A Touch Training for Trauma Practitioners: Psychotherapists, Physical Therapists, Bodyworkers, Physicians, Educators, Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists
Working to Help Clients Through Traumatic Stress, Chronic Pain, Relational Trauma
Basic BASE™ Training
Bodywork and Somatic Education™ (BASE™) is body-oriented approach that can be used by psychotherapists to help clients overcome the effects of trauma using movement and somatically-oriented interventions. 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), relaxed, fearful, anxious, aroused, etc. 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 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 without touch , “Listening Hands” touch skills and your ability to track the autonomic nervous system and change in the tissues, from constriction to flow, with and without touch. 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)
** 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
** 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
This training is considered intermediate level–for trauma practitioners who have prior clinical practice and/or education in psychotherapy and/or body therapies and trauma.
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 wandering nerve—the vagus: abdominal viscera, GI tract, breathing apparatus (heart, lungs and more)
BASE 2: Social Engagement and Orienting Structures
**Social Engagement and Orienting Structures
**Affecting Orienting and Social Engagement
**Systems beyond the vagus—Facial, Trigeminal, Accessory, Oculomotor, Eyes and Oral Elements
**Social engagement and bonding/attachment dynamics
**Posture and emotions—posture and self, containment, capacity, inhibiting distress, and body usage
**Fascia and Intrapersonal communication
BASE 3: Bones, Cranium, Concussions and PTSD, Posturetude
**What is a concussion
**Relationship between concussions and PTSD
**Using appropriate touch to reduce the effects of a concussion
**Bone: Working with Structure and a client’s history
**Posturetude, shame, joints and emotions
BASE 4: The Body and Relational Work
**Social Engagement Behaviors
**Eyes—Bonding/Distancing, Emotions and the Body
**Somatic Couples Work, Working with Couples, Attachment and Bonding
**Somatic Tools for Sensory Motor Renegotiation
***The BASE™ training consists of 4 modules. For students who want a certificate of completion for the entire training and to become a BASE™ practitioner 4 consultations (group or individual) with Dave and 4 personal experiential sessions in addition to the 4 modules are required and are an additional expense.
Video Streaming — Only one module by video streaming (available soon) can be applied toward the training requirements. If one module is completed by video an additional 2 consultations with Dave and 1 personal BASE™ session are required for completion of the training requirements. Video streaming will be available for 3 months from the date the link is sent. There are no ce’s with video streaming.
Concussions and PTSD
A concussion is the result of a sudden physical assault to the skull and brain from trauma experiences such as abuse, accidents and sports. The rapidity can inhibit or yield inefficient normal protective responses that might prevent the physical assault. The inhibition is often caused by a sudden shock state or tonic immobility that is also seen in, and results in PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD and Post Concussive Syndrome (PCS) include cognitive disturbances, behavioral changes and relational disruptions. These, in turn, can lead to occupational, educational and activity of daily living problems. These symptoms can result from or exacerbate already existing challenges including domestic violence, military culture, leisure activities and occupational requirements.
When confronted with a physical threat such as can occur in domestic violence, motor vehicle accidents, sports and military activities we can go into flight, fight or freeze. Freeze, or tonic immobility can result in PTSD.
Understanding the anatomy of the cranium, including the brain and its protective coverings gives us a basis for understanding the physical effects of a concussion on the brain. Polyvagal Theory gives a basis for understanding what happens neurologically and behaviorally that contributes to PTSD. This is a major contributor to cognitive and behavioral disturbances.
Clients and patients who have concurrent PTSD and PCS may need a team of practitioners in mental health and physical/medical health care. There may be some overlap that supports team work and it is important all practitioners have some idea of what each other does. The re-integration of cognitive health and autonomic regulation helps a client return to work re-engage in leisure activities and be more resilient in relationships.
The workshop includes lecture, experiential exercises, demo’s and practice time.
Main Points of this workshop include:
- Recognize similarities and differences between post concussive symptoms and PTSD
- Learn strategies and interventions to treat Post Concussive trauma and PTSD
- Therapeutic Attunement
- Clinically and ethically appropriate use of touch
- Polyvagal theory and clinical application related to concussions
- Bodywork/touch as a relational process
1-What is a Concussion: Causes and Symptoms
2-What is PTSD: Causes and Symptoms
3-Survival Response Options
4-Basic Anatomy of the Cranium
5-Polyvagal Theory, the autonomic nervous system and behavior
1-Boundary/kinesphere Rupture and Repair
2-Re-establishing vagal tone and balance using awareness and mindfulness techniques of the autonomic nervous system
1-Therapist/Client Relationship that supports relaxation and reduction of PTSD and PCS symptoms
3-Relaxation, Cognitive and other mindfulness strategies for improving autonomic regulation
4-Understanding the roles medical/physical health practitioners
5-More strategies for improving autonomic regulation and behavioral stabilization mindfulness techniques
6-Emotional and cranial balance with basic physiology understanding of health in skull/brain and how that is effected by brain injury with cognitive, relational, psychoeducational & awareness/mindfulness techniques
1-Motor reflexes, concussions and PTSD
2-Using sensory motor tools and sounds to help with stabilization
Relational Development, Rupture and Repair: A Somatic Developmental Approach
Developed and taught by Dave Berger, MFT, PT, LCMHC, SEP, MA and Abi Blakeslee, MFT, SEP, PhD
In this workshop we will explore the neurophysiological and somatic underpinnings of healthy relationship and how to support and educate clients using an experiential model of learning. This workshop is a stand-alone workshop that will give you specific tools to be able to guide a shift in the somatic and psychological structure of an individual and then the relational field. For those of you who have been looking for somatically oriented ways to work with infants, couples, families, adult attachment, and systems this short but effective training will greatly enhance your practice.
How we communicate and receive others is learned during our first attachment experiences with our primary care takes such as our parents and, perhaps, even prior to our own conception. Relational dynamics with friends, partners, colleagues, loved ones, adversaries and others all stem from these early connections and experiences.
Often, we have experienced and learned less than optimal verbal and non-verbal communication skills. These dynamics are software, not hard wired and, therefore, are changeable. In our workshop we will look at how early attachment and bonding experiences set the stage for communication and relationships early and later in life with the body and physiological states being the primary vehicles of communication.
By the end of this workshop students
1-Describe the physiology of self-regulation
2-Describe the development of self-regulation in infants
3-Identify five primary body structures of attachment and bonding
4-Demonstrate developmental movement associated with attachment and bonding
5-Understand natural cycles of relational rupture and repair
6-Describe and apply somatic repair interventions with classical attachment styles
7-Describe relational affect within the body
8-Practice embodied relational repair work with couples
Fertilization to Birth
History of Attachment
Physical Structures of Attachment
Touch—Basics of BASE
Eyes, Orienting, Gazing
Threat Response Cycle, Gottman and Tronick
Posturetudes—Soma and Feeling
Adult Attachment in Clinical Practice
Couples in Clinical Practice
Mirroring, Rupture and Re-do’s
CE’s and CEU’s for Basic BASE trainings and specialty workshops may include:
Bodyworkers: NCBTMB Provider #1023
Psychotherapists see below:These programs are co-sponsored by Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) for continuing education credit
This event is co-sponsored by R. Cassidy Seminars
Participants must have paid tuition fee, signed in, attended the entire seminar, completed an evaluation, and signed out in order to receive a certificate. Failure to sign in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available.
- Cassidy Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. R. Cassidy Seminars maintains responsibility for this program. 24 CE hours.
NY: R. Cassidy Seminars is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychoanalysts. #P-0005. (24) clock hours.
CA: The Board of Behavioral Sciences has deferred CE course approvals to APA and ASWB for its licensees. See those approvals under Psychologists and Social Workers
NY: R. Cassidy Seminars is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider (#0006) of continuing education for licensed social workers. This program is approved for 24 contact hours live.
OH: Provider approved by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board for (24) clock hours, #RCST110701
Counselors/Marriage and Family Therapists
CA: The Board of Behavioral Sciences has deferred CE course approvals to APA and ASWB for its licensees. See those approvals under Psychologists and Social Workers.
Other States: If your state is not specifically listed, nearly all state Counselor and MFT boards accept either APA or ASWB approval, or are reciprocal with other state licensing board approvals, such as those listed below. Check with your board to be sure. The Ohio Board includes Counselors and MFTs.
IL: Illinois Dept of Professional Regulation, Approved Continuing Education Sponsor, #168-000141. (24) hours.
NY-LMHCs: R. Cassidy Seminars is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board of Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0015. (24) contact hours.
NY-LMFTs: R. Cassidy Seminars is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board of Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists. #MFT-0011. (24) contact hours.
OH: Provider approved by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board for (24 ) clock hours, #RCST110701
TX: Approved CE Sponsor through the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists. 24 clock hours. Provider #151
Creative Arts Therapists
NY: R. Cassidy Seminars is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board of Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists. #CAT-0005. (24) contact hours
Chemical Dependency Counselors
CA Provider approved by CCAPP Provider #4N-00-434-0220 for (24) CEHs. CCAPP is an IC&RC member which has reciprocity with most ICRC member states.
TX: Provider approved by the TCBAP Standards Committee, Provider No. 1749-06, (24) hours general hours). Expires 3/31/2019. Complaints about provider or workshop content may be directed to the TCBAP Standards Committee, 1005 Congress Avenue, Ste. 460, Austin, Texas 78701, Fax Number (524) 476-7297.
TX: R. Cassidy Seminars is an approved provider with the Texas Education Agency CPE# 501456. This course is (24) CE Hours.
CA: Provider approved by the CA Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CeP24224, for (24) contact hours. Some state nursing boards are reciprocal. Check with your licensing board to be sure.
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.
Please Note: Licensing Boards change regulations often and while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling.
*For All BASE trainings and workshops: General Registration Information: Registration fees, dates and locations are listed on registration and information materials. 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. ce’s for mental health practitioners including MFT’s, social workers, counselors and psychologists are $40 through Cassidy. A link to your ce’s will be provided at the end or right after the training module.