Using Movement to Enhance Attachment and Healthy Embodiment in Trauma Survivors – Level II

The tools of dance/movement therapy can be especially useful when working with trauma survivors because they unify the body AND creativity as healing resources when words are not enough. This approach to the treatment of trauma uses dance/movement as the primary means of assessment and communication. Memories that may be too difficult to express verbally can be shared through dance/movement, while unconscious, dissociated feelings can be identified as they arise in the body which is not merely addressed in therapy but actually given a voice!

We will explore this process in trauma treatment through experiential, Sensori-Motor structures and discussion.  Focusing on the movement relationship between client and therapist we will practice interventions that can be used within the confines of a small office with both individuals and groups. Participants will learn to identify non-verbal indicators of attachment patterns and then explore movement strategies designed to repair social engagement.  We will experience, identify, and discuss common non-verbal defenses, strengthen our observation skills, and understand how to work with movement “tags.” We will apply dance/movement and mindfulness practices for affect regulation, decreasing hyper-arousal, and increasing a compassionate, non-judgmental understanding of emotional reactions. As these clients discover the body as a source of pleasure and self-knowledge they will begin to trust their bodies/minds.  This leads to an increased ability to trust others, establish safe boundaries, and engage in healthier relationships.  Please wear clothing and shoes that support ease of movement.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn 8 movement interventions to assist trauma survivors in regulating arousal and repairing social engagement.
  2. Participants will strengthen observation skills of non-verbal defenses.
  3. Participants will identify body-centered indicators of attachment patterns.
  4. Participants will learn body-centered tools for achieving the 4 stage process of healthy embodiment.
  5. Participants will learn Sensorimotor approaches to support interactive and self- regulation with trauma survivors.

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