Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy™

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

Inspired by the work of developmental psychologists, motor theorists, and somatic educators, Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy is a template for understanding and working with early psycho-physical blocks as they emerge in present moments of the 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 so as to learn how this approach may be integrated within their clinical practice.

New York City Two Year Training consists of two training modules yearly: Five and a half days in Fall and five and a half days in Spring.

Supervision is offered between modules and is conducted by telephone or skype for those who do not live in the NYC vicinity, or in person (individual or group) for those able to travel to NYC. Supervision is not a requirement, but will help the learner to better integrate theory and practice. The cost of supervision is not included in tuition.

Training Video:

Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy

An Introduction

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Excerpts from a Level II Lecture:

Subject: The Six Fundamental Movements and Processes of Contacting

In each training module:

Learners study the roots of psychological development as they emerge through affective/movement patterns within the infant and caregiver dyad, and apply this understanding to the present moment of the client and therapist dyad.

Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy’s comprehensive system of phenomenological analysis allows practitioners to diagnose and treat their clients using movement experiments.

Learners are taught a variety of developmental movements and their relation to psychological functioning. Since the core of this training is experiential, an in-depth personal exploration of these early 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 client and therapist relationship.

Each learner is also invited to work as supervised therapist in practicum sessions. The practicum teaches the process of observing and integrating developmental movement patterns as experiments within the session and heightens awareness of the emerging client and therapist relationship. Every demonstration and practicum is followed by group discussion regarding the work.

In session: Learning how to integrate early movement patterns within the psychotherapy session

Theory into Practice into Theory


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.

French Language Training Group 2016 - 2018

French Language DSP Training Program 2016-2018