Gestures and Their Meaning: Exploring Subverbal Interactions in Everyday Life and in Therapy

Saturday, September 30 & Sunday, October 1, 2023 | 10 am – 4 pm (USA EST)
10 CEUs | Via Zoom
Registration Deadline: Friday, September 22, 2023


Each facial and bodily gesture we make expresses an important meaning and demonstrates how we experience ourselves within our world. When fully felt and understood, they tell us something we had not known about ourselves in our relationships or that we knew but now see more clearly.

During this two-day, online workshop, we learn how our gestures form complex negotiations with others. They are the pathway to what has gone on in our earlier histories, what they entail for this present moment, and what they anticipate for the future.

Aside from their communicative dimensions, gestures don’t merely express thinking, rather they are thoughts forming in the phenomenal field. Once aware of their meanings, we have the capacity to change our habitual and rigid gestural patterns in relation – patient-therapist, partner-partner, employer-employee, teacher-student – to more spontaneous and free exchanges.

Who Should Attend:

Social workers, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, health professionals, movement educators and anyone who wants to better understand themselves in relationship

Learning Objectives-In this workshop, participants will:

  • become familiar with their preferred gestural patterns; the ones most often used in communicating their ideas and emotions to another and even to themselves.
  • come to understand the meaning made by these gestural configurations; what they say to the individual and to the other.
  • discover how repetitive gestures emerge in the immediate present with traces of past experience and anticipations of future engagements.
  • learn how gestural patterns always take shape in relation to another

Program Leader:

Ruella Frank, PhD, brings many years of experience to her work as a Gestalt psychotherapist—as professional dancer and choreographer, yoga practitioner, student of various movement theories/therapies, and student of Laura Perls, co-founder of gestalt therapy.

Founder and director of the Center for Somatic Studies, Ruella is faculty at the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy, guest faculty at Gestalt Associates for Psychotherapy, adjunct faculty at Gestalt Institute of Toronto, and teaches throughout the United States, Europe, Eurasia, Mexico, South America, and Canada.

She is author of articles and chapters in various publications, and the book Body of Awareness: A Somatic and Developmental Approach to Psychotherapy, (2001, GestaltPress, available in 4 languages), co-author of The First Year and the Rest of Your Life: Movement, Development and Psychotherapeutic Change (2010, Routledge Press, available in 3 languages), and author of The Bodily Roots of Experience in Psychotherapy (2022, Routledge Press, available in 7 languages). Her video Introduction to Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy, is available in three languages. Read more…

Tuition (includes the cost of CEUs):

  • $325 Full Tuition
  • $300 GTIP Associate Members
  • $275 Students and GTIP Trainees
  • $225 Sliding Scale (3 spots available)

Register for the workshop. Minimum and maximum number of registrants: 30

GTIP offers Continuing Education credits to: LSW, LCSW, LPC, LMFT, PSY, ICF, GENERIC. Should you be requesting CEUs, please indicate what license you hold and your license number on the registration form.

This session is co-sponsored by Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research for a maximum of 10 credit hours. Bryn Mawr College GSSWSR, as a CSWE accredited School of Social Work, is a pre-approved provider of continuing education for Social Workers in PA and many other states.

GTIP is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology to offer 10 hours of continuing education for psychologists. GTIP maintains responsibility for the program. The Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology requires Psychology workshop participants to furnish their license number to receive a certificate of attendance.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Laura Henrich, our Operations Manager, at