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Trauma sensitive and somatically savvy: clinical tools for effective trauma treatment

Event Details
Date: 24-25 Feb 2020
Venue: Sydney, NSW
CPD hrs: 11

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Organiser: STARTTS

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Working with trauma clients is a challenge to the contemporary Clinician. The complexity of trauma symptoms coupled with systemic and intergenerational traumas requires a multi-layered approach to treating trauma successfully. The contemporary therapist understands that trauma is interconnected, rooted in psychobiological changes and has lasting impact on the body’s health and mental well-being. Talk therapy is limited when treating trauma symptoms. The body has memories of trauma that can only be understood through the language of the soma itself. Clinicians need to learn to be savvy learning the silent language of the body to fully comprehend what the trauma experience truly is for our clients.

This workshop looks at trauma sensitive interventions and the key somatic tools that will help both the client and therapists to work effectively. The focus in not just on the trauma techniques for the clients but how the therapist stays in their therapists “seat” to be grounded, self-regulated and emotionally well, while working with trauma states in the client. Trauma activates the body’s nervous system and creates dysregulated emotional states as well as body symptoms that can be debilitating for the client. The “trauma activations” that are experienced by the clients can range from subtle aggression to violence, from emotional withdrawal to self-sabotage. These dysregulated emotional states need to be understood from a various angles: how the body and nervous system has been changed through trauma, how unhealed trauma will continue to inflict harm on self and others, how trauma is an “illness” of the heart, mind and body and that trauma of the individual is not separate from community trauma. And most importantly: how trauma is experienced in the body and thus needs to be treated including the somatic experience of client as well as the health care practitioner.

Trauma is not an isolated phenomena of the individual. The systemic, historic and repetitive traumas create psycho-physiological effects on the individual, family and community. Trauma experiences that are not healed become “contagions” for any caretaker. This often is not recognised and result in lower job satisfaction, emotional burnout and compassion fatigue.

Learning objectives

  • Becoming trauma sensitive from a somatic perspective
  • Identify common trauma arousal patterns in clients
  • Realise the variety of trauma clients and their emotional impact of staff
  • Recognise vicarious trauma symptoms in professional self
  • Removing the stigma of what it means to suffer from vicarious trauma, burn out and compassion fatigue towards an integrative model of mental health
  • Learn concrete somatic awareness techniques for stress regulations
  • Apply on the job mindfulness and somatic practices to keep calm and emotionally grounded in difficult work situations
  • Build on existing inner somatic resources for emotional wellbeing
  • Understand trauma as a psychobiological phenomena that is interconnected between all human beings and is not defined to a job description
  • Explore experiential somatic techniques that can be applied to any existing therapy technique
  • Understand the importance of self-care when working with trauma populations

Presenter details

Manuela Mischke-Reeds, MA, MFT has been practicing and teaching for the past 25 years. Manuela is a licensed Somatic Psychotherapist, International teacher of Somatic Psychology, Writer, Consultant and Meditation teacher. She is training health professionals in California, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Europe and China. She co-directs and teaches at the Hakomi Institute of California and Sydney that hosts her Trauma training: “From Trauma to Dharma”. This training integrates current Neuroscience of Trauma Theory, Somatic and Mindfulness-based Interventions with Dharmic Teachings and embodied Meditation Practices.

Location and date

NSW Teacher's Federation Conference Centre
Heritage Room
23-33 Mary St,
Surry Hills NSW 2010

24-25 February 2020


Early bird ends 13 December 2019
Concession: $315
Full fee: $465

Standard before 24 February 2020
Concession: $345
Full fee: $495



AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers