Trauma and the Body: The Theory and Practice of Sensorimotor Pyschotherapy
This workshop is designed for psychotherapists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and allied professionals who want to learn about somatic approaches to trauma treatment.
Location: Ashe House
Contact: Anne Kirwan – 087 2054524 – firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact Anne for details of upcoming workshops.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® integrates cognitive and somatic interventions in the treatment of trauma, emphasizing body awareness, practicing new actions and building somatic resources. This approach will be demonstrated through videotaped excerpts of sessions with adults and children so that the audience can observe nuances of movement and watch how the body changes during therapy with real-life issues. With an emphasis on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy’s “embedded relational mindfulness,” key components of this approach will be illustrated: uncoupling trauma-based emotions from body sensations; promoting collaboration between client and therapist; building somatic resources; and developing a somatic sense of self.
Since clients with complex trauma can be easily triggered by interventions that access the body too quickly, attention will be given to pacing, boundaries, and safe, gradual re-connection with the body. The videotapes will demonstrate how to help clients discover and describe how past traumatic experiences are affecting their current bodily experience–which in turn contributes to difficult emotions and beliefs–and also show how to integrate cognitive and somatic interventions to change the meaning of traumatic event(s) and regulate both emotions and arousal.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® is conducted within a phase-oriented treatment approach and this presentation will address interventions for all three phases: stabilization and symptom reduction,work with traumatic memory,and re-integration.
Participants will be able to:
1. Describe procedural learning and its relevance to trauma treatment.
2. Discuss the role of the body in trauma treatment.
3. Explain how physical action can be used to help patients feel empowered and decrease PTSD symptoms.
4. Describe the importance of mindfulness in trauma therapy.
“Sensorimotor Psychotherapy blends theory and technique from cognitive and dynamic therapy with straightforward somatic awareness and movement interventions… that promote empowerment and competency.”
– Dan Siegel, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine
The Training Programme
The body’s intelligence is a largely untapped resource in psychotherapy. Few educational programs in clinical psychology or counselling emphasize how to draw on the wisdom of the body to support therapeutic change, leaving therapists mostly dependent on the verbal narrative.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute® offers a Training Program in Affect Regulation, Attachment, and Trauma for allied mental health professionals to build skills in Sensorimotor PsychotherapySM. The Level I Training, first of three in SPI’s Training Program, provides participants with foundational Sensorimotor PsychotherapySM skills that can be used to explore the somatic narrative that is arguably more significant than the story told by the words. By tapping into somatic expressions participants can illuminate implicit processes that shape the brain and body and communicate meaning that not only influences the manner in which content is formed and expressed, but may also essentially determine the content itself.
A Contemporary Method
Modern research confirms that language, verbal meaning-making, and verbal exchange with others affect implicit processes, and vice versa. The multifaceted language of the body depicts a lifetime of joys, sorrows, and challenges, revealed in patterns of tension, movement, gesture, posture, breath, rhythm, prosody, facial expression, sensation, physiological arousal, gait, and other action sequences. These implicit, automatic physical habits, developed in a context of trauma and attachment inadequacy, can constrain the capacity to make new meaning and respond flexibly to the here and now, often turning the future into a version of the past. In Sensorimotor PsychotherapySM, narrative formulation, interpretation, and “talking about” experience take second place to the mindful observation of moment-by-moment internal experience—cognitive, emotional, and sensorimotor (Kurtz, 1990; Ogden & Minton, 2000; Ogden et al., 2006). As a “body-oriented talking therapy”, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy recognizes and addresses both explicit and implicit realms as essential avenues of therapeutic exploration.
“Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a conceptually elegant, powerfully effective body therapy that involves a broad repertoire of somatic interventions specifically designed to help clients tap into the wisdom of their bodies. The SPI Training Program offers ingeniously taught intensive courses for clinicians seeking to deepen their understanding of the body”
– Martha Stark, MD, author of Working with Resistance and Modes of Therapeutic Action
Tony Buckley holds a BA with honors in counselling, a Certificate of Education, Diploma in Gestalt Therapy, and a Certificate in Advanced Studies Supervision. He has over twenty-four years’ experience in private practice, supervision, and management of counselling services, as well as twelve years’ experience in adolescent counselling. Tony integrates somatic psychology for the treatment of trauma in the workplace, offers stress and resilience training to UK organizations, and contributed a chapter to the International Handbook on Workplace Trauma called “Healing the Traumatized Organization”.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute® is a professional educational organization that designs and provides the highest level trainings and services to serve a global network of mental health practitioners.
Pat Ogden, PhD, a pioneer in somatic psychology and the Founder and Educational Director of the Sensorimotor PsychotherapySM Institute, an internationally recognized school specialising in somatic–cognitive approaches for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and attachment disturbances. She is co-founder of the Hakomi Institute, a clinician, consultant, international lecturer and trainer, and first author of Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment, Dr. Ogden’s second book, is a practical guide to integrate Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® interventions into the treatment of trauma and attachment issues. Dr. Ogden is currently developing Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® for children, adolescents and families with colleagues.