Stanley Keleman´s Formative Approach (by Keleman)

Formative psychologyTM is based in the evolutionary process in which life continually forms the next series of shapes, from birth through maturity to old age. At conception each person is given a biological and emotional inheritance, but it is through voluntary effort that a human fulfills the potential for forming a personal life. Form gives rise to feeling. When individual identity is grounded in somatic reality, we can say: I know who I am by how I experience myself.

Formative psychologyTM gives a philosophy and method of how to work with our life. We learn to regenerate our emotional and instinctual vitality, to inhabit our body, and to incorporate our excitement and emotional aliveness. The goal of formative practice is to use daily life to practice being present and to create an adult self and reality. I proceed from the premise that we are each conceived as an adult and that we grow the adults we are meant to be.

All of us are in a continual process of forming, stabilizing, and reforming our adult reality. This process of forming and reforming is a continuous extension and contraction of tissue motility, a reflex that is an unbroken chain through our life. Pulsation is an essential expression of our hormonal and emotional life. The pulse process, like the heartbeat, is crucial in the maintaining our body shape and development. A continuous pulse organizes cycles of arousal. When pulsation is inhibited or overstimulated, our somatic, emotional and mental life also changes.

In the practice of forming, we work with the pulsation patterns of the soma and restore the bodys natural rhythm and vitality. The areas of voluntary management in the brain are used and undergo growth.

There is a methodology to formative psychologyTM that I call the Bodying Practice. The Bodying Practice engages the voluntary part of the brain to work with the reflex, nonvolitional somatic functions. The brain can suggest patterns of behavior as well as form an image of its own body to have a relationship with itself. Of first importance is to be bodied, to form ones body in living the stages of our somatic existence.

The Bodying Practice is inaugurated by intensifying whatever we recognize as our present somatic-emotional stance. This intensifying is meant to magnify the pattern of our way of being present along with its images, memories, and thoughts. We can then disorganize what we have voluntarily done and in so doing learn how we can have some say over what we do. This helps bring into relief the reflex or unknown structures that have been inaccessible to us. It is similar to throwing a pebbled into the water and initiating rings of response. In this sequence, we become familiar with how we organize our actions and how we can use our brains to affect our responses and feelings. The work of the exercises is to form an adult soma and brain, and an adult emotionality in social relationships.

The work is not only meant to be intimate with past structures and how to disorganize them, but it is also about having a tool for present and future situations.

The exercises are done slowly in frame-by-frame fashion to discover ones own speed and to compensate for somatic anesthesia---to become intimate with the unforming and forming sensation of the pulse pattern.

To work somatically in this way is to bring about a shift in recognition and to experience the way we organize to be present, to solve problems and to try on the new shapes of expression. It also organizes a dialogue between body and brain which shifts the patterns of meaning and order. We begin to live our destiny, our somatic inheritance. We begin to empower ourselves in forming our adult and its relationships.

Formative Methodology: The Bodying Practice

Few people realize that their somatic-emotional presence is a complex organizing that is usually unconscious. The formative exercise method is designed to bring into relief and vivify the organizing and disorganizing sequence of somatic-emotional shapes.

The Bodying Practice is based on the expansion-contraction pulsatory reflex and has five steps:

1. What is our somatic situation? Organize the muscular pattern of our organization
2. Intensify the pattern to make vivid the emotional attitude
3. Undo the intensified emotional-muscular attitude.
4. Pause. Contain the pulsatory response
5. Reorganization of new patternsSteps two and three, done voluntarily, make it possible to influence unconscious behavior. As we practice increasing and decreasing the intensity of muscular emotional shape, we generate specific sensations and feelings. This voluntary practice grows the cortical function to influence reflex responses, making them personal. This dialogue of body and brain grows our personal somatic adult.

The Bodying Practice is a powerful tool to help reorganize past somatic traumas and to help form somatic solutions to problems. However, its most urgent purpose is continue, extend, and reorganize experience to grow a personal somatic identity. For example, it can help identify and then reorganize constraint around the heart allowing a flood of blood warmth that might enable us to love again. It may also use its warmth to personalize a love relationship and deepen bonds.

To be able to influence the intensity of how we respond is no small thing. There is no stereotyped way to do the exercises, no need to perform. What is important is how you learn from doing. I recommend doing the exercises with a slow rhythmic pace. This helps freeze-frame a phase, to hold the form so as to savor the shift in shape and feeling. This is an important experience in self-regulation and identity.

The work is to link the deep pulse process between form and expression so as to deepen the instinctual and personal somatic adult self. The exercises are ways to help us know our somatic-emotional identity and, if we wish, to change our state, to be here differently. This is how problems are truly resolved. The work, then, is a process that aids in establishing a basic somatic adult self that gives us a truer sense of our identity, a somatic sanity and reality.

The Bodying Practice stresses daily life as the practice of forming. bodying the adult self. It is a process of existence, a pulsatory continuum. It invokes a reflex of expanding, gathering, disassembling, regathering, reorganizing, growing, and forming.

The urge to form is a basic appetite that is the generator of optimism, hope, and charity. The ability to commit to this process, using the brains cortex, gives our life a reference for living and generates satisfaction.

The Formative method:
How We Voluntarily Influence Being Present in the World Formative Philosophy


Anatomic structure is behavior. Formative philosophy states that there are two ways the body manages its behavioral process. One is inherited, the pulsatory, neural, and muscular patterns we are born with; the other is voluntary effort. Both arise from the cells and are a natural body process. Inherited behavioral patterns are autonomous and automatic. They require no voluntary effort. Voluntary behavior arises from the inherited, nonvolitional and is localized in the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex has the ability to voluntarily influence behavior, creating new connections and new patterns. These new behaviors becomes anatomic and supplement inherited behavior. Both of these behaviors, the inherited and the voluntary, are experiences of self-knowing.

The soma grows an adult by organizing a series of shapes over time. There is a sequence in this series of shapes. They begin as unformed, motile shapes; then they become diffuse and porous. Finally, they become more formed and stable, rigid or dense shapes.

This sequence of developmental shapes can be influenced by gradients of voluntary effort. With voluntary effort, the cortex can manage surges of motility, the osmotic diffusion of porosity, rigid firmness, and compacted shapes. The unformed, unstable and the stabilizing continuum of shapes takes place between the body and its cortex and the world.

Adults who learn to influence their behavioral process develop an ability to govern their lives and their transitions. Adults who grow their voluntary function are able to embody new experiences and actions. They develop a variety of ways to be present in the world. Discrete voluntary acts make complexity from simplicity and transform and deepen both our anatomic and our experiential reality. Voluntarily formed behavior organizes anatomic structure—-a living memory that is a center of acting and knowing.

The forming of a personal anatomic structure requires persistent voluntary effort. Voluntary effort extended over time grows anatomic connections that form relationships between the body and its cortex. It is a somatic function that can alter and create an anatomical structure.

Voluntary effort is the driving force in the development of a personal life. It has consequences for influencing emotions, satisfaction, relationships, and personal destiny and awareness.

Anatomic Memories

An anatomic structure is a remembered behavior. Remembered behavior is ready to be used, since it has already gone through the motile stage and the diffuse and porous stage. A remembered behavior may be recognized as anxiety, yielding, stiffening, or hunkering down.

There are four patterns of remembered behavior: Two are inherited, one is unprogrammed and the last is volitionally formed. The first inherited pattern of remembered behavior is the organization of an organism, its architecture and its movements of expansion and contraction. The second inherited pattern of remembered behavior is the patterns of electrical excitatory pulses, which resonate and form bonds with other cells, like birds chirping together. The next pattern is the experiences that accompany the developmental process. Then there are the anatomic behaviors formed by voluntary effort. Voluntary effort influences inherited and developmental behavior.

The Formative Method

The method of formative psychologyTM regenerates our emotional and instinctual vitality. It suggests ways to inhabit our body and to resist shrinking from our excitement and emotional aliveness. Emphasis is on daily life as the practice of being present as an adult somatic self.

Each conception represents a unique combination of tissue types with a particular organizational process. The endomorph, a pear-shaped soma with big lungs and intestines, gathers and incorporates. The square-shaped, muscular mesomorph likes to act and confront. The long-bodied ectomorph has a large sensory area for gathering information and is hyperactive and alert. These body types give an orientation to the organism’s experiences and toward others---to incorporate, to confront, to be alert and motile. How we do the exercises, and the responses we have to them, are related to the type we are. We can do them and respond in an endo or meso or ecto way. We can misjudge our responses or be critical of them.

There is a general organizing process that forms our somatic reality. This organizing process is essential in establishing a relationship to ourself. It has several phases and stages. Four stages, on a continuum, are tissue responses: swollen, porous, rigid, and dense. These stages affect how our soma also has a shape. We can be a mesomorph that is swollen or porous, rigid or dense. Our bodies can be inflated, with the membrane stretched, or the membrane can be porous, rigid, or compact. These states influence our organizing process. It is important to know that our inherited vitality and desires, our arousal and emotional and social response patterns, can be modified or exaggerated, individuated and personalized. We can do the exercises and respond in a swollen, porous, or rigid way. The brain is able to influence its somatic state and compensate.

Pulsation is an essential expression of our emotional life. The exercises influence and extend the motility and pulsation of our tissues which in turn organize cycles of arousal. When pulsation is inhibited or over stimulated, our shape also changes. The organizing pulse, when interrupted or over aroused, disturbs the bodying process. The methodology of formative psychologyTM engages the volitional part of the brain to work with the nonvolitional tides of excitatory pulsation, desire, and feeling.

The exercise method is inaugurated when (1) we recognize the pattern of our present somatic-emotional stance, an ectomorphic, alert state.( 2) we intensify our pattern of somatic presence and give ourselves more definition, a mesomorphic function. We magnify the pattern of action, and the images, memories, and thoughts that accompany it. (3) we disorganize the muscular pattern that has been organized. This is also a mesomorphic function. These three steps bring into relief unknown somatic-emotional structures and their rings of response. Step two organizes rigidity and density, while step three organizes porosity and swollenness. (4) In this step, we contain the swelling of pulsation, excitement or image made available from step three. This is an endomorphic, porous shape. (5) This step is new form, new behavior. It is a reorganization for a new somatic adult reality.

Somatic work organizes a dialogue between body and brain which shifts the pattern of meaning and order. We begin to live our destiny, our somatic emotional-inheritance. We begin to empower ourselves in forming our adult and its relationships. In this way we recognize and experience the body we have, the body we live, and the possibility of the soma we can be.



Em julho de 2015 Leila Cohn entrevistou Stanley Keleman sobre o processo de envelhecimento e os desafios de ser mais velho na sociedade atual.
Leia a entrevista, clique aqui

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