Somatic Attachment Psychotherapy Two Year Training

 Lisa Mortimore, PhD with Stacy Adam Jensen, MEd
next cohort starts June 2023 – 5 spots left

About the Training

Early relational experiences forge a neurophysiological and psychological template of self, often creating insecure attachment which distorts the development of self, and impacts relational functioning throughout the lifespan. Corresponding affect management strategies and attachment patterns, accompanied by dysregulation of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), impact one’s self perceptions, world, and identity. This legacy of trauma deeply impacts the integrity of the self, creating a split between psyche, body, and spirit. Therapists are called to facilitate shifting of affect management strategies, attachment patterning, and support the maturation and development of complex right brain functioning to heal relational trauma, including insecure attachment, PTSD, and chronic shame, rather than merely working with symptom reduction. This SAP training responds to this call and offers an immersive educational experience to deepen embodiment and capacity as therapist.

Throughout the 6, 4-day clinics (24 days of training), we delve into the theoretical and conceptual understandings of: the interconnected realms of embodied and imaginal somatic and interpersonal/relational psychodynamic principles and practices; clinical understandings and application of attachment research, specifically from the Adult Attachment Interview; emergent neuroscience research; trauma studies; embodiment studies and practices, and; earth-based wisdoms. Materials are presented using interactive lecture, discussions, demonstrations, experiential exercises, and coached practice sessions where participants will have opportunities to embody the material into practice in a supported learning environment. Twelve group case consultations to further integrate the material into clinical practice are offered over the two-year training to further deepen practice, understanding, and integration.

This training requires a graduate degree in a mental health discipline. It is rigorous in both academic and experiential learning. Maximum 24 students.

Curriculum overview

Year One:
  • Increase embodiment, regulation and deepen therapeutic ways of knowing
  • Learn how to bring the body into clinical practice
  • Identify and understand different attachment patterning and life-span development
  • Understand attachment, its formation, clinical cues, and application of reparation of insecure attachment in embodied, relational clinical practice 
  • Create a living understanding that weaves together: attachment and attachment repair, trauma research, interpersonal neurobiology, affect regulation, psychodynamic relational practice, embodiment, and somatic processing
  • Understand conceptual frameworks of The Polyvagal Theory, window of arousal, and their intersection with attachment, regulation, and embodied, relational clinical practice
  • Recognize the physiological underpinnings of psychological presentations
  • Utilize somatic processing to metabolize and reorganize material
  • Engage with innate defensive and protective strategies that have been thwarted and immobilized by relational and incident trauma
  • Explore and apply right hemispheric processing (sensation, sensory motor, emotion, image/imagination, symbolic/archetypal) to work with organisation, regulation, and integration of material
  • Explore therapist attachment patterning and implications for practice
  • Explore the sentient world for attachment regulation, resource, and repair
Year Two:
  • Deepen understanding of insecure attachment and reparation of early attachment injuries through embodied, relational clinical practice
  • Work with disruption, regulation, and reorganization in service of evolving the internal systems, (the internal working models, the ANS, and relational capacity)
  • Explore saturation, vicarious traumatization, and somatic countertransference
  • Work with psychodynamic process, including clinical insights and self disclosure in the context of attachment repair
  • Recognize and work with patterns of dissociation, dissociative gaps, fragmentation, and survival self-care systems
  • Explore defenses and relational dynamics
  • Increase and expand understanding of shame, chronic shame, and how to work with ongoing shame dynamics
  • Explore rupture and repair dynamics in clinical practice
  • Examine collusion, recapitulations, breaches, enactments, and their repair in embodied, relational clinical practice
  • Apply a somatic, affect regulation, and trauma lens to addictions and mental health issues 
  • Work with traumatic incidents such as, medical trauma, motor vehicle collisions, and sexualized violence and understand the implications of these experiences when they intersect with insecure attachment
  • Contextualize and work with intergenerational trauma, wisdom, and teachings
  • Recognize the sophistication and nuance necessary for working with complex relational dynamics in embodied, relational clinical practice

What’s included

As part of the two-year SAP training, you will receive clinical materials to support your learning, including:

  • A digital copy of the power point training material and handout for each clinic
  • 26 hours of continuing education per module, 156 hours for the training
  • 12 group case consultations over the span of the training, between the clinics
  • Clinical readings for each clinic and in between each clinic
  • Extensive reference list to continue your learning journey
  • Feedback, coaching and mentorship from skilled facilitators during the clinics as you integrate the material into your practice
  • Certificate of completion for the Somatic Attachment Psychotherapy Training

Fees & Dates

$1,075 per clinic (6 clinics $6,450), includes GST

JUNE 2023 COHORT: June 8 – 11, 2023, September 28 – October 1st, 2023, February 1 – 4th, 2024, Year Two dates TBA

MARCH 2023 COHORT:  waitlist being taken, March 9 – 12, June 22 – 25, October 26 – 29, 2023, Year Two dates TBA

The BBP Facilitation Team

Bringing the Body into Practice offers an opportunity for select trained somatic attachment psychotherapists to embark on the parallel process of attending and assisting at trainings. As a member of the assisting team, facilitators support learners in integrating the material into clinical practice through experiential small group practices.

Each cohort has a dedicated team of facilitators to support the learning process and integration in the small group practices. We draw facilitators who have completed the two-year Somatic Attachment Psychotherapy training and are enrolled in, or have completed, the Advanced Practices SAP training when there is space on the teams.

Frequently Asked Questions

What credentials do I need for the workshops and trainings?

We require a graduate degree in a mental health discipline.

Can you tell me about the financial commitment for the two-year training?

Each clinic of the six clinics cost $1075, including gst- totalling $6450, people pay per clinic as we go. Payment plans are available.

Are the clinics available à la carte?

The clinics are not available individually as the training runs on a cohort model for the entirety of the program.

How long has BBP been teaching psychotherapists?
We started training therapists with workshops in 2006 and in 2016 we launched the first cohort of the 2 year Somatic Attachment Psychotherapy (SAP) Training. We are now registering for our ninth SAP cohort.