My Workshops, Trainings & Events
Mindful/Somatic Approaches to Trauma Therapy
2-day Introductory Workshops & 10-day Comprehensive Trainings are being offered
There has been a steady movement within the field of trauma therapy over the past few decades towards the increasing recognition that:
(a) Psychological trauma (i.e., PTSD, acute trauma and developmental trauma) is primarily held within the body and nervous system
(b) Working directly with the body (via sensations, impulses, breath, posture, etc.) is therefore key to resolving entrenched trauma conditions
…and (c) That a particular attitude of open curiosity to one’s present experience—i.e., mindfulness—is an extremely helpful component to recovering from these conditions
As therapists and other helping professionals supporting people who grapple with unresolved trauma, we are fortunate that a number of methods have been developed in recent years that incorporate these principles, and which have been providing tremendous healing for millions of people around the world who have struggled with trauma conditions.
Among the most well established of these methods are Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing and EMDR. In these trainings, you will learn and practice an integrative approach to mindful-somatic trauma therapy that draws from the collective wisdom and practice of these and other closely related methods.
In particular, you will…
… learn a simple yet powerful universal framework for making sense of extreme emotional and traumatic states, helping you to identify where your clients’ experiences are on the spectrum of ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) arousal, and therefore which interventions are likely to be most helpful at any given point in the therapy process. This theoretical framework is based on the latest research on the psychology and physiology of trauma.
… learn a broad map outlining the essential stages of the overarching process of trauma-focused therapy.
… develop your own capacity as a therapist to remain present and grounded, safely holding the space for clients to do the difficult work of trauma recovery, while not risking your own dysregulation, vicarious trauma and “burnout”.
… learn a number of effective yet relatively simple mindful-somatic tools based on these methods that you can begin using right away to…
- Help your clients develop confidence working with strong feelings and nervous sytem dysregulation
- Help your clients develop a sense of groundedness, presence and orientation
- Help your clients to develop a rich and healthy connection with their own feelings and needs
- Make the distinction between a beneficial “emotional release” and being “stuck in a trauma response”
- Work with flashbacks, intrusive memories and nightmares
- Work with somatization (unresolved feelings/memories held within the body)
Additional Info for the 10-day Comprehensive Trainings
The 10-day Comprehensive training expands upon the practice and theory of the 2-day workshops (details above). For those who are new to this work, we will be covering all of the basic theory and methodology to make full use of this approach, so it is not required that you have prior training in any particular method. However, due to the highly experiential nature of this workshop, it is highly recommended that participants have some counselling/psychotherapy experience prior to attending this training.
The overall structure of this training is divided into the 3 main stages of trauma therapy – Resourcing, Trauma Processing, and Integration
Stage 1: Establishing a Foundation & Resourcing
In this stage, we begin by establishing a solid foundation on two different levels:
(1) Providing a basic overview of the theory and practice of this highly integrative approach to trauma therapy.
(2) Developing the therapeutic skills and capacity necessary to prepare ourselves and our clients to venture into the often challenging terrain of trauma recovery. This will include developing our own mindfulness and self-care skills so that we as therapists have the capacity to carry out this demanding work; and establishing effective therapeutic alliance with our clients—cultivating the safety and empathy necessary to embark upon more serious trauma therapy.
We then shift the focus to resourcing—supporting our clients (and ourselves) in managing overwhelming emotions and regulating their nervous systems in various ways, with a particular emphasis on mindful and somatic approaches. We often refer to this stage of the trauma therapy process as “establishing a base camp,” an essential prerequisite for moving into the more vulnerable work of trauma processing.
In this stage, we draw particularly from the methods of mindfulness, Hakomi, Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and Somatic Experiencing.
Stage 2: Trauma Processing
The first part of this module will focus primarily on methods of processing/resolving unresolved trauma. Having prepared the foundation (i.e., “base camp”) in our previous module with personal self-care/presence/groundedness, with establishing an effective therapeutic alliance with our clients, and with establishing our clients’ confidence in working with strong states of mind and body, we are ready to embark upon the more adventurous work of directly processing the unresolved trauma.
We will learn and practice an integrative model of trauma processing, which will include a number of different processing methods, and learn how to identify which of these is most suitable given our clients’ particular situation and experience.
We will also learn how to work with more specific trauma experiences such as dissociation, flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive memories.
Finally, we will learn how to work with parts (i.e., in trauma, especially developmental trauma, parts of the person’s personality can become fragmented in various ways, and healing often requires the re-integration of these different parts).
In this stage, we draw particularly from the methods of Hakomi, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing, and Internal Family Systems.
Stage 3: Integration
This is the final stage of this trauma therapy approach. After having experienced significant personal transformation as a result of working through and resolving trauma, many people find that their interests, values, passions and relationships with self and others have shifted significantly. We will learn a number of ways of supporting our clients in further integrating the transformation that has occurred, and of incorporating these shifts into their lives outside the therapy room.
In this stage, we draw particularly from the methods of Hakomi, Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Somatic Experiencing, Internal Family Systems and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
*Due to the highly experiential nature of these trainings, it is strongly recommended that participants have some counseling/psychotherapy experience prior to attending.
*In order to maximize individual support and allow for sufficient social distancing in our workspace, these workshops will be capped at 24 participants.
10-day Comprehensive Training – Hamilton
Module 1: 8-12 November, 2021 (Mon-Fri)
Module 2: 14-18 February, 2022 (Mon-Fri)
Times: 9:30am – 5:00pm all days
Cost: Early Bird discount $1,950 (incl. GST)prior to 15 August; $2,250 (incl. GST) afterwards
Venue: Lady Goodfellow Chapel (Waikato University)
Payment Details (for the trainings/workshops above)
To submit payment for either of the above workshops, deposit the full amount into the following bank account (contact me if you’d like to discuss a payment plan):
Account Name: Williams Services Limited
Account Number: 06 0729 0659387 00
…and then please contact me to confirm that you have done so.
If you would prefer to pay by credit card, you can use this PayPal link, but note that they charge a 3.5% c/card fee (which would be added to the training cost)
*I will send a GST receipt and confirmation email upon receipt of payment.
*These trainings are likely to fill up (being capped at 24 students), so you’ll want to secure your place as soon as possible.
Terms and Conditions for Workshops/Trainings
Securing your place:
After registering for any of these workshops and trainings, your place will not be secured until full payment has been received. If you would like to arrange a payment plan, please contact me to discuss.