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Tracking Emotions in the Body: Listening to the language of the tissues

A weekend workshop with Bruce Stark and Marianne Kennedy

"The mind had to be first about the body, or it could not have been"*

"… our very organism … is used as the ground reference for the constructions we make of the world around us and for the construction of the ever-present sense of subjectivity that is part and parcel of our experiences; … our most refined thoughts and best actions, our greatest joys and deepest sorrows, use the body as a yardstick."*
 *Antonio Damasio: Descartes' Error pxviii

SPIA is delighted to be able to offer this weekend workshop, which has been specifically developed for counsellors and psychotherapists.

Bruce practices as an Ortho-Bionomist (a subtle, non-invasive form of bodywork), and he brings a great depth of experience in observing and interacting directly with the body in therapeutic settings. He is highly sought after, both as a teacher and clinician, for his clarity, knowledge, great skill and sensitivity. Through exploration of the somatic experiences of both therapists and clients he has developed techniques to deepen and refine therapists’ observational skills and facilitate their understanding of what they are seeing, feeling and sensing, both physically and intuitively.  

Marianne has been working as a Somatic psychotherapist for over 20 years, and also has considerable experience in teaching psychotherapists and counselors about ways of accessing and working with somatic process. She will particularly focus on helping participants to relate their experiential learning to the psychotherapeutic context.

About the workshop

This is an experiential "hands-on" workshop, through which you will expand your ability to observe and identify somatic signals in yourself and others. It will increase your understanding of what you physically observe and implicitly "sense", and will deepen your capacity to see, respond and make appropriate use of these signals within the therapeutic process.

The weekend will include an experiential and theoretical overview of the qualities of expression and movement of different systems and structures in the body. You will have an opportunity to safely practice and explore your own resources for observing and facilitating presence and movement at a somatic level.

You can expect to:

  • Gain practical skills in recognizing the qualities and characteristics of the various tissues and structures of the body and their relationship to emotional states
  • Increase your capacity to consciously observe the presence of these qualities
  • Learn techniques for noticing and tracking somatic changes in both therapist and client
  • Explore ways of integrating these types of somatic awareness into the psychotherapeutic process
  • Consider the implications and value of these perceptions for the psychotherapeutic relationship

Who is this workshop for

This professional development workshop is for people who want to understand more about emotional processes and the body.

It will be of particular value to those who have training and clinical experience in psychotherapy or counselling and who wish to increase their understanding and skills in working with bodily experience.

It will provide an introduction to some aspects of somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapy for those who would like to know more about this approach.

The course will also be of benefit to those who wish to take it for their own personal interest and development.

Course numbers will be limited to enable in-depth exploration and practice.