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About Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute


"Only one therapy I know of reaches as deeply into the body as it does into the mind, and by reaching for both, touches the soul ."

— Ron Kurtz, Founder of the Hakomi Method

Our Mission
To provide professional training in somatic psychology worldwide

Our Vision
The education of professionals in the principles of mind/ body/ spirit holism

About our Mission
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® Institute (SPI) is an international continuing education organization dedicated to the study and teaching of a somatic approach to clinical psychotherapy. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® (SP), founded by Dr. Pat Ogden, is a body-oriented talking therapy that integrates verbal techniques with body-centered interventions in the treatment of trauma, attachment, and developmental issues, incorporating theory and technique from psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, neuroscience, and theories of attachment and dissociation.

About our Courses
SPI offers a three-tier Training Program in Affect Regulation, Attachment, and Trauma designed for psychotherapists and allied professionals. The Level I: Training in Affect Dysregulation, Survival Defenses, and Traumatic Memory 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. The Level II: Training in Emotional Processing, Meaning Making, and Traumatic Memory illustrates how traumatic, attachment, and developmental issues influence one another and how to provide effective treatment given their inevitable. The final training in the program, Level III: Training in Advanced Skills/Certification,refines skills with intensive, one-on-one supervision from SPI Trainers. A supplemental offering, designed for advanced SP practitioners, Training in Complex Trauma and Dissociation, illustrates ways in which SP can be adapted for clients with complex symptoms or disorders.
Additionally, SPI sponsors a multitude of workshops of varying topics of interest in North America, Europe, and Australia.

History of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
In the early 1970s, while working as a technician and yoga/dance teacher at a short-term psychiatric hospital, Pat Ogden became interested in the correlation between her clients' disconnection from their bodies, their physical patterns and their psychological issues. Before the Diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Dr. Ogden recognized first-hand the way in which many of her patients were at the mercy of reliving the past, and that current treatment methods only seemed to trigger traumatic reminders. Recognizing the link between the body and psychological issues, she began to form the foundations of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® by joining somatic therapy and psychotherapy into a comprehensive method for healing this disconnection between body and mind. In 1981, after co-founding the Hakomi Institute, pioneered by Ron Kurtz, Dr. Ogden founded her own school, a branch of the Hakomi Institute, which is known today as the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute (SPI). Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® draws from somatic therapies, neuroscience, attachment theory, and cognitive approaches, as well as from the Hakomi Method. Since the first course in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® was offered in the early 1980’s, it has gained international acclaim. The first book on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy®, Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy, published in the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology in 2006 gained international acclaim.

Development of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
Dr. Ogden is currently developing Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for children, adolescents, families, and couples with colleagues. 
The sequel to her first book, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment is set for publication in spring 2014 by W. W. Norton & Company.
Several research studies to gather data on the effectiveness of SP are underway or in the process of publication at the following institutions:

  • Maudsley Hospital (London, UK)
  • Womens’ College Hospital (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Modum Bad Outpatient Clinic (Oslo, Norway)