Full Course Description

Trauma: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness with Peter Levine, Ph.D.

Program Information

Target Audience

Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Therapists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Addiction Counselors, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Case Managers, Nurses, School Psychologists, Other Helping Professionals


  1. Articulate the four major developmental stages that increase vulnerability to trauma and how to recognize them in your clients.
  2. Determine the naturalistic mechanics of trauma and survival responses of flight, fight, freeze and collapse as it relates to clinical treatment.
  3. Discover the evolutionary underpinnings of trauma and the Polyvagal theory and their clinical implications.
  4. Demonstrate the importance of “Bottom-up” processing versus “Top Down” processing to improve treatment outcomes.
  5. Summarize the process of how overwhelming stress leads to somatic and emotional syndromes in clients.
  6. Incorporate Dr. Levine’s simple containment tools in order to more effectively engage your client in trauma therapy.


  1. Child Development: The Signs of Trauma in Each Developmental Period:
    1. Pre-Natal
      1. Hormonal interactions between mother and child
      2. Birth Stress
    2. Year One
      1. Safety, affection and containment
      2. Proprioceptive development
    3. The Dopamine System
      1. The space to explore one’s effect on the world
      2. The formation of a self that is different from Mom and Dad
      3. Testing boundaries
    4. Age 3-5
      1. The Biology and balance of shame
      2. The importance of shame in society
      3. The signs of overshaming
      4. The signs of undershaming
    5. The initial forays into sexuality
      1. The importance of flirting
      2. How these sames stages replay themselves out in later life
  2. The Naturalistic Mechanisms of Trauma
    1. Understanding our primary survival tactics and how they play out in the body: Flight, fight, freeze and collapse
    2. 500 million years of evolution: Our Polyvagal underpinnings
      1. How the Dorsal Vagal System is related to shutdown and collapse
      2. Fight or flight: Sympathetic/adrenal
      3. System mobilization, Returning to the our Mammalian birthright: The Ventral vagal system and social engagement
    3. How we get “stuck”
      1. Tonic immobility - The fallback to freeze
      2. Freeze couples with Fear
        1. Dissociation
        2. Bracing and terror
        3. Euphoric dissociaton
      3. Collapse
    4. Somatic and emotional - syndromes and complexes
      1. Emotional - anxiety, depression
      2. Somatic - chronic pain, fibromyalgia
      3. Autonomic - migraines, irritable bowel
  3. Resolving Traumatic Reactions
    1. The importance of “Bottom-Up” processing
      1. The Paul MacLean’s Triune Brain- In an Unspoken Voice
    2. Somatic Experiencing©
      1. Renegotiation vs. Reliving.
        1. Restoration of self-regulation
        2. Trauma isn’t about the event, but the body’s inability to process and integrate the nervous system charge
        3. The importance of developing a felt sense
    3. The nine basic stages of trauma treatment
      1. Containment of strong sensation and emotion
      2. Pendulation - The dual opposites of sensation
      3. Titration - going gradually
      4. Completion
        1. Renegotiation of active for passive responses
      5. Allow things to settle: Self-Paced termination
    4. Simple exercises that you can use in your practice
  4. Spirituality and Trauma
    1. Trauma as one of the 4 avenues to enlightment
      1. Lessons from the Kundalini
      2. A feeling of “okayness”, wholeness and trust in the world
        1. And other side effects of effective trauma treatment
      3. The importance of maintaining balance in one’s life

Copyright : 10/09/2015

In Session — Resolving Trauma in Psychotherapy: A Somatic Approach


  1. Introduction: Peter Levine’s Approach to Trauma Resolution
  2. The 9 Building Blocks
    1. Create an Environment of Relative Safety
    2. Support initial exploration and comfort with bodily sensations
    3. Pendulation
    4. Restore active defensive responses
    5. Titration
    6. Uncoupling fear from immobility
    7. Encouraging the discharge of energy
    8. Restore equilibrium and balance through self-regulation
    9. Reorient to the here-and-now
  3. Video Sessions with Ray
    1. Session 1
    2. Session 2
    3. Session 3
    4. Session 4
    5. Session 5
  4. Client reflections



• Analyze the nine building blocks of Somatic Experiencing®.
• Articulate techniques to establish a safe environment, orient the client to the here-and-now, and explore bodily sensations.
• Communicate the physiological basis of trauma.

• Articulate why unresolved trauma impacts the ability to interact on an emotional level.

Program Information

Target Audience

Addiction Counselors, Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Psychologists, Social Workers

Copyright : 01/01/2010