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Somatic Therapy: New Approaches to Trauma Treatment

February 27 – March 3, 2023   |   9:00 am – 12:30 pm daily   |   USD$949 / CAD$1,234

Presented by Arielle Schwartz

Arielle Schwartz - Somatic Therapy
Roy Kiessling - Interpersonal EMDR
Roy Kiessling - Interpersonal EMDR

About this workshop

Explore somatic therapy and learn skills to help clients process traumatic events through breath and movement.

Somatic Therapy emphasizes body awareness as an essential part of psychotherapy. This is especially beneficial in the treatment of PTSD when symptoms involve physiological distress, affect dysregulation, or dissociation.

Traditional approaches to therapy attend to the cognitive and emotional aspects of clients’ lives, while the somatic experience is often left out of the room.

Our bodies need to process stressful and traumatic events through breath and movement. Unfortunately, we are often taught to sit still and override movement impulses. As a result, the biological effects of stressful or traumatic events tend to persist long after events have passed.

“Talk therapy” can perpetuate this culture of stillness unless the therapist has the training and skills to integrate the body into psychotherapy. Interventions to enhance embodiment in trauma treatment expand the therapeutic experience beyond where words can take a client.

In this course, you will learn the science of embodiment and why somatic psychology is essential for helping clients work with dysregulated affect and arousal states that accompany PTSD. We will discuss the key common factors of somatic psychology which are rooted in interpersonal neurobiology and polyvagal theory. We will also discuss the difference between “top-down” and “bottom-up” interventions and how they can be used to strengthen clients’ readiness for trauma reprocessing.

Without interventions that incorporate somatic therapy awareness and movement, many therapeutic approaches are limited in their ability help clients fully release the impact of traumatic events. In other words, we cannot simply think our way out of traumatic activation. Through the intervention shared in this training, you will learn to help clients not only cope with their wounds but also find greater resolution.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the theoretical and scientific bases of somatic psychology.
  • Discuss the window of tolerance as related to dysregulation and dissociation.
  • Discuss applied polyvagal theory in psychotherapy.
  • Explain neuroplasticity as related to trauma resolution.
  • Identify how to help clients build affect and sensation tolerance.
  • Review the importance of mutual regulation and co-regulation in therapy.
  • Integrate somatic psychology into the tri-phasic model of trauma treatment.
  • Practice at least three interventions for developing somatic resources for safety and stabilization.
  • Practice at least three interventions to enhance embodiment in trauma treatment.
  • Analyze somatic psychology as related to preverbal wounds and attachment trauma.
  • Identify the relationship between unresolved developmental adversities and health concerns in adulthood as related to somatic psychology applications for chronic pain and illness.
  • Examine how somatic psychology can be applied for clinician self-care to reduce vicarious traumatization.

CE Credits

This workshop is approved for 16.25 CE hours by Praxis Continuing Education and Training.

Already registered for this workshop?

Highlights from Arielle's October 24 virtual Q&A

Additional Workshop Details

Target Audience:
Marriage and Family Therapists, Clinical and Counseling Psychologists, Psychiatric Social Workers, Pastoral Counselors, Psychotherapists, Psychiatrists, Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Occupational Therapists, Counselors, Graduate Students in Accredited Programs in these fields

What level of knowledge should the attendee have in this topic?

Daily Workshop Agenda

Time Frame Content (Topics)
9:00 am – 10:15 am Discuss A Unified Approach to Somatic Psychology
Explore the Core Principles of Body Psychotherapy
Understand the Science of Embodiment
Recognize somatic Intelligence
10:15 am – 10:30 am Morning break
10:30 am – 12:30 pm Discuss the physiological impact of stress, trauma, and PTSD
Explore safe Mobilization and safe Immobilization
Understand Dysregulation and Dissociation as related to the window of tolerance
9:00 am – 10:15 am Discuss Neuroception
Explore affect and arousal regulation in trauma treatment
Practice mutual regulation and co-regulation in trauma treatment
Learn attunement skills to track nonverbal communications in trauma treatment
10:15 am – 10:30 am Morning break
10:30 am – 12:30 pm Explore Somatic Approaches to Resource Development
Discuss Somatic Vocabulary
Practice Grounding
Discuss Postural awareness as related to implicit memory
Explore Proximity Awareness skills
Practice Boundary Development skills
Discover Empowerment Resources
9:00 am – 10:15 am Discuss Somatic Psychology in Trauma Reprocessing
Understand Holding patterns and Character strategies
Explore Sequencing, Titration and Pendulation
Apply Focusing in a psychotherapy session
10:15 am – 10:30 am Morning break
10:30 am – 12:30 pm Explore Somatic Repatterning interventions
Discuss how to Work with Numbness
Learn skills for attending to Shame
Learn the Satisfaction Cycle
Explore Interventions to Enhance Embodiment in trauma treatment
9:00 am – 10:15 am Discuss preverbal and Nonverbal Memories
Implicit Memory
Attachment Trauma and the Body
Explore the integration of Somatic psychology and Parts work
10:15 am – 10:30 am Morning break
10:30 am – 12:30 pm Observe and discuss demonstration session
9:00 am – 10:15 am Recognize that chronic pain involves disturbing somatic components combined with emotional responses and cognitive interpretations
Recognize that a high level of adverse childhood experiences contributes to greater health risks in adulthood
Demonstrate how mind-body therapies such as therapeutic yoga, natural vagus nerve stimulation exercises, and self-havening can help regulate a client’s nervous system when working with chronic pain
Learn to dialogue with parts of the body carrying symptoms to unwind the wounds of the past
10:15 am – 10:30 am Morning break
10:30 am – 12:30 pm Discuss how somatic psychology enhances self-care for clinicians to reduce vicarious trauma and burnout
Explore themes of resilience and post-traumatic growth
Final QA, Discussion, Closure

*Breaks not applicable for CEs.

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