Relational Bodywork
and Somatic Education™ (BASE™)

A Relational Touch Training for Trauma Practitioners: Psychotherapists, Physical Therapists, Bodyworkers, Physicians, Nurses, Educators, Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists

Working to Help Clients Through Traumatic Stress, Chronic Pain, Relational Trauma

Relational Bodywork and Somatic Education™ (BASE™) is body-oriented approach that can be used by psychotherapists to help clients overcome the effects of trauma using relational touch, movement and somatically-oriented interventions. BASE™ is founded on two primary pillars: First, the relational dynamics between the practitioner and the client. Like the physiological conversation an infant and parent have, the practitioner’s refined attuned touch supports a client in feeling met and ‘heard’. This is accomplished via the second primary pillar—refined, attuned finessed touch of organs, structures of the body to support them in coming back into flow, ease and motility when a trauma response has maintained dysregulation.

This training program helps trauma practitioners improve their ability to track non-verbal communication, embodied emotions, and anatomy/body usage as they relate to trauma healing. Clinicians will learn to assess how touch may be used to support clients when it is appropriate to do so. BASE™ provides clinicians with a versatile toolkit to use with individuals, couples, and families.

Psychological and emotional processes manifest physically through the physiology, structures and usage of the body. Sensory feedback of the bones, muscles, fascia and organs/viscera (i.e., interoception) provides information about our emotional state of being. That is, does the body signal alarm and arousal or safety and calm (neuroception)? If interoceptive systems signal discomfort, pain or distress, a person may enter into and stay in a heightened state of arousal or activation through a self-perpetuating positive feedback loop. This can result in intrapersonal challenges, relationship, work and educational problems, chronic pain, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, sleep issues, feeling detached, anxiety, PTSD and other difficulties.

The emotional, physical, and physiological distress described above may stem from a variety of challenges, including: pre and perinatal difficulties, attachment insecurity or disorganization, physical injury, sexual assault, emotionally toxic relational or societal factors, natural disasters, car accidents, surgery/anesthesia, suffocation, and other threatening circumstances.


Somatic psychotherapy and relational bodywork are essential for interrupting and changing this positive feedback loop and healing trauma. BASE™ practitioners who work with clients suffering from these conditions will have a greater sensitivity to follow or track what is happening in a client’s body and WHERE it is happening. Clinicians learn to refine attunement capacity and skill in specifically identifying activation/constriction in a client’s intrapersonal experience (i.e., the persons body). BASE™ practitioners know how to release this freeze/shutdown allowing expansion, capacity and ease. A new set of afferent information (‘interoceptive’ self) or body ego state develops to inform the brain. This can allow for greater resilience and choice—the opposite of a trauma response.

The body’s holding of psychological trauma, and its importance as the vehicle for healing is now broadly recognized in academic and clinical settings and in research. Therefore, learning how to work with the body enhances skilled intervention. BASE™ Training for trauma practitioners addresses this in two ways. First, non-touch somatic learning/body awareness strategies are used as tools for effective assessment. Second, for psychotherapists interested in adding hands-on work to their practices (from supportive touch on a client’s shoulder, to helping release freeze or shock in specific tissues, and body structures), this training will help clinicians become skilled in somatic (body centered) therapy. Bodyworkers and movement educators will learn how to refine and expand their hands-on work with a paradigm that addresses slowly expanding a client’s capacity for flow and ease without cathartic overwhelm.

BASE™ brings two related aspects of somatic work together:

1. somatic education, learning from the inside through kinesthetic sense of self.

2. working directly with skilled touch to facilitate and allow change of dysregulation in body tissues, organs and structures.

As a practitioner you will learn to refine your attunement with and without touch. “Listening Hands” relational touch skills and your ability to track the autonomic nervous system and change in the tissues, from constriction to flow, with and without touch are key components to the physiological conversation between a practitioner and client. This is the same ‘conversation an infant and parent have before a child can engage in verbal conversations.. BASE™ is intended to help develop clinically and ethically appropriate hands-on touch skills of psychotherapists and to refine Listening Hands skills of bodyworkers who work with traumatized clients.

Growing evidence shows the importance of touch in healing from developmental and shock trauma. Touch gives an infant the physical feedback of its existence. Healthy physical contact supports healthy emotional connection for lifelong resilient attachment and bonding. When disrupted by developmental wounding, illness or shock trauma, or when insufficient for healthy bonding the infant can grow into a child, adolescent and adult in physical and/or relational dysregulation and freeze/dissociation. Appropriate touch also supports and promotes healing of physical structures in the anatomy that impact a person’s life because of pain and/or movement difficulties. (This is different that ‘fixing’ a physical therapist or chiropractor may do)

This is considered an intermediate level training for trauma practitioners who have prior clinical practice and/or education in psychotherapy and/or body therapies and trauma.

1. participants must have prior experience with bodywork, counseling/psychotherapy, and/or other clinical experience
2. participants must have some prior trauma training. BASE is not a trauma training but a training for trauma practitioners


  • Learn a clear way to transition yourself and a client from a typical psychotherapeutic or verbal model to a body oriented/touch inclusive option model

  • Refine attunement skills to track and help release constriction/freeze from specific local, regional and global structures in the body

  • Understand how to work with emotions as they emerge from the physiology via verbal and touch inclusive therapy

  • Feel and help release restricted orienting, flight, fight, tonic immobility (freeze) posturing

  • Learn and develop somatic interventions with couples stuck in a bond of dysregulation

  • Apply concepts of polyvagal theory to clinical practice

  • Appreciate Attachment and Intersubjective (Empathic) Relationship

  • Recognize the relationship between touch and healthy emotional development

  • Understand how the body is part and parcel of attachment and bonding

  • Learn how the body/physiology (our home) feels; read or track and resonate with a client’s internal somatic, affective experience and kinesthetic sense of self

  • Know about the body structures (anatomy) and physiology to help maintain clear boundaries, the ethical use of touch and changing a client’s stance or posturetude (posture/attitude) in the world

  • Learn how to facilitate a client’s kinesthetic learning about self in relationship

  • Learn functional somatic interventions that clients can use outside the office to reduce a stress response

Topics Covered

BASE 2: Social Engagement & Orienting Structures

  • Non-verbal communication

  • Social Engagement & Orienting Structures

  • Affecting Orienting and Social Engagement

  • Systems beyond the vagus

  • Social engagement & bonding/attachment dynamics

  • Assessment

  • Posture & emotions

  • Fascia & intrapersonal communication

  • Interoception - body self

BASE 1: Polyvagal Structures

  • Therapeutic Attunement - physiology of connection

  • Clinically and ethically appropriate use of touch

  • Polyvagal theory and clinical application

  • Bodywork/touch as a relational process

  • Listening with hands

  • Strategies to work with the vagus


BASE 4: The Body & Relational Work

  • Social engagement behaviors

  • Eyes: bonding/distancing, emotions and the body

  • Somatic couples work, working with couples, attachment & bonding

  • Somatic tools for sensory motor renegotiation

BASE 3: Bones, Cranium, Concussions, & PTSD, Posturetude

  • What is a concussion

  • Relationship between concussions & PTSD

  • Using appropriate touch to reduce the effects of a concussion

  • Bone: Working with structure & a client’s history

  • Posturetude, shame, joints, & emotions

Click here for a detailed list of each module’s objectives and daily schedule.

This is considered an intermediate level training for trauma practitioners who have prior clinical practice and/or education in psychotherapy and/or body therapies and trauma.

1. participants must have prior experience with bodywork, counseling/psychotherapy, and/or other clinical experience
2. participants must have some prior trauma training

Certificate of Completion

The BASE™ training consists of 4 modules. For students who want a certificate of completion for the entire training and wish to become a designated BASE™ practitioner, 4 consultations (group or individual) with Dave and 4 personal experiential sessions in addition to the 4 modules are required. Cost of consultations and experiential sessions are in addition to training costs.

Video Streaming

Only one module by video streaming can be applied toward the BASE™ certification training requirements. If a module is completed by video, an additional 2 consultations with Dave and 1 personal BASE™ session are required to complete the certification training requirements. Video streaming will be available for 3 months from the date of purchase. There are no CEs with video streaming.

Cancellation Policy

If cancellation is 30 or more days prior to start date of a module or workshop there is a full refund less $50; 15-30 days prior to start date there will be 50% refund less $50. Less than 15 days prior to start date there is no refund. Payment can be by check, cash or online as specified on registration and information materials. Refunds need to be request by from Cassidy Seminars, 866-992-9399 X105.

Deposits and Payment Plans

If you would like to make a deposit in the amount of $100 to reserve your spot, call Karen at R. Cassidy Seminars at 866-992-9399 X105 to make the deposit and set up payment plan.

Disability Access

If you require ADA accommodations please contact our office 30 days or more before the event. We cannot ensure accommodations without adequate prior notification.