Discover new tools and methods of healing in the wake of trauma. Explore the latest research on trauma from some of the field’s leading professionals. Whether you’re a somatic professional, therapist, yoga teacher or researcher, join us to learn evidence-based strategies that will transform your personal or professional practice.
While the sources of trauma are by no means new, in recent years a range of literature and research has emerged on the science of trauma, responses to trauma, and the ways in which trauma can shape our somatic experience. From PTSD to addiction, from physical abuse to the cumulative effects of social injustice, our growing cultural sensitivity to the traces of trauma both individually and socially is a development to be celebrated.
Yoga, meditation and other contemplative practices are increasingly seen as resources and methods for healing, yet this potential places a new demand on teachers and community leaders to respond appropriately. Trauma incurs a ripple effect, through families, spiritual communities, and into society at large. As these effects are better understood, socially and scientifically, the need for a more nuanced vocabulary becomes vital. In addition, trauma awareness requires new techniques to help integrate this knowledge into the culture of yoga studios, spiritual organizations, and a variety of healing and therapeutic environments.
This online conference features the latest research on the science of trauma, topics in traumatology, as well as a range of perspectives on responding to trauma from therapists, researchers, doctors, scholars, and somatic and movement professionals.
Richard C. Miller
María Adelaida López
Julie K. Staples
Resilience & Wellbeing
The Trauma of Microaggressions
The Symptom as Teacher
Somatic Healing Techniques
Yoga & Trauma
Conceptions of the Body
The Unconditional Model
with Stephen Porges, an Interview with Jacob Kyle
with Richard C. Miller, Ph.D.
True healing reveals what it is about us that is already and always whole — that can never be broken, and never needs healing, fixing or changing. When we don’t experience our basic wholeness, no matter how much we heal our symptoms of trauma or disease, we will always feel that something’s still amiss. When we are able to recognize and embody our innate wholeness, we experience within ourselves an indestructible resource that provides a firm foundation from which we can accurately assess and address what is in need of healing in the body and mind. This presentation introduces tools for welcoming our essential wholeness, that enables us to navigate our most challenging circumstances throughout our lifetime.
with Rae Johnson, Ph.D., RSMT
The emergence of neuroscience-based trauma models has underscored the importance of recognizing and addressing the embodied imprint of trauma in our lives. Increasingly, these models have broadened their scope from single incident acute trauma to the more nuanced dimensions of complex developmental and relational trauma. Those of us who identify as (or work with) members of marginalized groups may not connect the symptoms of trauma with our (or our clients’) social experiences. In this talk we will explore how sexism, racism, ablism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression should rightly be understood as traumatic, and how to recognize the somatic impact of micro-aggressions – one of the most subtle yet damaging forms of oppression. Tools and strategies for working with this significant but often overlooked form of trauma will be offered, as well as practical suggestions for supporting social resilience in ourselves and others.
with Daniel Mintie, LCSW
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] is a mind/body illness diagnosed in military and civilian populations worldwide. It develops in the aftermath of many kinds of traumatic events including military combat, physical or sexual assault, and natural disaster. PTSD symptoms cluster into four separate categories: 1. recurrent distressing memories of the traumatic event, including nightmares and flashbacks; 2. avoidance of stimuli associated with the event, including physical environments, thoughts and emotions; 3. exaggerated negative beliefs and feelings about oneself, others and the world; and 4. a set of aversive physiologic states including hypervigilance, physical tension and disturbed sleep.
Mr. Mintie and his colleagues at Stanford, Harvard and Georgetown Universities developed an integrative PTSD treatment protocol that combines Kundalini Yoga, mindfulness practice and cognitive-behavioral therapy. The protocol addresses the physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions of the disorder. A Georgetown University research study found this protocol significantly reduced PTSD symptoms in all four symptom clusters. All gains were maintained at eight-week follow-up. This research suggests we can recover from PTSD – a mind/body disorder - by the skillful use our own bodies and minds.
Mr. Mintie presents six practical, evidence-based, easily learned tools to address the physical, psychological and spiritual aftereffects of trauma. Culled from ancient Eastern philosophy and cutting-edge Western mind-body medicine, these tools have helped thousands of men, women and children around the world reclaim the happiness, optimism and peace of body and mind that is each person’s birthright.
with Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.
In this class we will look at the different ways in which trauma can make itself known. We will learn how symptoms of imbalance such as addiction and eating disorders offer information about deeper patterns that can be responses to unrecognized trauma. We will explore how the methods of Depth Hypnosis follow symptoms somatically to their root causes – and learn how the catalytic processes in this model offer resolution of the symptoms by changing people’s relationship to them at their root. We will explore different hypnotherapeutic approaches including how the use of suggestion hypnosis and regression therapy can be combined with shamanic forms of healing such as soul retrieval and power retrieval to create a powerful engine for addressing trauma. We will also look at how forgotten, suppressed or repressed trauma can announce itself in dreams, plant medicine circles or seemingly anomalous encounters – and we will learn how to approach the interpretation of these events in order to understand the nature of the trauma and choose the right interventions to bring about its resolution. In all these cases, the presenting symptoms become teachers about our deeper experience – and we will learn how to recognize the keys to healing that lie at the heart of even the most difficult kinds of presentations.
with David Bullard, Ph.D.
“Emotionally we have many problems, but these problems are not actual problems; they are something created; they are problems pointed out by our self-centered ideas or views.” ―Shunryu Suzuki
In aspiring to Suzuki Roshi’s wisdom, we sometimes encounter memories of trauma that feel overwhelming. We can also be triggered into anxiety and anger when attempting sensitive conversations with those we love. This presentation will explore recent advances in our understandings of trauma and its treatment, including new therapeutic processes that involve no conscious experiencing of the traumatic memory.
Health care providers such as medical and hospital personnel serving and bearing witness to those suffering physically, emotionally and spiritually, can experience acute or chronic distress, and even vicarious and secondary trauma. We will address these issues with some new developments in the field of trauma therapy, modified into an easy, rapid visualization exercise: Blink-Flash Meditation. Participants will have the opportunity to experience this healing visualization process.
When traumatic memories are re-experienced as being in the past, we can more easily embrace Suzuki Roshi’s wish: “enjoy your problems,” and see that “the world is its own magic.”
with Julie K. Staples, Ph.D.
In this talk, Dr. Julie Staples will present the scientific research showing how yoga works to heal trauma symptoms. Trauma affects the entire body taking a toll on the immune system, the endocrine system, and the nervous system. Yoga and meditation have effects on the body and brain that can counteract these changes.
Dr. Staples will discuss the latest research studies using yoga and meditation for posttraumatic stress. She will describe the parts of the brain affected by trauma and present neuroimaging studies demonstrating how meditation can bring the brain back to a normal state. She will explain the concept of allostatic load and the stress response and how yoga can reduce allostatic load. Post-traumatic stress can also accelerate cellular aging and research will be presented on how yoga may help slow this process. Inflammation, the underlying cause of many disease states, is increased as a result of post-traumatic stress. Research will be shown demonstrating how yoga can reduce this inflammation. Because a primary trauma symptom is difficulty sleeping, Dr. Staples will also teach a Kundalini yoga meditation shown in a research study to significantly improve sleep quality.
with David Berceli, Ph.D.
New research in neuroscience postulates that tremoring after a traumatic/stressful life experience might help to reactivate the electrical and chemical discharge of the proprioceptors & motor neurons. This interruption of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) might be the cause of the primitive defense responses of freezing, dissociation and numbness.
It appears, as though shaking during stress, tension or trauma is as healthy and natural as shivering when we are cold. New medical science is re-interpreting this shaking as a healthy activation of the Parasympathetic Nervous System’s (PNS) down-regulation procedure, rather than a pathological expression of dysregulation , as formerly understood. Dr. Berceli will explain how the unique design and application of Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) is designed to activate this tremor mechanism that assists the human organism in both calming the nervous system and relaxing muscular physical tension in the body. In combination, this produces a healthy restoration of homeostasis.
This new cognitive understanding would result in a procedural change with patients exhibiting mild body tremors. The change would exclude anti-tremor medication as well as client education on how to self-induce this tremor response in a controlled and safe manner for the purpose of down-regulating the nervous system.
with Judith Blackstone, Ph.D.
Judith Blackstone will introduce the Realization Process and its approach to helping people heal from the effects of trauma. This approach is two-fold: it consists of spiritual embodiment practices and a unique method for releasing trauma-based constrictions from the body. The embodiment practices help deepen our contact with ourselves and our environment. They cultivate sensory and emotional resilience, grounding, self-possession, and self-acceptance. They also uncover the experience of our own nature as a fundamental ground of consciousness, pervading our body and environment as a unity. This fundamental aspect of ourselves has never been injured. It is deeper and more subtle than even the most strongly held negative beliefs, depression and anxiety. It also feels real, it feels like who we really are. For this reason, it is the basis of our authenticity, and our ability to be spontaneous and creative. Knowing ourselves as fundamental consciousness helps to heal attachment difficulties by providing our true boundaries. Because we experience it pervading our own body and other people at the same time, we can enjoy deep contact with other people without losing inward contact with ourselves.
Judith will describe how we constrict and fragment ourselves in reaction to trauma, and how we can utilize this subtle, fundamental consciousness to find the exact pathways of these constrictions, and release them. As this unbreakable ground, we open not into the daunting void of nothingness, but into our own underlying wholeness. We become more of ourselves as we transcend ourselves, as we become more open to the world around us. Fundamental consciousness is the spark of our true nature that is bound within our trauma-based constrictions, and that can lead us back to the unbound fullness of our being.
with Anneke Lucas
Anneke Lucas developed the Unconditional Model during a decade of service to survivors of extreme trauma, both as the founder and Executive Director of her non-profit organization Liberation Prison Yoga and in communities of survivors of sex trafficking and sexual abuse. The Model is based on an analysis of those people who were able to break through Anneke's own thick defense mechanism as a survivor of child sex trafficking. Certain people were able to make a difference, whereas healing modalities such as yoga or therapy were meaningless tools unless a heart connection was made with the provider. The Unconditional Model focuses on the first step of healing trauma and looks at external and interpersonal power dynamics as a way to uncover and heal from unresolved trauma. The Unconditional Model can be used by anyone in the process of healing from trauma and offers support for therapists, program providers and yoga instructors.
with Yasmin Lambat
Somatic Neuro Fascial Release are movements that unwind long held emotional patterns and repattern new neural pathways. In this lecture, Yasmin shares her number one Body Yawn technique to help unwind tension, calm the mind and reset the nervous system.
Body Yawn Therapy™ or Somatic Neuro Fascial Release is based on the principles that:
with Maria Adelaida Lopez and Natalia Quinones
Maria Lopez and Natalia Quiñones from Dunna talk about how mind-body practices can be used to heal the wounds of violence in a context as difficult as an armed conflict and the subsequent transition to peace. They discuss their research on yoga as adjunctive therapy for PTSD and complex trauma, and also share other benefits that they have scientifically documented such as reducing depression and anxiety, as well as increasing emotional regulation and social capital in the communities that are working with them. Maria and Natalia provide insight on how to adapt in creative ways to difficult contexts and getting different actors to support the path towards healing.
with Lisa Danylchuk
Yoga is becoming increasingly popular in mental health settings, and trauma-informed practices are making their way treatment centers, community programs, yoga studios, and beyond. As these practices gain popularity, providers eager to offer yoga often step into the work without a clear understanding of important theoretical and philosophical foundations. In this session, Lisa will share a foundational theory in trauma recovery and explore how yoga can respond to the needs of trauma survivors in studios, clinics, hospitals, and beyond. You’ll learn some of the different types of trauma, and common ways trauma manifests in the mind and body, as well as an important perspective to bring when beginning somatic work. This session will also explore how yoga philosophy fosters healing, and offer you a mantra to recite when you’re preparing a trauma-informed space for your students and clients. This session closes with suggestions to help you keep your trauma work sustainable.
Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium within the Kinsey Institute. He holds the position of Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He served as president of both the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He has published more than 300 peer reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines including anesthesiology, biomedical engineering, critical care medicine, ergonomics, exercise physiology, gerontology, neurology, neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, psychometrics, space medicine, and substance abuse. In 1994 he proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders. He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton, 2011), The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe, (Norton, 2017) and co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018). He is the creator of a patented music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol™, which currently is used by more than 1200 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement.
Richard C. Miller, Ph.D. clinical psychologist, author, researcher, yogic scholar, and spiritual teacher is founding president of the iRest Institute, co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, founding editor of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and past president of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology. Author of iRest Meditation: Restorative Practices for Health, Healing and Well Being, The iRest Program for Healing PTSD, and Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga, Richard serves as a consultant researching the meditation protocol he’s developed, Integrative Restoration – iRest, researching its efficacy on health, healing, and well-being with diverse populations including active-duty soldiers, veterans, survivors of human trafficking, youth, seniors, the homeless, and the incarcerated; with issues including PTSD, traumatic brain injury, pain, sleep disorders, and chemical dependency. Richard leads trainings and spiritual retreats internationally.
Rae Johnson, Ph.D., RSMT is a scholar/activist and registered somatic movement therapist who chairs the Somatic Studies in Depth Psychology doctoral program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. The author of several books – including Elemental Movement, Knowing in our Bones, and Embodied Social Justice – Rae teaches and trains internationally on embodied activism, somatic research methods, and the poetic body.
Daniel Mintie, LCSW is an integrative clinician, teacher and writer with 29 years experience healing PTSD. He is in private practice in Taos, New Mexico, USA and available for consultation globally via the world wide web. His 2018 book Reclaiming Life After Trauma presents an integrative, fast-acting and drug-free approach to healing PTSD. His new book Dharma Wheels: Zen, Motorcycling and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is forthcoming in April 2019. Mr. Mintie leads retreats and workshops throughout the world and teaches integrative medicine at universities and training centers worldwide.
Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. began, in the mid-nineties, developing Depth Hypnosis as she entered into clinical practice. Her studies, both in academia and in the field, of cultural and linguistic anthropology, comparative religion, and transpersonal psychology formed the basis of her approach with clients and students. As the body of work that grew out of her clinical practice became larger, she began teaching others so that more people could benefit from the techniques she had developed. In order to accommodate the number of classes that grew out of this process, she co-founded the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, which is now a school for consciousness studies in Berkeley, California, serving hundreds of students each year. Isa teaches and speaks nationally and internationally, and she has published numerous articles, podcast episodes, videos, and the books Return to the Great Mother and Coming to Peace. She maintains a private practice with institutions and individuals in Depth Hypnosis and Coming to Peace processes. Isa speaks five languages and has lived in eleven countries. She is the mother of two children and lives with her partner in San Francisco.
Yasmin Lambat is a Somatic trauma-informed therapist and Registered Somatic Movement Educator with ISMETA (www.ismeta.org). Placing the body at the heart of healing, she has been creating somatic practices that shift body physiology to repattern trauma pathways.
It was not always that way. Her early experience with the body began with a “nuts and bolts” approach to chronic pain. Correcting postural alignment or focusing on core strengthening exercises. Until she found herself being drawn to Somatic practices to find the link between pain and emotion, the body/mind connection and what makes us whole. So began the shift from posture to embodiment. Spending 15 years learning how to hold a healing space. Combining research from the Neuroscience of stress, pain and trauma, with Fascia the largest sensory network of the body. Creating BodySensing Therapies to regulate the nervous system. Using motion to heal motion.
Body Yawn Therapy™ is the most recent practice based on Pandiculation and other inner movement blueprints of the body to regulate the nervous system.
David Bullard, Ph.D. has enjoyed a private practice of individual psychotherapy and couples therapy in San Francisco for 40 years. He is a clinical professor in departments of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, where he consults with spiritual care services and outpatient palliative care staff. His work with trauma is informed by advanced training in EMDR and he is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner®. For psychotherapy.net, he has interviewed leading trauma therapists such as Bessel van der Kolk M.D. and Allan Schore, Ph.D.; psychedelic medicine pioneer researcher and clinician William (Bill) Richards, Ph.D.; psychotherapy researcher and UCSF Clinical Professor of Psychiatry George Silberschatz, Ph.D.; and Buddhist thinkers Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D., Robert Thurman, Ph.D., and Mark Epstein, M.D. In addition to his teaching at UCSF, David has done workshops at Tibet House US (New York City), San Francisco Zen Center, and in Israel and Brazil. His latest professional publication is the chapter “Sexual Problems” (co-authored with Christine Derzko, M.D.) in Behavioral Medicine: A Guide for Clinical Practice, 5th edition (in press; McGraw-Hill). He first encountered Zen through the writings of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and Alan Watts, and enjoys the poetry and wisdom of David Whyte.
Julie K. Staples, Ph.D. is the Research Director at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine and a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher. She has conducted research in mind-body medicine for traumatized populations worldwide for over 20 years. She has led studies in Kosovo, Gaza, Israel, Haiti, Iraq and Jordon with traumatized civilian adults, teenagers, and children. She has also conducted research with the military population at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System.
Dr. Staples is also Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University. She teaches online courses for yoga teachers, yoga therapists, and health professionals around the world on the science of yoga.
She is the author of the yoga chapter in the medical school textbook Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Her self-help book Reclaiming Life after Trauma teaches Kundalini yoga and cognitive behavioral therapy tools to heal trauma symptoms. She currently runs Integrative Trauma Recovery Program workshops and intensive retreats.
David Berceli, Ph.D. is an international author, presenter and trainer in the areas of trauma intervention, stress reduction, and resiliency development. He has lived and worked in numerous war-torn countries and natural disaster zones around the world. He specializes in trauma recovery with large populations i.e., military personnel, first responders, national and international relief agencies, and government and non-government organizations whose staff are living and working in trauma-inducing environments. He is the author of three books that have been translated into 17 languages. Currently he teaches trauma recovery and awareness in 60 countries and provides relief services through his non-profit organization to survivors of natural and human made disasters around the world. His academic career includes a degree in Social Work (PhD), Clinical Social Work (MA), Theology (MA), Middle Eastern Studies (MA). He is also trained as a Massage Therapist (MT), and Certified Bioenergetic Therapist (CBT). Visit www.traumaprevention.com.
Judith Blackstone, Ph.D. developed the Realization Process, a method of embodied psychological and relational healing and nondual spiritual awakening. She is the author of Trauma and the Unbound Body, Belonging Here, The Enlightenment Process, The Intimate Life, and The Empathic Ground. An audio series of the Realization Process is available from Sounds True. For information on Judith's teaching schedule, visit www.realizationprocess.org.
Anneke Lucas is an author, speaker, advocate for child sex trafficking victims and the founder of the non-profit organization Liberation Prison Yoga. Her work is based on personal experience overcoming obstacles on a 30-year journey to mental and physical health after surviving some of the worst atrocities known to humankind before the age of 12. Sold as a young child into a murderous pedophile network by her family, she was dramatically rescued after nearly six years of abuse and torture. Her healing through psychotherapy, writing, yoga and meditation are an inspiring testament to the resilience and boundless creative power of the human spirit, synthesized in her work and message for personal and global healing. Anneke is writing a book about the Unconditional Model and is represented by Sam Hyate at The Rights Factory.
María Adelaida López is the founder of Dunna and a political scientist at the Universidad de los Andes. She holds a masters in Cultural Sociology from the University of London, Goldsmiths College. She has extensive experience in the management of cultural and social projects in Colombia and abroad and has been a yoga practitioner for over 10 years.
Natalia Quinones is a philosopher (Summa Cum Laude, Universidad de los Andes), lawyer (Universidad del Rosario, LLM (NYU), and doctoral candidate at the University of Amsterdam. She has been involved in research projects with Universidad del Rosario, ICDT, ILADT, and the Norwegian Research Council.
Lisa Danylchuk, LMFT, E-RYT is a licensed psychotherapist and yoga teacher trainer specializing in bringing yoga into trauma treatment. A graduate of UCLA and Harvard University, Lisa is the founder of the Center for Yoga and Trauma Recovery in Oakland, CA, and creator the Yoga for Trauma (Y4T) Online Training Program. She has authored three books: Yoga for Trauma Recovery: Theory, Philosophy, and Practice (2019), Embodied Healing: Using Yoga to Recover from Trauma and Extreme Stress (2015), and How You Can Heal: A Strength Based Guide to Trauma Recovery (2017), and is a contributing editor for Best Practices for Yoga for Veterans, published by the Yoga Service Council. She also serves on the Board of Directors and the UN Task Force for the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, and was recently elected to serve as Secretary for the organization. A leader in the movement to incorporate yoga into trauma treatment, she has trained yoga and mental health professionals around the world, and presents her work internationally. Lisa lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. When she’s not writing or traveling, you’ll likely find her climbing mountains and running trails in nearby parks.
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