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Training Program>Level I

Training Program in Affect Regulation, Attachment, and Trauma

Level I: Training in Affect Dysregulation, Survival Defenses, and Traumatic Memory

Course Description

Level I of The Sensorimotor Psychotherapy‚Ą† Training Program in Affect Regulation, Attachment, and Trauma equips trauma 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 trauma and with interventions that speak directly to how these 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 trauma processing to resolution and integration.

The Level I Training 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.

Course Structure

The Level I Training consists of approximately 80 contact hours divided into 3 or more multi-day modules, for a total of 12-13 days. Modules are non sequential and typically spaced 4-6 weeks apart; trainings typically complete within 5-7 months.

For a list of upcoming Trainings click here.

For more information about the SPI Training Program click here.

Level I Curriculum Topic Overview

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 triggers
Embedded Relational Mindfulness™
  • Working in the present moment
  • The use of mindfulness within the therapeutic alliance
  • Directed mindfulness interventions
Core Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Skills
  • Tracking
  • Contact statements
  • Framing present moment experience
  • Mindfulness questions and directives
  • Mindful experiments
Hierarchical Information Processing
  • Cognitive
  • Emotional
  • Sensorimotor top-down & bottom-up
Introduction to Phase Oriented Treatment
  • Stabilization and symptom reduction (developing resources)
  • Working with memory
The Five Stages of the Process
  • Container
  • Accessing
  • Processing
  • Transformation
  • Integration
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
Trauma-related Dissociation
  • Introduction to structural dissociation
  • The role of the body in maintaining dissociative parts and promoting integration
Memory Processing
  • Interventions to process and integrate implicit and explicit memories
  • Overcoming the fear of traumatic memory
  • Fnding peritraumatic resources
  • Restoring empowering actions
Sensorimotor Sequencing
  • 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

Learning Objectives

Training Sessions

Trainings are regularly offered throughout the world. Visit the following pages for oppportunties to attend a session near you:

Don’t see a Training Session listed near you?  Contact admissions@sensorimotor.org for assistance; a new Training Session may begin soon!