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Mindful/Somatic Approaches to Trauma
Comprehensive Training (Wellington)
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 professions supporting people who grapple with unresolved trauma, we are very 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, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing and EMDR.
In this comprehensive trauma training, 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 basic 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.
... learn a broad map outlining the essential stages 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 ANS arousal
•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
•Work with flashbacks, intrusive memories and nightmares
•Work with somatization (unresolved feelings/memories held within the body)
The overall structure of this training will include:
•2 x 5-day training modules
(taking place on 25-29 November, 2019, and 10-14 February, 2020)
•2 x 1hr one-on-one supervision sessions with the instructor (Dr Paris Williams)
The specific details of each of the 2 training modules are as follows:
Module 1 (25-29 November, 2019)
This module will begin by setting 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 personal 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.
This module especially draws from the methods of mindfulness, Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and Somatic Experiencing.
Module 2 (10-14 February, 2020)
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; and 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).
This part of this module draws especially from the methods of Hakomi, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing, and Internal Family Systems.
In the second part of this module, we will focus on the final stage of this trauma therapy approach—integration. 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 self-connecting with the transformation that has occurred, and of incorporating these shifts into their lives outside the therapy room.
This part of this module draws especially from the methods of Hakomi, Nonviolent Communication and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
2 x One-on-one Supervision Sessions with Paris
(times to be individually scheduled)
The final component of this training will consist of each student having the opportunity to meet with Paris for 2 one-on-one supervision sessions. These sessions provide the space to further integrate and personalize what you have learned within the training modules. They can be devoted to discussing your work with your own clients and/or focus on your own personal healing/growth journey. These will mostly likely be done via web-video (i.e., Zoom), since Paris does not live in the area, but you may also meet with him in person if that's not too inconvenient for you.
For those of you who have attended Dr Williams’ 2-day trauma workshops over the past year and a half, this is a much more comprehensive training that will essentially expand upon the practice and theory of those workshops.
And for those who are new to this work, we will be covering all of the basic theory and methodology necessary 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.
*In order to maximize individual support, this training will be capped at 24 participants. There has already been a strong interest of expression for this training, so it is likely that it will fill up.
*A Certificate of Completion will be awarded upon completion of the training (requiring a minimum of 8 days attendance and completing both one-on-one supervision sessions).