Stanley Keleman
Founder & Director

November 1931 - August 2018

Center for Energetic Studies
Center Press
2045 Francisco Street
Berkeley, California 94709


The Home of Formative Psychology®

Formative Psychology® is based in the concept of life as an evolutionary process in which a series of anatomical shapes are continually forming from birth to maturity and on through the stages of aging and dying.Changing anatomical shapes are the continuity of human existence. These shapes give rise to emotions, thoughts, and experiences; feeling follows form.

Our anatomical structure is our embodiment in the world. At conception each person is given a biological and emotional inheritance but it is through voluntary effort and self-management that this constitutional given fulfills its potential for a personally formed life.We are citizens of two worlds, the embodiment we inherit and the embodiment we form through voluntary effort.

In the daily acts of living our individual soma grows and is influenced by the challenges and stresses of life. By learning to influence, through voluntary effort, the shapes dictated by inheritance and social learning we become creators of a personal world.

The Methodology of Formative Psychology® is Voluntary Effort

Voluntary muscular-cortical effort mobilizes the soma’s inherited pattern of how shapes come into being and how they fade away. This process of organizing and disorganizing anatomical shape through the voluntary interaction of muscle and cortex encourages the growth of new neural connections and new anatomical structures that generate increasingly complex dimensions of experiencing.

Changing shape by increasing and decreasing the muscular intensity in a pattern of behavior is a powerful engagement of the formative process.The purpose is to generate and form emotional excitatory responses and to know how to receive, contain and shape them.

When we influence our body shape,we influence how we are present in the world. Over time voluntary muscular-cortical effort brings forth the existential truth of bodily experience as the basis for creating value and meaning in our lives.When we participate with the forces of creation we grow an inner dialogue and a subjectivity that gives our lives a personal and sacred dimension—it is a gift of life to give personal shape to our existence.