Somatic psychotherapy training pat ogden
Discover How To Recalibrate Your Client’s Nervous System To Heal Trauma And Attachment Issues…Even If They Can’t Tolerate The Most Gradual Exposure or EMDR
When your clients experience trauma, the wake of intense emotions that gets left behind can be gut-wrenching for both you and your client to work through.
In many cases, you can read it in their body language before they even get through your door, and they feel the effects of that trauma in their bodies years later.
They might feel their palms sweating, their heart racing, or start looking for the exit without even realizing why…having these responses pop up unexpectedly any time a specific date on the calendar, a loud noise, or another person reminds them of their past.
The problem? Even if your clients are ready to process their story and their emotions in talk therapy, many times they keep feeling the effects of that trauma in their body after it’s been hardwired in the nervous system.
Plus, for some clients, simply thinking about processing the trauma with a therapist might be too intense for them to handle, making them shut down even after using relaxation and other coping techniques.
That’s why Dr. Pat Ogden, an originator in the field of somatic therapies, found early on in her career that often words alone weren’t enough (or caused too much distress) to produce the type of change her clients wanted desperately.
She stumbled on a powerful but underutilized resource while working at a hospital, leading groups in yoga and other forms of physical movement. Her colleagues initially doubted and even teased her for using the unconventional approach, but she started to find that her clients were getting better…and your clients can too.
Join internationally renowned psychotherapist and trauma expert Dr. Ogden for an innovative training on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and gain new, easy-to-understand techniques and tons of user-friendly worksheets to use with your clients, helping you to…
- Treat your clients’ trauma with a more covert approach, so they can work through their past even if it’s too intense for them to talk about directly
- Uncover new information about their trauma and how that still affects them today, discovering thoughts and values your clients haven’t been able to put into words before
- Break the repetitive cycle of trauma responses that gets maintained through their posture, movement patterns, and automatic responses whenever they’re reminded of past trauma
LIMITED TIME BONUS:
Register today and you’ll also get instant access to Bessel van der Kolk’s exclusive interview with Pat Ogden, giving you rare insights into how you can change your clients’ lives by harnessing the untapped resources found within the body.
When your clients experience trauma, the wake of intense emotions that gets left behind can be gut-wrenching for both you and your client to work through.In many cases,and they feel the effects of that trauma in their bodies years later.They might feel their palms sweating, their heart racing, or start looking for the exit…having these responses pop up unexpectedly any time a specific date on the calendar, a loud noise, or another person reminds them of their past.The problem? Even if your clients are ready to process their story and their emotions in talk therapy, many timesPlus, for some clients,That’s why Dr. Pat Ogden, an originator in the field of somatic therapies, found early on in her career that often words alone weren’t enough (or caused too much distress) to produce the type of change her clients wanted desperately.She stumbled on a powerful but underutilized resource while working at a hospital, leading groups in yoga and other forms of physical movement. Her colleagues initially doubted and even teased her for using the unconventional approach, but she started to find thatand your clients can too.for an innovative training onand gain new, easy-to-understand techniques and tons of user-friendly worksheets to use with your clients, helping you to…Register today and you’ll also get instant access to Bessel van der Kolk’s exclusive interview with Pat Ogden, giving you rare insights into how you can change your clients’ lives by harnessing the untapped resources found within the body.
Advances in digital learning technology as well as modern online course pedagogy have enabled the world to reconsider what can be learned online, including Sensorimotor Psychotherapy! Our online format has proven to be effective for a broad range of students across diverse backgrounds, age groups, and levels of technological skill.
This 100% online learning course is designed to make the most of your time. Benefit from live-online sessions held in real-time with course facilitators and colleagues, while also having the flexibility to work through the conceptual course materials independently. Enjoy freedom to learn from your own home or office, or even from your phone, on the go!
Learn skills to notice and process the residues of traumatic experience that are physically encoded in your clients’ bodies. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy helps you to work with your clients with the unresolved implicit patterns related to their traumatic experiences that often cannot be addressed in words or emotions.
In this six-module course, you will learn the foundations of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for working with traumatic experience, develop new skills that you will be able to apply immediately with your clients who are distressed or traumatized, and explore adaptations of SP skills for more complex clinical situations.
Watch a brief introduction to SP for Trauma Themes…
Pat Ogden, PhD
Pat Ogden, PhD, is a psychotherapist, renowned innovator in somatic psychology, and leading expert in working with the body to resolve trauma.
She is well-known for developing Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a body-oriented approach to help patients process traumatic memories and manage threat responses. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy was influenced by Pat’s training in Gestalt Therapy, mindfulness practices, and the Hakomi method.
So what makes Pat a leading figure in the field of body-based psychotherapy? First, we should ask . . .
What is Sensorimotor Psychotherapy?
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is an approach to treating trauma and attachment issues that encourages engagement in the present moment and mindful awareness of the body.
Pat developed this approach to treat the physical symptoms of trauma and to better target the core physiological states that keep a person trapped in a trauma response.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is guided by six foundational principles:
- Mindfulness – Sensorimotor Psychotherapy encourages present-moment awareness – of both our own inner states, and those of others.
- Mind, body, and spirit connection – The mind, body, and spirit are seen as an integrated whole in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. The approach considers the whole person, rather than treating each aspect of them individually.
- Unity – Unity acknowledges the interconnectedness of all humans, despite our differences.
- Relational alchemy – This tenet emphasizes the value of interpersonal relationships and authentic connection in helping people grow.
- Non-violence – This concept describes the belief that the therapist isn’t the authority on what their client needs in treatment. Neither should the therapist aim to “rid” their client of anything. Rather, it’s key to give the client choice and control over their treatment plan.
- Organicity – Organicity says that the client holds the capacity to heal themselves. The therapist’s role is to simply help the client unveil their inner intelligences and tap into their “higher self.”
These perspectives have strongly informed Pat’s work over the years.
“Everybody has this set of principles, whether they’re conscious or unconscious, that they embody when they’re doing therapy. For me, one of those principles is organicity, that the intelligence is within the client. The answers are within them. The therapist starts to elicit that intelligence – and I think that really starts to build confidence and security in relationship.”
– Pat Ogden, PhD, The Neurobiology of Attachment
Ultimately, the goal of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is to help clients change any harmful and deeply engrained physical and mental patterns they engage in.
But why is the body such a focal point of Pat’s treatment approach? It goes back to this central tenet of trauma treatment . . .
Talk Therapy Doesn’t Always Heal Trauma
For many clinicians, talk therapy is a foundational part of the therapeutic process. But when used alone, it is not always sufficient to heal trauma.
Just like Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Pat recognizes some of these limitations of talk therapy in trauma treatment. As she puts it,
“Trauma, first and foremost, does affect the body. And talk therapy might not have that hoped-for trickle-down effect to the subcortical brain where the responses to trauma in the body can be resolved.”
What Pat means by this is that talk therapy mainly targets the “thinking” parts of the brain – specifically, our prefrontal cortex. And while this might provide some short-term relief, it often doesn’t resolve the core physiological damage that drives a client’s trauma symptoms.
That’s because trauma arguably has the biggest impact on our “lower” brain functions – in other words, the instinctive parts of the brain that are responsible for physical survival.
When these parts of the brain are damaged, a person might live in a constant state of hypervigilance and tension. Their body might be on high-alert for future threats, and they may overinterpret danger where there really is none.
This is why Pat doesn’t usually focus on the details of a client’s trauma story. Rather, her approach focuses on the here-and-now – that is, the physical signs of a client’s trauma.
“I feel like we don’t need the content of the trauma at all because the effects of the trauma are living in the client at the present time – in the way they move, in the way they talk, the prosody, the way they think. It’s all right there.”
– Pat Ogden, PhD, Expert Strategies for Working with Traumatic Memory
So what are some ways that trauma affects the body, as Pat claims? With her clients, she especially focuses on this key sign . . .
What Posture Can Reveal About a Client’s Mental Health
Observing a client’s posture can give us insight into their mental states.
You see, when a client is tense, hunched over, or crossing their arms, it might reflect hypervigilance, shame, and a subconscious attempt to protect themselves.
For us practitioners, this can provide us vital information about a client’s mental health, especially if said client struggles to talk about past experiences.
Not only that, but this skill can also come in handy when a client’s words don’t seem to match up with their bodily expressions.
Take this for example . . .
You’re in a session, and your client is talking about their childhood. She’s describing how wonderful it was, how her parents always took her on vacation, how she had so many friends at school . . .
. . . but at the same time, the client’s body is tightening up. Her brow looks strained, and she’s digging under her fingernails.
All these bodily signs tell a different story from what the verbal account does. While this isn’t proof that childhood trauma occurred, it gives reason to probe further into this aspect of the client’s history.
This is why learning to read and track a client’s body language – what Pat calls the “somatic narrative” – is crucial.
So what do we do with this information? The goal is to help clients expand the physical ways of being that feel comfortable to them – something Pat calls “movement vocabulary.”
But how might we do this? Here’s where Sensorimotor Psychotherapy comes into play . . .
How to Use Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to Create New Bodily Experiences
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy can be a powerful tool to help clients expand their “movement vocabulary.”
To get an idea of what this might look like in practice, think back to our client from earlier, who was recounting her childhood memories. As you continue to observe her movements, you notice . . .
. . . her body suddenly, yet slightly twists away. Or maybe her fingers raise a bit. Perhaps her legs tense up and close together.
No matter how subtle, Pat argues that these physical signs often hold meaning – they can indicate bodily movement that wants to happen, but that hasn’t had the chance to be released yet.
“Whenever we’re working with trauma, we have to remember that we’re never working with the actual event – we’re working with patterns of response.”
– Pat Ogden, PhD, How to Work with Shame
However sometimes, clients might be successful in channeling these urges into physical action – though, in maladaptive ways. Self-harm is a common example.
So what’s the antidote to this? How do we help clients undo such harmful procedural patterns and mobilize any unconscious, unresolved impulses that lie within?
According to Pat, the answer lies in having clients create new, healthier bodily experiences.
In other words, we want to have clients “complete” physical responses that have been trapped in the body for long periods of time.
In fact, Pat often quotes one of her long-time mentors, Ron Kurtz, as having said, “Clients are not problems to be solved – they’re experiences waiting to happen.”
But what might this look like? Here are a few exercises that Pat commonly uses with her clients, which she describes in her book Sensorimotor Psychotherapy:
- Straightening the spine – Exercises that focus on lengthening the spine can help a client integrate the parts of themselves that they feel are bad or shameful. These exercises can help improve a client’s breathing patterns, shift a person’s self-perceptions, instill a sense of strength in them, and help them feel more at home in their body.
- Pillow work – Pillows can be a simple, yet powerful way to help trauma survivors acclimate to physical touch and become more aware of physical sensations and boundaries. For clients with ruptured attachment histories, hugging pillows can be a way for them to get the comfort and safety that they may have not received in the past.
- Pushing away motions – These actions can be especially healing for clients who’ve experienced physical or sexual assault, and who didn’t fight back because their body went into collapse/shutdown or a dissociative state.
However, it’s not enough to simply have clients engage in new bodily responses. Rather, Pat says clients must pair these physical actions with mindful awareness. Otherwise, clients are simply indulging in primal impulses, which doesn’t facilitate brain and body integration.
But what is brain and body integration, and how do we help clients develop it?
How to Facilitate Brain and Body Integration After Trauma
During a somatic exercise, it’s important that the parts of the brain responsible for higher order thinking stay online. This prevents the more primitive brain structures from taking over.
One way Pat does this is through skillful languaging and prosody.
Here’s what this means. Say a client becomes hyperaroused during a somatic intervention. In response, Pat avoids statements like,
- “You seem terrified.”
- “You must be feeling horrible.”
. . . as they can further dysregulate the client.
Instead, Pat will say something like,
- “Can you see me right now?”
- “Can you feel your feet on the ground?”
These responses – which Pat calls present-moment contact statements – better serve to contain rising emotions, anchor the client, and bring arousal down.
By doing this in conjunction with methods from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, we can help stimulate latent responses locked in the body and allow clients to feel more embodied and empowered in their skin.