SP for the Treatment of Trauma
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Trauma equips therapists to better understand the symptoms and issues related to trauma and traumatic attachment and to work with them in a more effective way. With a neurobiological understanding of the presenting problems of these clients and equipped with interventions that speak directly to how the issues are driven by the body and the nervous system, students will be able to work with clients with a range of challenges from stabilization to resolution and integration.
This course presents simple, body-oriented interventions for tracking, naming, and safely exploring trauma-related somatic activation, creating new competencies, and restoring a somatic sense of self. Students will learn effective, accessible interventions for working with disruptive behavioral patterns, disturbed cognitive and emotional processing, and the fragmented sense of self experienced by so many traumatized individuals. Techniques are taught within a phase-oriented treatment approach, focusing first on stabilization and symptom reduction. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy℠ can be easily and effectively integrated into psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and EMDR-focused treatments.
Introduction to Sensorimotor Psychotherapy℠
- Foundational theoretical principles
- The importance of the body in trauma and attachment treatment
- Beginning skills of tracking the body, describing what is observed, and naming present moment bodily experience in the form of a contact statement
Introduction to Working with the Body
- The role of the body in perpetuating symptoms of trauma and early attachment failures
- How to work with physical action to harness the wisdom of the body in resolving symptoms
The Role of the Body in Procedural Learning
- Survival resources and responses
- Implicit and explicit memory
- Sensitivity to trigger
Embedded Relational Mindfulness™
- Working in the present moment
- The use of mindfulness within the therapeutic alliance
- Directed mindfulness intervention
Core Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Skills
- Contact statements
- Framing present moment experience
- Mindfulness questions and directives
- Mindful experiments
Hierarchical Information Processing
- Sensorimotor top-down & bottom-u
Introduction to Phase Oriented Treatment
- Stabilization and symptom reduction (developing resources)
- Working with memory
The Five Stages of the Process
Somatic Resources for Stabilization
- The role of the body in addressing Phase One goals of stabilization and symptom reduction
- Analysis of survival and creative resources to identify existing and missing somatic resources and employ interventions to help clients develop new resources
Orienting and Defensive Responses
- Interventions to reinstate adaptive, innate orienting and animal defensive responses truncated in the wake of trauma
- The therapeutic use of touch and its pitfalls
- How trauma and attachment affect boundary styles and techniques to restore adaptive, flexible somatic and psychological boundaries
- Introduction to structural dissociation
- The role of the body in maintaining dissociative parts and promoting integration
- Interventions to process and integrate implicit and explicit memories
- Overcoming the fear of traumatic memory
- Fnding peritraumatic resources
- Restoring empowering actions
- Recalibrating the nervous system through somatic approaches for working with involuntary movement and dysregulated arousal at the regulatory boundaries of the window of tolerance
Integration and Resolution
- Introduction to the legacy of attachment and loss
- Primary and secondary emotions
- The cognitive effects of trauma
- Phase three themes of self-development, adaption to normal life, and relationships
- Theoretical underpinnings of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy℠
- Relevant neuroscience and attachment research
- Descriptions of techniques and rationale
- Both large and small group discussion offer opportunities to explore topics in depth and ask didactic and technical questions.
- The following two books are suggested to accompany the learning in the training:
- “Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy” by Pat Ogden, Kekuni Minton, and Clare Pain,
- “Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment,” by Pat Ogden and Janina Fisher
- Practice exercises, maps, and worksheets may be provided to facilitate clinical understanding and application of course content.
Demonstration & Clinical Analysis
- Trainers demonstrate and analyze concepts and skills through role-play, demonstrations with assistants or students, and clinical video sessions.
- Visualizations, and practice vignettes and exercises are designed to give students the opportunity to practice specific Sensorimotor Psychotherapy℠ approaches and skills.
Clinical Examples and Consultation
- Trainers provide clinical examples to support the integration of the method, and students have opportunities to present clinical cases for feedback on the integration of SP during class discussion.
- Trainers observe, give feedback, and support the development of SPI student skills during class exercises.
Peer Partner and Study Group Support
- Students form dyads and groups to practice elements of the SP method.
Training Program candidates must meet one or more of the following prerequisites:
- Legally authorized in local state/province, or country to practice as a mental health professional
- Graduate-level student currently enrolled in a mental health discipline at an accredited college or university
- Post-graduate student actively engaged in the process of qualifying as a mental health professional legally authorized to practice
“I utilize SP as a stand-alone approach as well as incorporating it into my existing repertoire of therapeutic modalities. It has transformed my clients. Not only have they made progress, they have maintained their gains. They typically experience a sense of awe, as they become aware that they already possess the tools to heal. A client with complex trauma summed up the benefits of the SP approach, “There is more correspondence between my body and my brain!”
-Level I Alumni, Roseann Lynch, LLC
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.