Identity Therapy Origins

The Origins of Identity Therapy

Identity-oriented Psychotrauma Therapy, or Identity Therapy, is based on the theories and practice of Professor Franz Ruppert (1957-), developed through nearly 30 years of experience and research, from origins in the Family Constellations method of Bert Hellinger (1925-).

Prof Franz Ruppert has held the post of Professor of Psychology at Munich University of Applied Sciences since 1992. In the mid-’90s he encountered the family constellations method of Bert Hellinger and recognised its power for exploring deep issues to do with bonding, attachment and trauma. After several years of practice, he let go of the formal structure of the family constellations method, to explore elements that were apparent to him but not focused on within that framework. Simultaneously, Prof Ruppert was evolving a coherent theory of trauma, based around the concept of our individual trauma biography, with its origins in early childhood traumatic experiences. Recognising that his theory and method had evolved distinctively from its family constellations origins, Prof Ruppert gave it a new name, initially calling it trauma constellations, and then Identity-oriented Psychotrauma Therapy, or Identity Therapy for short.

Prof Ruppert’s Identity Therapy is gaining increasing recognition globally as an important contribution to trauma therapy, both theoretically and practically. Prof Ruppert has written numerous articles and books. Visit our Resources page for more information and links to key videos posted on YouTube.

Identity Therapy in the UK

The Centre for Healthy Autonomy has been established as the home for Identity-Oriented Psychotrauma Therapy in the UK. It was set up by Vivian Broughton, who has been a student, colleague and friend of Franz Ruppert since she first invited him to the UK in 2004. Vivian Broughton has edited the English translations of all Prof Ruppert’s books. Her own book, Becoming Your True Self, provides a simple and accessible introduction to Identity Therapy theory and practice, and has been translated into several languages. Vivian runs an Identity-Oriented Psychotrauma Therapy training programme in London, which is helping to create a growing body of practitioners of this method in the UK.