Course Description

 The Body as an “Action-Oriented¨ organism

 These four modules will explore different aspects of the roots and importance of Action, Movement and Behaviour in the body’s Formative Process. The Formative Embodiment model is built from a triangular conversation of muscle, cortex and emotion. The implications of this perspective can provide therapists, coaches, educators and artists with additional tools and possibilities which can amplify the depth and efficacy of their work in unexpected ways. Each module will develop its ideas based extensively on Stanley Keleman´s writings, and enriched by influences from Polarity Therapy, Craniosacral Biodynamics, and Pre- and Perinatal orientation.       

1.    Anatomic structure is behavior.    Formative philosophy identifies two ways the body manages its behavioral process. One is inherited, the programmed pulsatory, neural, and muscular patterns we are born with. The other is voluntary effort,  localized in the cerebral cortex, which has the ability to consciously influence inherited behavior, creating new connections and new patterns. Through this process, we can avoid being victims of our emotions, established habits, or past trauma.          


  • To appreciate experientially the difference of the types of behaviour  and understand what is programmed and what can be   influenced. 
  • To define the art of building new memories, by strengthening motor-cortical circuits, that enable us to act differently in the future.


2. Action is organized in a layered pattern. 

There is a genetic, neural, and emotional blueprint to action. As a person gets ready to act, he/she invokes a set of muscular patterns and then increases the intensity of these patterns. The outside of a person is his habitual attitude, his action in process. If he goes back one step, he finds the action that is preparing to be acted on. If he goes back one more step into the central nervous system, he has the attitude as a pattern that has not been activated muscularly. The therapist thus begins a somatic dialogue, using language and feeling to connect one’s past emotional experience to one’s present somatic organization.


  • To differentiate the many layers of possibility and meaning in our  everyday actions and behaviours.
  • To be able to ¨reverse engineer¨ our patterns, to connect with the deep formative intent and precision of our communications.

3. Life is an on-going organising and formative process.

By learning to dialogue cooperatively with our bodies, we can develop and deepen our understanding of how this formative process works. We can, for example, influence how we live our transitions, which link shapes and behaviours that are ending with shapes that are becoming. We can use voluntary cortical, emotional and muscular effort to differentiate our thinking, feeling and personal experience. The methodology of Formative Embodiment is based on a universal process of organizing and reorganizing behavioural patterns.


  • To understand the functioning of our innate Formative Intelligence which starts at conception - or before - and continues throughout the life cycle.
  • To begin a holistic, somatic integration of the activities of our cortex, muscle and metabolism.

4. Somatic-emotional exercises    

These are based upon the innate ¨accordion¨ bodily procedures of expansion and contraction, organization and disorganization, and  intensification and de-intensification. In the exercises, we recognise our behavioural response in a particular life situation and ¨do it more, wait, do it more, wait, do it less, pause, do it still less.¨ The exercises provide a means to undo reflex responses, connect muscular patterns to emotional states and their accompanying images and thoughts, and to restore a basic somatic-emotional way of being in the world. Somatic-emotional exercises change the state that a person is in and encourage the return of basic pulsation, the rhythmic visceral expansion and contraction of feeling.


  • To learn a process of Formative Inquiry through which we can manage ourselves and self-regulate.
  • To appreciate the usefulness of accessing the ¨Deep Pulse¨or ¨Long Tide¨underlying all our action and behaviour.