Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy™

Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy, created by Ruella Frank, Ph.D., is a clinical phenomenological and movement-oriented approach to psychotherapy within a contemporary gestalt therapy framework.

Inspired by the work of developmental psychologists, movement theorists, somatic educators, and clinical phenomenologists, Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy is a template for understanding and working with early psycho-physical blocks as they emerge in present moments of the child, adolescent and adult therapy session.

Attending to movement patterns within therapy is particularly powerful when guided by current developmental thinking. Psychotherapists from all training modalities are welcome to learn how this approach may be integrated within their clinical practice.

Online DSP Training Program (filled)

Modules of 2½ days each, every other month, for the March 2024 – May 2025 Program,.

Online Individual or Group Supervision is offered between modules. Although not a requirement, supervision will help the learner to better integrate theory and practice. The cost of supervision is not included in tuition.

The Training Program

Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy
Learners are taught six fundamental movements, the primary supports for contacting, and their relation to psychological functioning. Since the core of this training is experiential, an in-depth personal exploration of these moving-feeling patterns is emphasized.

Developing a distinct and cohesive experience of their own body teaches therapists to pay acute attention to the subtle rhythmic nonverbal patterns that continually emerge within the unfolding of the therapy relationship.

Learners study the roots of psychological development as they emerge through moving-feeling patterns within the infant and caregiver dyad and apply this understanding to the present moment of the patient and therapist dyad.

Detailed descriptions based on authentic corporeal experience illustrate the flow of human experience and the foundational structures that co-organize the building of such experience.

Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy’s comprehensive system of clinical phenomenological analysis allows practitioners to diagnose and treat their patients through an understanding of movement.


Psychotherapy training candidates must have a minimum of two years supervised psychotherapy practice and/or a minimum of two years training in their particular modality, as well as having experienced their own psychotherapy treatment.

Candidates in the field of movement or body therapy must have completed a specialized training program in their field of study and have practiced for a minimum of two years, as well as having experienced their own psychotherapy treatment.