decoding body language

“Once we have conflicting thoughts, the body expresses them, one way or another”

The French / Canadian Philippe Turchet created synergologie® as a study of bodily movements. However, the trademark(®) prevents to use the word and protects its concepts & content. To evaluate Turchet’s theories you’ll need to follow the full training in French (260hrs). Personally I started to study with Philippe in 2003, graduated in ’07 and followed all modifications and new concepts until 2016.

accreditationIn 2011 I started teaching synergologie® at university (HvA/UvA) in Amsterdam, but soon found out my students needed a simple tool to work with. In order to understand the meaning behind all movements, only theory wasn’t enough. I resigned from synergologie, returned my diploma and stopped teaching at the university. I started to study again searching for an open structure allowing research that was not restricted by trademark®.


Late 2016 I introduced bodysystemics in Holland at the Dutch Institute for Body Language (ELN). Already used by professionals in Switzerland and other countries in Europe I was pleased to see my students immediately picked up the essentials of the method. Bodysystemics (BS) is a simple and practical method to work with. A tool which allows a quick scan when it comes to congruence.

To interpret the many aspects of bodily movements, the method composed in a simple formula, focusses on the tension and speed of movements, while items (such as a hand towards the body or a blinking eye) like  ‘Y’-movements allow the confirmation of contradiction or conformity in the context of the spoken words. It gives support and logical sense to the meaning of movements during the interaction.

Today we are accredited by Holland’s biggest network of Youth-caretake-workers (SKJ) and other professional organizations and share our insights through trainings, seminars and workshops. Although it takes time to practice and master the method, the findings in bodysystemics certainly help to shorten the training in time.


Our gestures depend on the context. Arms and legs show quick and honest limbic behavior. Gestures however can be misleading, even inverted depending on (cultural) elements such as the direction in writing (ex: Arab). Movements and facial expressions cannot be strictly universal. Creating an exhaustive list of non-verbal items would be senseless without considering the person’s relationship to his environment, even lead to confusion.

© Gerard Stokkink, lecturer & managing director at ELN

Articles synergologie (French) Synergologie pseudoscience,  pour en finir: la synergologie,  synergologie et la science,   accusations d’imposture,   synergologie: commode et reposante


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