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In 1998, Feldenkrais® Trainer Roger Russell interviewed developmental psychologist Esther Thelen during a visit to Amsterdam. This excerpt offers insights into the value of Esther’s infant development research to practitioners in many fields, and her perspective on what she hoped to achieve through her career.
This interview occurred a few years after the release of the textbook she wrote with Linda Smith, A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action. This book caught the attention of the Feldenkrais community and collaborations emerged. Esther completed her Feldenkrais training, delivered the keynote address at the 2003 annual meeting, and spearheaded the organization of the first research symposium, Movement and the Sense of Self, in Seattle 2004.
Following her death, the Esther Thelen, Ph.D., G.C.F.P. Research and Education Fund was established under the auspices of the Feldenkrais Educational Foundation of North America. The Esther Thelen Research Committee and this year’s Esther Thelen Research Symposium also honor her contributions.