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Touch & Movement in Trauma Therapy

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Linda Curran, BCPC, LPC, CAC-D, CCDPD, EMDR-C |  Betsy Polatin, MFA, SEP
8 Hours
Jul 12, 2018
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DVD - Also available: Digital Recordings


When you think about your most traumatized clients, do you ask yourself “why are my clients stuck?” or “why aren’t they getting better?”

Trauma affects the mind, brain and body. Successful therapy requires interventions that address all three - interventions that heal the autonomic nervous system and those that address the body and internal organs as well.  How many of these are you using with your clients?

Join movement specialist and author of The Actor’s Secret, Betsy Polatin MFA, SEP, and trauma specialist Linda Curran BCPC, LPC, CACD, CCDPD, and learn to address trauma in a bottom-up fashion.  You will gain techniques and resources that address sensory, motoric and somatic issues and encourage clients to turn their attention towards the internal sensations of position and movement, bodily pain, and sensing one’s internal state. You will be able to implement sensorimotor and somatic interventions, including those adapted from the Alexander Technique and the Feldenkrais Method, Gestalt therapy, Yoga, sensory integration methods, therapeutic touch and breathwork.

This workshop teaches a plethora of relatively simple, yet theoretically sound, body-based techniques for healing simple, complex, and developmental trauma.

Are you ready to take your trauma intervention toolbox to the next level? Register today and start on your journey to more positive outcomes for your most traumatized clients.



This online program is worth 8 hours CPD.



Linda Curran, BCPC, LPC, CAC-D, CCDPD, EMDR-C's Profile

Linda Curran, BCPC, LPC, CAC-D, CCDPD, EMDR-C Related seminars and products

Linda A. Curran, BCPC, LPC, CAC-D, CCDPD, EMDR-C, Sought after national trainer, best-selling author and film producer, Linda has trained thousands of mental health clinicians across the country on trauma treatment. She is President of Integrative Trauma Treatment, LLC, in Havertown, PA. With advanced degrees in both clinical psychology and public health, Linda is a Board Certified, Licensed Professional Counselor; Certified Addiction Counselor Diplomate; Certified Co-Occurring Professional Diplomate; Certified Gestalt Therapist; Certified Neurofeedback Practitioner; Certified Hypnotherapist; and Level II EMDR Practitioner.

International speaker on the treatment of trauma, author of both Trauma Competency: A Clinicians Guide and 101 Trauma-Informed Interventions, Linda has developed, produced, and presents multi-media workshops on all aspects of psychological trauma. Her latest projects include the completion of (an extensive trauma resource for clinicians and clients alike), along with nine completed video projects for The Master Clinician Series. Linda continues to advocate for accessible, coherent, integrative trauma treatment for all those affected by trauma.


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Linda Curran maintains a private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Linda Curran is an advisory board member for International Association of Trauma Professionals. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and the Association for Advancement of Gestalt Therapy.


Betsy Polatin, MFA, SEP's Profile

Betsy Polatin, MFA, SEP Related seminars and products

An internationally-recognized breathing/movement specialist and best-selling author, Betsy Polatin, MFA, SEP, has been teaching for more than forty years and is currently a master lecturer at Boston University's College of Fine Arts. Her background includes meditation, trauma resolution, and the broader healing arts. Her work is greatly influenced by the teachings of spiritual and Meditation Masters. Betsy leads international trainings where she presents her unique and revolutionary fusion of ideas: scientific knowledge combined with ancient wisdom and intuitive human creativity. Teaching experience includes: Touch and Movement in Trauma Therapy, Kripalu, The Embodiment Conference, Psychotherapy Networker, Performing Arts Medicine Association, U.S. Association for Body Psychotherapy, Science and Nonduality Conferences, and International Trauma and Yoga Conferences in the US and abroad. Since 2016, she has been co-teaching ongoing traveling workshops, themed "Trauma and the Performing Artist" and "Trauma in the Public Eye," with Peter A. Levine, PhD. She teaches Returning to Ourselves, the Wisdom of Trauma, with Dr. Gabor Maté. Betsy is the author of HUMANUAL, an Epic Journey to your Expanded Self and The Actor's Secret. As a well-known educator, she has published numerous articles in the Huffington Post. She maintains a private practice online internationally. Please visit:

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Betsy Polatin is a master lecturer at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts. She is an author and receives royalties.
Non-financial: Betsy Polatin has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


  • Compare and contrast talk therapy’s top-down strategies with somatic therapy’s bottom-up processing and it’s treatment implications. 
  • Distinguish between the sensorimotor aspect of trauma and the cognitive distortions that arise from them in relation to assessment and treatment planning.
  • Explain the ‘Window of Tolerance’ and Porges’ Polyvagal Theory as it relates to symptom management.
  • Consider the importance of attention to both interception and exteroception in Polatin’s 50/50 Awareness intervention as it relates to clinical treatment.
  • Illustrate how how mindfully standing, walking, or having a client balance on one foot addresses issues that traumatized people have with proprioception.
  • Point out how a body scan (or mindfully attending to bodily sensations) addresses issues that traumatized people have with interoception.
  • Implement two interventions to assist clients in “staying present” to their interoceptive and proprioceptive experiences.
  • Demonstrate at least one intervention drawn from either Feldenkrais or Alexander techniques to improve treatment outcomes. 
  • Instruct client in the theory and practice of the “Reset Breath” for symptom management.
  • Explain the necessity of both Titration and Pendulation in Levine’s Somatic Experiencing for managing trauma symptoms.
  • Summarize the arguments for and against the judicious use of touch in trauma therapy.


Introduction to Betsy Polatin & Performance Training
Do Our Intentions Match the Results?
Entrenched Patterns
Performance & Trauma
Somatic Experiencing

  • Allowing Our Bodies to Complete a Response
  • Understanding Our Patterns
  • Letting Go of a “Character”

The Actor’s Secret: A New Approach to Performance Training
The Alexander Technique

  • The Importance of Support

Breathing Coordination

  • 3 Dimensional Breathing

Somatic Experiencing

The Importance of Movement 
How Do We “Use” Ourselves 
Effort & Energy

  • Can You Do Less?
  • Toned But Not Tense

Client Demonstration

Touch & Movement
The Roles We Play
Changing Habitual Patterns through Touch & Movement

  • Internal Resources
  • External Resources

Experiential Exercise: “Resources” & Discussion

Trauma 101
“What Happened to You” vs. “What is Wrong With You”
Peter Levine’s View of Trauma
The Brain in the Palm of Your Hand (Dan Siegel)

  • Interpersonal Neurobiology

Overwhelm/Shutting Down
Gestalt Therapy

The Arousal Cycle
Experiential Exercise: “Startle Exercise” 

  • Reset Breath

Orienting: Betsy Polatin

  • Living in the Present vs. the Past
  • Experiential Exercise: “Orienting”
  • Orienting Demonstration
  • Differentiating

The Autonomic Nervous System: Linda Curran

  • Stephen Porges: Polyvagal Theory
    • Tend/Befriend
    • Fight/Fright/Freeze
    • Collapse (Dorsal Vagal Response)
  • The Levels of Physiological Arousal
  • Experiential Exercise: “Tracking”
    • Reptilian Brain (Sensations)
    • Limbic (Feelings)
    • Cognitive (Thinking)
    • Containment & Support
  • Tracking Demonstration

Stress Response

  • Stress Event/Reaction
  • Discharge Energy
  • Equilibrium/Baseline

Freeze Response

  • Sympathetic vs. Parasympathetic
  • Defense Cascade
  • Tonic Immobility
  • Robert Scaer M.D. Interview


  • Interpersonal Regulation
  • Self-Regulation

Experiential Exercise: Interoceptors & Discussion

Use of Self
“How” vs. “What” You Do
Definition of “Use”
Two Concepts

  • Support 
  • Suspension

Demonstration: “Support”
Wrap Up & Conclusion

Awareness through Movement Feldenkrais Method
Hands on Method
Awareness through Movement Lessons
Human Brains Organized Towards Efficiency, Healing, and Functional Organization
Trauma & Awareness through Movement 

  • Shift Self-Awareness in the Body
  • Effect on Nervous System

Experiential Exercise

Touch “When & Why” 
Harry Harlow Study

  • Neglect & Attachment
  • Importance of Touch

Touch & Resonance

  • Asking Permission Before Touching

Experiential Exercise: “Energetic Boundaries” & Discussion 

Two Types of Touch

  • Practitioner Hands on “to fix”
  • Non-Fixing Touch

3 Ways of Approaching Touch

  • Merging Touch
  • Barely Touching
  • Agency Touch

Experiential Exercise: “Hands On” & Discussion
Touch & Trauma Treatment

  • Support

Communication about Touch
Experiential Exercise: “Get a Pen” & Ethical Decision Making Worksheet & Explanation
How to Communicate When We Don’t Want to be Touched
How Essential Touch is to Our Well-Being

  • Skin Hunger


  • Letters to Body Workers Regarding Touch

Suspended From Above
Two Systems

  • Compression System (Building Blocks)
  • Suspension System (Expansion)

Body Alignment: Suspension System
Experiential Exercise: “Suspension” & Discussion

Review of Ethical Decision-Making Worksheet
Follow-up: Letter to Body Workers

Working with Flashbacks
Guided Imagery is the Opposite of Flashbacks
Experiential Exercise: Guided Imagery: “Lemon Experiment” & Discussion

Review of Suspension & Support
Carl Stough “Breathing Coordination”

  • Proper Breathing Requires Attention
  • Breathing Coordination Used to Reverse Emphysema

Different Models of Breathing

  • Diaphragm Breathing
  • Belly Breathing
  • 3 Dimensional Breathing 
    • Sideways
    • Up & Down
    • Front to Back

Experiential Exercise: “3 Dimensional Breathing” & Discussion

Collapsed vs. Empowered Stance
Experiential Exercise: “Collapsed vs. Empowered Stance”
Dual Awareness

  • Helping Clients be Aware of their Stance
  • Helping Clients be Aware of their Emotions

Autonomic Nervous System

  • Volitional Control


  • Goal: Become Embodied & Present

Mentor: Mary Lou Schack, Ph.D.
Problems Have a Traumatic Base
Experiential Psychotherapy Session with Dr. Schack
Processing the Session

  • Four Reactions to Trauma
    • Fight
    • Flight
    • Freeze
    • Find a Friend (Basic Human Instinct)
      • We’re Traumatized Because We Don’t Believe we Can Get Help

Awareness & Alexander Technique: Betsy Polatin
Experiential Exercise: “50/50 Awareness” 

  • 50% Awareness in on the Inside
  • 50% Awareness in on the Outside 

Experiential Exercise: “The Chair” with Betsy Polatin
Alexander Technique

  • Experiential Exercise: “Can I Do Less?” & Discussion
  • Knowing our Own Patterns
  • Being Able to Shift Your Patterns

Embodied Self: Linda Curran

More about Betsy Polatin’s Background

  • Dance
  • Vocal Coach
  • Movement, Trauma & Experience
  • Working with Peter Levine

Wrap Up & Conclusion
Relationships before Touch
The Language of Trauma is Sensor

Target Audience

  • Addiction Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

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