He studied psychology, education and anthropology. He is a pioneer in body-oriented therapy focused on conscious attention, as well as somatic and humanistic psychology since 1971.
He is professor of the JFK University somatic psychology, in Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California, of therapy and behavioral training in the Institute Hamburg. In addition, he teaches at different universities in the world and private institutes on the interconnection of psychosomatic processes and how these manifest themselves at different levels; Bodily, emotional, mental, as well as in willpower and consciousness. His research, conducted together with Prof. F. Popp, on the documentation of energy fields and psycho-emotional states has opened new horizons for scientists and practitioners. He is co-founder of the committee Scientist of the European association of corporal psychotherapy. Dr. Gerken is a therapist, lecturer, trainer and supervisor.