Trauma and the Body: Understanding the Neuroscience and Working Somatically



Presented and developed by Trip Quillman, ACSW


For three decades, the neuroscience of trauma has been pointing us to the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and right brain-based somatic approaches are increasingly proving effective. Especially the work of Schore, Porges, Panksepp, Levine, Stern, and Stanley is helping us to learn how to work with the autonomic nervous system and the intersubjective field.

Effective trauma therapists, in my view, are able to hold three interconnected lenses simultaneously while working with clients: body (ANS), personality (internal world), and intersubjective field (energy).  We will discuss the above vis a vis thinking in terms of three bodies: mental body, emotional body, and physical body.

When we talk about working with the body, we are talking about working with our bodies as well as our client’s.  We will, via didactic neuroscience and experiential dyads, think about the body as a receiver/transmitter and work with helping ourselves and each other to become more finely tuned instruments. In a way, everything we do is about helping our clients gain friendlier access: to their bodies, to us, to the terrified/shamed child within, to resources, to presence (vs. personality), to love (and hatred and shame and terror), to life.  We will assess and practice strategies for increasing BASE (embodiment).

We will also keep close by, Rumi’s, “You never need to seek for love, only for the obstacles you have built against it.”  From a right brain-based somatic therapy approach, the obstacles to love are the sensations, thoughts, and emotions in the body from which the client (and therapist) turn away again and again in attempts to avoid the overwhelm of sympathetic arousal (terror/rage) or parasympathetic shutdown (shame/dissociation).  We will be very respectful of the strategies (intelligence) we have all employed (often called defenses) in order to survive the challenges that come with being human.


Continuing Education (CE) Information


12 CEs

Cascadia Training is a NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider (Provider #: 6575.)   and by the Washington State Office of Public Instruction as a "Washington State Approved Clock Hour Offering Workshop.


Trip Quillman, ACSW


Trip Quillman is a clinical social worker in Everett, Washington and has been in private practice for 35 years.  In addition to seeing patients, he has run numerous consultation groups for psychotherapists, focusing on the neuroscience of trauma and working somatically.  He has conducted workshops on Borderline Personality and Projective Identification; Treating Borderline, Narcissistic and Schizoid Personality Disorders; Trauma and the Body.  Two of his papers have appeared in "The Journal of Clinical Work," on neuroscience and therapist self-disclosure and treating trauma through three interconnected lenses:  body, personality, and intersubjective space.


Upcoming Dates and Registration


Date: Thursday, October 25th, 2018
Time: 9:00am - 4:30pm
Note: This is a 2-day event:  Thursday, October 25th and Friday, October 26th

Cost: 278.00 USD

Campus: Nile Event Center, Nile Golf Course, Mount Lake Terrace, WA
Room:     Gold Room
Map:       Directions to our campus location.
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