Courses

Trauma Therapy: A Somatic Approach

About the Course

Trauma can stay with us long after a threat is gone. It can lodge itself into our felt experience and embed itself into our bodies and our minds. Even after years of talk therapy and medication, the effects of trauma can sometimes still linger. Fortunately, there is another way.

Trauma therapy from a somatic perspective invites us to reconnect with the oft-forgotten “felt sense” of the body.  Instead of working strictly from a talk-therapy approach, somatic psychotherapy uses the wisdom of the body to help guide a client out and through. In this course, Dr. Albert Wong will share the underlying principles of trauma therapy from a somatic perspective, including tools we can use with our clients, ourselves, and those we love. 

Students will learn to help clients resource, stabilize, process, metabolize and integrate experiences of trauma. Topics covered will include: the neurobiology of trauma, polyvagal theory, fractionation, full-octave experiencing, orienting, tracking sensation, the window of tolerance, the three phase and three boards models of trauma treatment, identifying and installing resources, polyvagal mapping, working with implicit memory, pendulation, dual awareness, assessing and regulating traumatic arousal, and stabilization. Additional attention will be given to understanding and treating dissociation and fragmentation, the neurobiology of trauma, and polyvagal approaches to treating trauma.

In this module, we will explore what happens when someone experiences trauma and lay out a general road map to how we can heal. We will also introduce basic somatic concepts and skills relevant to trauma treatment, including fractionation, full-octave experiencing, orienting, the “felt sense”, tracking sensation, resonance, the window of tolerance, and the three phase and three boards models of trauma treatment.
Prior to embarking on any treatment of trauma, it is important to identify and reliably install resources into the person’s experience. In this module, we demonstrate how to help clients identify and access resources from a range of perspectives, including Full-Octave, Attachment-based, and Polyvagal Approaches. We introduce the techniques of Polyvagal Resource Mapping and Attachment-based Bilateral Resource Installation. We also explore the neurobiology of trauma including polyvagal theory, and its implications for trauma treatment.
Our nervous system sometimes fools us into thinking that a past trauma is happening in the present. We cannot rely simply on explicit memories to understand trauma history, because many trauma memories are implicit, i.e., embedded in our nervous system, beneath the level of conscious awareness. In this module, we explore how to help clients rewire their nervous system’s response to trauma by working with implicit memory through titration, pendulation, dual awareness, assessing and regulating traumatic arousal, and stabilization.
When someone experiences trauma they frequently dissociate from their bodily experience and fragment from themselves. In this module, we review the Structural Dissociation model of trauma treatment, and how to help a person recover from a sense of inner fragmentation. In particular, we will learn how to help clients befriend their inner parts, repair their past, and restore their connection with their younger selves.

Students who take this course will:

  • How to work with trauma from a somatic perspective
  • Trauma’s impact on our nervous system
  • How the brain can create dissociative freeze state shut-down
  • Use of Polyvagal Mapping to help treat trauma
  • How to help clients release implicit memory embedded in the body and rewire their nervous system’s response to trauma
  • Why the nervous system tricks us into thinking trauma is happening in the present
  • How trauma derails the time-keeping part of the brain

About Albert Wong

Dr. Albert Wong is the Director of Somatic Psychology at JFK University and a leading clinician and educator in the field of somatics. A Marshall Scholar, he has longstanding interests in the intersection of somatics, psychotherapy, and scalable technology. He served as residential staff at the Esalen Institute for five years. He has been featured on PBS, in Time Magazine, and in the book The American Soul Rush. His work has been published in titles ranging from the scientific journal Biological Cybernetics to the book anthology Radical Spirit. He was educated at Princeton, Oxford, and the University of Tennessee and is the recipient of numerous national awards (Westinghouse Science Talent Scholarship, Goldwater Scholarship). He is the founder of the online somatic education platform, Somatopia and maintains a private counseling and consulting practice centered around somatic psychotherapy: www.dralbertwong.com

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  • Access to this course, plus…
  • Member Only Content
    Unlimited access to premium articles, special podcast series, and other member only content.
  • EPTV Streaming Video Service
    Access to EPTV Original Series and our video library of over 250+ hours of lectures, talks and workshops.
  • Wisdom School Courses
    Access to 60+ on-demand courses plus two new courses every month.