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The Genesis of Intergenerational Trauma

Center for Somatic Studies
Event organized by Center for Somatic Studies

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The Genesis of Intergenerational Trauma:
A Somatic and Developmental Perspective
with Ruella Frank

​January 26, 27, 2019
Saturday and Sunday

9:30 am - 4:30 pm

The Feldenkrais Institute
134 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001


For further information and to register email Ruella Frank at ruellafrank@gmail.com

According to the traditional perspective on the development of trauma in the first years of a baby’s life, the parent initiates what is thought to become a habitual traumatic reaction in the child. Consequently, the baby reacts to the parent in ways that are rigid and repetitive. This understanding of developmental trauma, however, does not take into consideration the relational dynamics that are part and parcel of any organizing experience. Observing baby and parent interactions from a relational and contextual perspective and through micro-movements, it can be seen how the baby’s behaviors can powerfully impact their parents and can generate the threat of re-traumatizing for them.

This two day workshop will center on the interaction patterns of both baby and parent that over time create traumatic attaching and the passage of intergenerational trauma. We will also explore how these early patterns influence the unfolding patient and psychotherapist relationship in the here-and-now.

Ruella Frank, Ph.D., is founder and director of the Center for Somatic Studies, and faculty at Gestalt Associates for Psychotherapy and the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy. Ruella, a student of Laura Perls, teaches workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and various European countries. She authored the book Body of Awareness: A Somatic and Developmental Approach to Psychotherapy, (2001, GestaltPress, available in 4 languages) and co-authored The First Year and the Rest of Your Life: Movement, Development and Psychotherapeutic Change (2010, Routledge Press, available in 3 languages). Her training video Introduction to Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy, now subtitled in French and Russian, is available at www.somaticstudies.com