About The Center


The Center for Somatic Studies was formally organized in 2000 to meet the needs of both the psychotherapy and somatic education communities. It brings together diverse groups of psychotherapists, health practitioners, body workers, yoga teachers, infant educators, and other students of human potential through a variety of courses, workshops, and the two-year Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy training program.

The center reflects an interdisciplinary path that many schools of psychology and body-oriented therapies have been exploring to further their understanding of human development.

The Center for Somatic Studies was founded and is directed by Ruella Frank who has been teaching in the field of movement education since the mid-1970s and has taught gestalt psychotherapy theory and practice since 1986.

The integrative teaching approach of the Center for Somatic Studies has emerged from Ruella’s diverse background in such areas as the Alexander Technique, Sensory Awareness, Body/Mind Centering, Ideo-Kinesis, Breath Rehabilitation, Iyengar Yoga, all forms of dance, as well as her studies of gestalt psychotherapy theory and practice.

The Center for Somatic Studies provides, now online:

  • Ongoing classes
  • Ongoing supervision courses for psychotherapists, body workers, yoga teachers
  • Weekend workshops
  • Training programs: Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy™
  • Infant/Caregiver psycho-educational groups
  • Consulting services to educational facilities

The Center for Somatic Studies has its home on New York City’s Upper West Side. All classes, workshops, and the DSP training programs provide a balance between theoretical material and personal exploration. In the latter, the student is required to move deeply into his or her experience, experimenting through sensing, moving, and visualizing. Students also work together using a variety of touching modalities.

A wide and varied group of students attend the courses and workshops at the Center for Somatic Studies. It includes:

Students who have been educated in one or several forms of body or yoga therapies and wish to better understand the relationship between psychological experience and physical expression;

Health care professionals – physicians, psychologists, social workers, psychotherapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, body workers, yoga teachers, educators – who wish to enhance their practice by learning more fully the holistic nature of psycho-physical development;

Psychotherapy trainees from a variety of disciplines – gestalt psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, Jungian analysis, Bio-Energetics and Core Energetics – who are wishing to expand their studies by learning how to diagnose and intervene within the therapy session from a body-based and developmental perspective.

Trainers of psychotherapists who wish to enhance their teaching and supervisory skills.