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Somatics Pioneers

Thomas Hanna


Emilie Conrad Da’Oud


Charlotte Selver

Sensory Awareness

Dennis Leri

Feldenkrais Research

Marion Rosen

Rosen Method

Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen

Body-Mind Centering

Judith Aston

Aston Kinetics

Peter Levine

Somatic Experiencing

Robert Hall


Ida Rolf

Rolf Institute

Ilse Middedorf

Middendorf Breath Work

Stanley Keleman

Formative Psychology

“Somatics” is a fiction constructed by Thomas Hanna in the early 1970s by adding that little “s” onto an adjective that had been variously used before to denote the physical dimension of the self.  That tiny letter created an umbrella under which many separate schools of transformational approaches to embodiment—often in conflict—could gather and deepen a collaborative work, with the kinds of dialogue that promote more gounded knowledge and better training of practitioners. That little scrawl germinated what is now a worldwide collaboration of many practitioners, scholars, and scientists, with several graduate degree programs, research projects, a growing body of literature, and regular conferences throughout the world.  My part in this history began after my training with Dr. Ida Rolf when I joined Thomas Hanna as a contributing editor of his journal Somatics, gathering many leading teachers of transformative practice for a series of seminars over many years, starting the first graduate degree program in the field, and writing several books and collections.

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