibliotherapy and comparative literature. She has developed models in the field and presented at international conferences and the third and fourth Caesarea conferences.


A long-standing meeting exists between Dina Cohen-Or and Yoav Fischer. It began with seven years of participation in the learning group of the "Stern Approach" with Rachel Shamir in the years 1995-2002. Since those years, each of them has developed Stern's original approach in his own way, treated and taught it in different frameworks. In the last three years, a renewed collaboration has been formed between them, which is shaping "color psychotherapy" in its current version. The meeting allows for a fascinating dialogue and enrichment between the psychological and spiritual worlds that characterize color psychotherapy.


Dina and Yoav collaborate in writing and presenting the approach at conferences. Together they led workshops at the third Caesarea conference of ART AS THERAPY in 2012, the fourth Caesarea conference in 2013, and the international Caesarea conference in 2016.

Dina Cohen - Or
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