Boulder Psychotherapy Institute

Advanced Training in Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP)

An Experiential Psychodynamic Gestalt Approach   •   Boulder, Colorado

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The Challenging Client: Engaging the Body to Disrupt Entrenched Patterns - Postponed - See below

Pat Ogden
Friday, April 3 - Saturday, April 4



1. List three challenges of working somatically with clients who suffer from complex trauma.

2. Discuss ways of creating safety to explore the body.

3. Explain a benefit of self-touch interventions with traumatized clients.

4. Describe Janet's concept of "vehement emotions."

5. Discuss the relationship between the width of the client's window of tolerance and expressing strong emotions.

6. Explain the importance of understanding the client's sociopolitical and sociocultural realities in addressing complex trauma.

7. Discuss the different goals of actions systems of daily life and action systems of defense.

8. Describe the use of "parts" language and interventions to help clients overcome entrenched patterns.

9. Explain the risk of overriding parts of the self when working with posture and movement.

10. Explain the benefit of therapeutic enactments in clinical practice.

Notice: This workshop was scheduled for April 3-4, 2020. We are postponing it because of the threat of a world-wide pandemic from coronavirus. It is still possible to register and put yourself on the WaitList if you'd like to receive updates on when it will be rescheduled. The workshop is co-sponsored by Boulder Psychotherapy Institute (BPI) and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute (SPI).

The Workshop: Traumatic events and attachment failures can become the central defining experiences that form the identities, shape the relationships and largely determine the lives of many survivors. Established early on for those with complex trauma, patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting designed to navigate an unsafe, threatening world are solidified with repetitive use, and become harder and harder to modify as time goes on. Often described as "intractable," "resistant," "hard-to-treat," "stuck," and even "impossible," these clients feel powerless, often become victims again and again, tend to blame themselves or what happened to them for their misery, and sink further into hopeless despair when therapy fails to help.

These maladaptive patterns are held in place by automatic, non-conscious physical and physiological habits and working directly with the body can loosen their grip. But therapists are often concerned that their clients are too destabilized, dissociative, body phobic, low functioning, or otherwise challenged to benefit from body psychotherapy.  Therapists themselves might feel ill at ease asking clients to be aware of their bodies, change their posture, or explore movement. And so-called "difficult" or "impossible" clients may find somatic interventions triggering, anxiety provoking, shameful, unappealing, or a waste of time. However, these clients may be exactly the ones who stand to gain the most from a somatic approach. A major advantage of a body-oriented approach, in addition to bypassing explanations and rationalizations, lies in the fact that physiological, movement and postural patterns are tangible and can be directly and objectively observed, addressed, and changed in clinical practice.

In this workshop, participants will learn practical, easy to implement interventions from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy designed to catalyze change in "resistant" and otherwise "difficult" clients with chronic entrenched patterns, including those with dissociative disorders, addictions, self-harm, repeated hospitalizations, alexithymia, prolonged grief, feelings of self-loathing and worthlessness, and emotional stuckness. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy will be illustrated through video excerpts of consultation sessions and brief experiential exercises. Participants will walk away with a new perspective on how simple techniques that target the body can throw open the door to change even for the most entrenched clients.

When: Friday and Saturday, April 3-4, 2020

Where:: Community United Church of Christ
2640 Table Mesa Drive
Boulder, CO 80305

Time: Friday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (Morning Break: 11:00-11:15; Lunch Break: 1:00-2:30) & Saturday 9:00 am to 1:15 pm (Morning Break 11-11:15)

Cost: $350 (10 CE credit hours available)

All SPI graduates are invited to lunch on Saturday, and then to meet together with Pat. The afternoon can be whatever we want--Q and A, case discussion, consultation, brainstorm, or even practice exercises if the group wishes.

Contact Conference Organizers, Betty Cannon & Reed Lindberg, at 303 494 0393 or 720 635 4428 if you have questions.

The Workshop Leader: Pat Ogden, PhD, is a pioneer in somatic psychology and the Founder of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute (SPI), an internationally recognized school specializing in somatic-cognitive approaches for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and attachment disturbances. SPI trainers conduct Sensorimotor Psychotherapy trainings of over 400 hours for mental health professionals throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Dr. Ogden is co-founder of the Hakomi Institute, past faculty of Naropa University (1985-2005), a clinician, consultant, and sought after international lecturer. She is the first author of two groundbreaking books: Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment (2015), both published in the Interpersonal Neurobiology Series of W. W. Norton. Her current interests include writing and developing trainings in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for children, adolescents and families, Embedded Relational Mindfulness, culture and diversity, couple therapy, challenging clients, and the relational nature of shame.

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1140 Lehigh Street, Boulder, Colorado 80305  •  303 494 0393

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