Somatic Work and
Somatic Work and Narrative Therapy Workshop
These trainings are for professionals who want to integrate somatic therapy approaches and interventions into their practice. Therapists are often challenged by clients who think one way but feel another and are confused and paralyzed by this experience. Further, clients are often unable to feel safe enough in conversations to focus on what is important to them. When clients have experienced trauma, therapists can learn how to invite them to talk about these experiences in a manner that is not re-traumatizing. Therapists can learn to invite clients to talk about their experiences of trauma in a manner which allows them to integrate, process and make meaning of the experience in a way that helps mitigate the problematic effects or symptoms of the trauma.
Combining somatic work and narrative therapy has proven to be a powerful way for therapists to support clients to address these issues so they can live how they want.
These workshops are for beginner and experienced therapists, community mental health workers, domestic violence workers, probation officers, addiction counsellors, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists.
These trainings will provide a reading list, videos, practice, and role play (role play is not included in the introduction workshop). For those taking the online training, there will be opportunities to connect with other participants on assignments between sessions.
This training has five components:
Therapists are trained to understand what safety means in the context of somatic work. Through experiential exercises, therapists learn how to gauge their own sense of safety. Human beings are constantly and unconsciously scanning for safety in their environment. Establishing a sense of safety for clients who have been traumatized is impaired by a heightened sense of threat that often manifests in hyper or hypo arousal. Therapists are trained to help clients regulate their nervous systems, giving them a sense of control and agency over their body and their mind.
2. Narrative Therapy
Our bodies have a lot to say about the experiences we have had. Therapists are trained in helping clients learn to pay attention to and be curious about sensations that occur when discussing past experience. In this approach the body is used as a means to help clients access their values, meaning, and stories they have about themselves and others that often exist outside of awareness. This process also addresses social injustice by challenging the harmful stories that affect people’s bodies and contribute to trauma symptoms.
There will be a particular focus in this approach on therapists co-regulating their nervous systems with their clients as a means of connecting with clients and creating safety. This somatic approach involves attending to issues of transference and countertransference.
Therapists learn to help clients regulate their own bodies in a manner that increases capacity for emotional bonding, building trust, and social connection.
4. Therapeutic Process
Therapists will learn how to create a process for using somatic approaches. Therapists will also learn how to explain somatic techniques to their clients and to utilize informed consent. This process involves assessing clients readiness to engage in traumatic processing through somatic approaches. Therapists will learn a range of skills for engaging clients in somatic work, including making accurate assessments about pacing the conversations.
5. Working with clients online and in-person
These trainings will demonstrate and help clinicians deepen skill and confidence in engaging somatic practices when working both online and in person.
Introduction to Somatic Work and Narrative Therapy Workshop
Online Training (Feb 21, 2024, 2-5 pm AST)
12 hour - In person intensive session:
In Person Training (April 24 & 25, 2024, 9 – 4 AST) (Halifax, NS)
Meet Our Instructors
Brock Caldwell, MA, RCT, CCC and Gillian Enright, MA, RCT-C, CCC, RMT, have decades of experience in practicing Somatic Work and Narrative Therapy with clients. Both have extensive work with mainstream populations as well with Indigenous and military communities. They have trained extensively in their work. In the workshop they will review and build upon the work of Stephen W. Porges, Deb Dana, Peter A. Levine, Dan Siegel, Bessel van der Kolk, Eugene T. Gendlin, Bruce H. Lipton, and Michael White.
3 hour introduction
12 hour intensive (in person)