SP for Developmental Injury

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for Developmental Injury addresses the interaction between traumatic, attachment, and developmental issues and how to provide effective treatment given their inevitable intertwining. In this training, research from the attachment and neuroscience fields provides the theoretical foundation for Sensorimotor Psychotherapy℠ interventions and practices that address the effects of suboptimal and/or traumatic early attachment.

Experiences in early childhood leave a legacy of conscious and nonverbal learning reflected in relational habits, affect tolerance and expression, meaning making and cognitive schemas that limit development, patterns of body structure, and the ability to connect deeply to one’s own emotions. In the training, participants will learn to track and name developmental and attachment patterns, help clients make meaning from the bottom up, manage consciousness, assess resources for relationship and full participation in life, connect to early memories and unresolved grief and loss, and transform painful emotions held by young child states.

Sensorimotor Class Sept 2019 56

SP for the Treatment of Developmental Injury consists of approximately 126 contact hours divided into 7, or 10 multi-day modules, for a total of 21 days. Modules are typically spaced 4-8 weeks apart; trainings typically complete within 9-12 months.

Trauma, Traumatic Attachment and Development

The legacy of attachment; developmental and traumatic wounds, somatic treatment approaches for secure, ambivalent, avoidant and disorganized/disoriented attachment patterns

Physical Development and Attachment History

Track how body structure, posture, gesture and movement can reflect and sustain early childhood experience; learn interventions to alter the legacy of early attachment

Changing Procedural Learning

Identify and work with the emotional, cognitive, and physical action patterns that reflect early attachment history

Translating Implicit Language

Understand how meaning is encoded non-verbally as well as verbally, and work with posture, expression and movement to change meaning conditioned by early attachment interactions

Therapeutic Techniques for Developmental Themes

Learn body-oriented interventions that address procedurally learned habits and early attachment patterns

Verbal and Physical Experiments

Apply embedded relational mindfulness™ to introduce verbal and somatic experiments that address the legacy of attachment

Somatic Resources for Developmental Injury

Capitalize on the body’s resources for transforming painful unresolved attachment patterns

Re-working Limiting Beliefs and their Somatic Components

Identify manifestations of cognitive schemas in the body, connect meaning making to early attachment interactions, and learn interventions to transform limiting beliefs

Action Systems and Action Tendencies

Learn how motivational, or action, systems are disrupted by trauma and attachment failure, and discriminate maladaptive action tendencies from adaptive ones related to these systems

Befriending Adaptive Strategies

Explore how adaptive strategies form in childhood, how they affect us as adults, and how the can be a useful avenue toward healing.

Therapeutic Enactments

Use a bottom-up approach to understanding and negotiating therapeutic enactments

The “Child” State of Consciousness

The connection between early memories and the child part that holds the pain reflected in limiting beliefs and procedural learning

Integration of Treatment Techniques for Developmental Injury and Trauma

How to work with clients who present with both attachment-related issues and unresolved trauma

View Continuing Education/Continuing Professional Development Documents

Candidates must fulfill each of the following criteria to be considered for enrollment:

“For me, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is the best training I could have taken to prepare me for understanding how to work with a range of traumas—from acute trauma to developmental trauma. Both levels of 1 and 2 truly equipped me with skills as a therapist to not shy away from attachment-related trauma that I wasn’t confident in working with until I took the SPI training.”

– Joshua Smith (SPI Level II Graduate)


“I found my own SPI L2 invaluable both for my clients and for healing some of my own attachment-related wounds. As a clinician it gave me tools to read the body for a rapid assessment of the beliefs that were limiting my clients. It also gave me somatic interventions to circumvent procedural behaviors that were keeping my clients from the lives they wanted to lead. In addition to organizing the latest and most relevant research, the training added a framework and a therapeutic stance that felt “right” to me. I wish I had discovered it sooner, and feel privileged to bring this training to others.”

– Lana Epstein, MEd, LICSW, (SPI Faculty)

This course has meetings that require attendance.


Attendance is taken for each day of the live/in-person-modules. For Continuing Education credit, students must be present at both days of the live/in-person module.

Absence Policy

Students are expected to attend each scheduled module; however extenuating circumstances may necessitate a student being absent for part of a training module or an entire module. In the event a student absence is unavoidable, student should alert course facilitators by direct message in the course as soon as possible.

Make-Up Work Policy

Students absent for more than 2 days must complete and provide verification of completion to the course facilitator:

  • View the recording for the days missed, if available, or read through the materials for the days missed.
  • Meet with a peer or group of peers for practice missed.
  • *Make-up work does not qualify for Continuing Education Credit.
  • For those applying through Lifespan Learning Institute, you may receive CE credit by passing a quiz with a score of 80% or greater, if you are also otherwise eligible.

Pat Ogden’s Sensorimotor Psychotherapy adds a much needed dimension to the clinician’s approach to early attachment failures…This is a vital addition to our psychodynamic foundations that I believe every psychotherapist should know and I have found it extremely helpful in my own work.

Judith Schore, PhD

Associate Dean and Professor at the Sanville Institite for Clinical Social Work and Psychotherapy

Upcoming Trainings