Healing the Relational Matrix
Renegotiating Developmental and Relational Trauma
NeuroAffective Touch® (NATouch™) is a body-focused and neurologically informed therapy that uses somatic and body-centered approaches as vital psychobiological interventions. Designed to bridge the disciplines of psychotherapy and bodywork, the training integrates the key elements of developmental theory, relational psychotherapy, somatic psychology, and bodywork. By highlighting the primary role of the body and emphasizing its equal importance to the mind, NeuroAffective Touch® addresses emotional, relational, cognitive, and developmental deficits that cannot be reached by verbal means alone.
Sample the Training
Watch the video clips below to get a good impression of the scientific underpinnings of the NeuroAffective Touch® approach and the professional character of the training. CE Credits are available.
We address what to do when there are no words, when words are not enough, or when words get in the way. We transcend the limitations of talk therapy for healing core relational wounds. We explore how to proceed when clients suffer from nonverbal or preverbal distress reflected in their difficulty with:
- Experiencing themselves and knowing they exist
- Soothing themselves and developing self-regulation
- Identifying and communicating their needs
- Feeling trapped in negative states of self-judgment, shame, and guilt
When psychological identity is built on the shaky foundation of an early traumatized physiology, an integrated psychobiological approach is necessary
Bringing compassionate presence to the body is essential to address the neural numbing, muscular bracing, and autonomic disorganization that are the physiological correlates of grief, shame, anger, and fear.
In NeuroAffective Touch®, we use a variety of body-centered techniques to work bottom-up with implicit procedural behavior, posture, and movement, and top-down with trauma-based thoughts, beliefs, and identifications.
We transcend the limitations of talk therapy for healing core relational wounds.
Our emotions are experienced and processed in the body as well as in the mind
Therefore, healing from the emotional traumas sustained in relationships with parents and caregivers requires a body-mind approach. The mind must learn to decode the sensory language of emotionally shocked tissues, organs, and body systems. We believe that in its own way, the body’s intelligence is equal to the mind’s and we facilitate their collaborative partnership.
Our bodies tell the story of our struggles to love and be loved
For example, pressures on the cranial base and brain stem, respiratory diaphragm, heart, or digestive system reflect and maintain the emotional injuries of abandonment, neglect, abuse, and betrayal. Thus, the ability to address chronic emotional shock goes hand in hand with nurturing a dysregulated physiology. We use bodywork therapies to enable the release of fear and tension in the musculature and organs and cultivate the heart connection that supports post-traumatic growth.
The training addresses psychobiological development from conception to birth and through the identity-forming phases of separation and individuation. It connects the development of self-image and identity to the individuation of the body.
How Students are Impacted by the NeuroAffective Touch® Training
Talk & Bodywork
We are aware that psychotherapists who are new to body-centered work will probably not develop their expertise in working with the body as extensively as bodyworkers. Similarly, most bodyworkers will not develop their verbal and psychological skills as extensively as mental health practitioners.
Nonetheless, we believe that integrated healing requires skills in both talk and bodywork. This combined use of verbal skills and body-centered work is crucial to working with developmental issues because the developmental progression moves forward within the integrated growth of mind and body — thinking, feeling, and sensing develop as an interdependent unified whole.
Developing Personal Somatic Awareness
This training gives special attention to the personal somatic development of the practitioner. NATouch™ recognizes that to work with a client’s body, therapists must know their own. The training therefore includes a focus on personal psychobiological awareness to help practitioners develop an embodied presence that heightens their capacity for sensory attunement and resonance in their clinical work.
Bodyworkers and psychotherapists are encouraged to carefully define their training goals. Students are invited to work their edge and focus their practice time on building the particular skills they wish to develop. Faculty and teaching assistants are available to support each student’s learning needs.
Who Will Benefit
This training will be valuable to psychotherapists, psychologists, social workers, and pre-licensed interns and students in these fields, as well as to certified bodywork, massage, and somatic practitioners, addiction counselors, nurses, health practitioners, and coaches who wish to integrate body and mind in the resolution of emotional trauma and relational deficits.
Psychotherapists progressively build their confidence in integrating bodywork and body-focused interventions in their clinical practice. Practitioners who do not intend to use bodywork or touch with their clients learn to teach them interventions that connect and resource them in the body.
Bodyworkers expand their psychological skills. They learn to use body-mind collaborative languaging that cognitively integrates changes in bodily states.