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Featured Books : Featured Research : Featured Book Chapters : Featured Articles

Featured Books by Pat Ogden and Colleagues

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment

The body’s innate intelligence is largely an untapped resource in psychotherapy. This book, designed for therapists and clients to explore together, is both psychoeducational and practical. It will help therapists and clients alike use their own somatic intelligence to reclaim the body and engage it in the therapy process.
A companion to the bestselling Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy, the book is not intended to teach the practice of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. Rather, it is meant to act as a guide for helping clients draw on the wisdom of their bodies. Following an initial introductory section, the book consists of relatively short chapters designed to educate therapists and clients about a particular topic. Worksheets are provided for each chapter designed to be used either in therapy or between sessions to help clients integrate the material.The book will be useful for psychotherapists of a variety of persuasions: psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and marriage and family therapists. Some of the material may also be valuable for psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, rehabilitation workers, crisis workers, victim advocates, disaster workers, and body therapists, as well as for graduate students and interns entering the field of mental health. Over 100 illustrations

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a landmark book in the history of body psychotherapy and effectively provides the bridge between traditional psychotherapy and body-oriented therapies. In this discipline-changing volume, Pat Ogden brilliantly decodes the crucial role that the body plays in regulating physiological, behavioral, and mental states.”
 – Stephen Porges, PhD

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a must-read for psychoanalysts interested in nonverbal communication, dissociation, and trauma. This sophisticated book provides a remarkable integration of theory and clinical practice, informed by research in trauma, attachment, infancy, and neurobiology, as well as by psychoanalysis.”
               – Beatrice Beebe, PhD

Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy

“The body, for a host of reasons, has been left out of the ‘talking cure.’” With these opening words, the authors announce the expansion of traditional talk-therapy—building on skills ingrained after4 decades of accepted mental health practice—and identify a unique approach to the treatment of trauma.

Conventional models of therapy, while fundamentally helpful, excludes discussion of the body, focusing predominantly on the idea that change occurs through narrative expression. No one has yet to combine our understanding of trauma and its effects with somatically-driven treatment to deliver a sound, comprehensive theory and treatment model.

Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy does just that. By incorporating theory and technique from traditional talk-therapy methods with body-oriented—or sensorimotor—psychotherapy, somatic psychology pioneer Pat Ogden and her colleagues present a breakthrough in trauma treatment, and expertly explain how using body sensation and movement can help heal the wounds of trauma.


“This is the book the field of psychotraumatology has been waiting for! Clinicians at last have a major practical and theoretical source for more fully understanding the central role of fixed sensorimotor patterns in survivors . . . Ogden and her colleagues masterfully demonstrate how to use the survivor’s physical fixation in traumatic experiences as an essential avenue to effective trauma treatment.”
– Onno van der Hart, PhD

“Ogden’s outstanding work in sensorimotor psychotherapy focuses not just on the devastating effects of trauma-induced alterations on mind, but also on body and brain,. Asserting that the body has been left out of the “talking cure,” she offers a scholarly review of very recent advances in the trauma, neurobiology, developmental, and psychodynamic literatures that strongly suggests that bodily-based behaviors, affects, and cognitions must be brought to the forefront of the clinical encounter.”
– Allan N. Schore, PhD


Featured Research on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

“Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Group Therapy in the Treatment of Complex PTSD”

Authors: Gene-Cos, Nuri; Fisher, Janina; Ogden, Pat; Cantrel, Andy

Located in SciMedCentral: Annals of Psychiatry and Mental Health, 11 September 2016, ISSN: 2374-0124

Abstract: In this article we evaluate a new modality of treatment for a very severe and chronically ill population at a National Trauma Centre. We describe the service with its current treatment options and the type of patients selected for this new intervention. PTSD is presented as a biphasic syndrome, necessitating treatment approaches that address both physiological arousal and alexithymia and numbing. Each Sensorimotor Psychotherapy session addresses a different set of symptoms sequenced in order of importance from a trauma-treatment perspective, including: autonomic arousal, implicit memory, basic techniques for regulating arousal, directing focused attention, boundaries and skills practice. We describe methodology issues, aims of the treatment and statistical results as well as qualitative aspects of the outcome. Statistically significant changes in pre-treatment scores on measures of PTSD symptoms, depression, overall health, and work and social functioning were observed. This study has important implications for stabilization phase one treatment in the management of individuals with complex trauma presentations.


“A Pilot Study of Body-oriented Group Psychotherapy: Adapting Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for the Group Treatment of Trauma.”

Authors: Langmuir, Judith I.; Kirsh, Shari G.; Classen, Catherine C.

Located in: Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Vol 4(2), Mar 2012, 214-220.

Abstract: Research suggests that trauma has a profound effect on the body by disrupting normal physiologic responses leading to a broad range of trauma-related symptoms. In this paper, we describe a stage-one trauma group based on the clinical rationale and techniques of Pat Ogden’s (2006) sensorimotor psychotherapy(SP). To date, there has been no empirical research to support the efficacy of this treatment approach. Ten women with a history of childhood abuse participated in 20 weekly sessions of SP informed group therapy and were assessed at pretreatment, posttreatment, and at 6-month follow-up. Participants demonstrated significant improvement in body awareness, dissociation, and receptivity to soothing. This study of an SP-informed group therapy for women provides preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of SP in reducing trauma-related symptoms.


Book Chapters by Pat Ogden and Colleagues


Beyond Words: A Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Perspective on Trauma Treatment”

Authors: Ogden, P.

Located in: Psychological Trauma: Theory, Clinical and Treatment (in press)



“’I Can See Clearly Now the Rain is Gone’: The Role of the Body in Forecasting the Future”

Authors: Ogden, P.

Located in: Body-States: Interpersonal and Relational Perspectives on the Treatment of Eating Disorders, (2014)



“Wisdom of the Body, Lost and Found: The Nineteenth John Bowlby Memorial Lecture”

Authors: Ogden, P.

Located in: Talking Bodies: How Do We Integrate Working with the Body in Psychotherapy from an Attachment and Relational Perspective?, (2014)



“Integrating Body and Mind: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Treatment of Dissociation, Defense, and Dysregulation”

Authors: Ogden, P. & Fisher, J.

Located in: Neurobiology and Treatment of Traumatic Dissociation: Towards an Embodied Self, (2014)



“Technique and Beyond: Therapeutic Enactments, Mindfulness, and the Role of the Body”

Authors: Ogden, P.

Located in: Healing Moments in Psychotherapy, (2013)



“Sensorimotor Psychotherapy as a Foundation of Group Therapy with Younger Clients”

Authors: Ogden, P. & Mark-Goldstein, B.

Located in: The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Group Psychotherapy and Group Process, (2013)



“Brain-to-Brain, Body-to-body: A Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Approach for the Treatment of Children and Adolescents”

Authors: Ogden, P., Goldstein, B, & Fisher, J.

Located in: Current Perspectives and Applications in Neurobiology; Working with Young Persons who are Victims and Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse, (2012)



“Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Adaptions for the Treatment of Patients with Chronic Complex PTSD”

Authors: Lanius, R., Pain, C., Ogden, P., & Vermitten, E.

Located in: The Impact of Early Life and Trauma on Health and Disease: The Hidden Epidemic, (2010)



“Modulation, Mindfulness, and Movement in the Treatment of Trauma-related Depression”

Authors: Ogden, P.

Located in: Clinical Pearls of Wisdom: 21 Leading Therapists Offer their Key Insights, (2009)



“Sensorimotor Psychotherapy”

Authors: Ogden, P. & Fisher, J.

Located in: Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders: An Evidence Based Guide, (2009)



“Emotion, Mindfulness and Movement: Expanding the Regulatory Boundaries of the Window of Tolerance”

Authors: Ogden, P.

Located in: The Healing Power of Emotion: Affective Neuroscience, Development & Clinical Practice, (2009)



“Sensorimotor Approach to Processing Traumatic Memory”

Authors: Ogden, P. & Minton, K.

Located in: Brief Treatments for the Traumatized: A Project of the Green Cross Foundation, (2002)



“Hakomi Integrative Somatics”

Authors: Ogden, P.

Located in: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body/Mind Disciplines, (1999)



“Hands-on Psychotherapy: Hakomi Integrative Somatics”

Authors: Ogden, P.

Located in: Getting in Touch, (1997)

Select Journal Articles on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy


“Commentary on Paper by Ellen F. Fries”

Authors: Ogden, P.

Keywords: implicit self, proximity-seeking actions, attachment, body-oriented interventions

Located in: Psychoanalytic Dialogues: The International Journal of Relational Perspectives, 22(5), 606-615 (2012)



“Understanding Dissociation and the Body – Then and Now”

Authors: Ogden, P.

Keywords: trauma treatment, PTSD, dissociative disorders, history of sensorimotor psychotherapy

Located in: Interact, 12(2), (2012)



“The Movements of Play: Restoring Spontaneity and Flexibility in Traumatized Individuals”

Authors: Ogden, P. & Fisher, J.
Keywords: play, pleasure, attachment, trauma, window of tolerance, safety, arousal, social engagement

Located in: GAINS Quarterly(2014)



“A Sensorimotor Approach to the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation”

Authors: Ogden, P., Pain, C. & Fisher, J.

Located in: Dissociative Disorders: An Expanding Window into the Psychobiology of the Mind, 263-279, (2006)



“Including the Body in Mainstream Psychotherapy with Chronically Traumatized Patients”

Authors: Ogden, P., Pain, C., Minton, K., & Fisher, J.

Located in: Psychologist-Psychoanalyst, 25(4), 19-23, (Fall 2005)



“The Integration of Somatic Approaches and Traditional Psychotherapy with Chronically Traumatized Patients”

Authors: Ogden, P., Steele, K., & Pain, C.

Located in: The International Society for the Study of Dissociation News, 22(1), (2004), Membership required



“Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: One Method for Processing Trauma”

Authors: Ogden, P. & Minton, K.

Located in: Traumatology,6(3), 149-173, (2000)



“Inner Body Sensation. Part Two.”

Authors: Ogden, P.

Located in: Somatics, 11(3), 42-49, (1998)



“Inner Body Sensation. Part One.”

Authors: Ogden, P.

Located in: Somatics, 11(2), 40-43, (1997)



“Translating the Body’s Language”

Authors: Ogden, P. & Peters, A.

Located in: Hakomi Forum,8, 31-34, (1990)