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Healing the Body, Healing the Mind: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy in Treating Complex Trauma

Dr Janina Fisher, PhD

Held 15-16 August 2013


Seminar outline

Trauma leaves behind a host of easily re-activated somatic responses and an inadequate memory record. Through this lens of body-based responses, the traumatised individual makes meaning of all subsequent experience. This seminar covered recent neuroscience research that explains how traumatic experience becomes deeply embedded in both mind and body. Participants learnt how to assess and make sense of trauma-based symptoms and how to apply neurobiologically informed treatment techniques in clinical practice. Using a multimodal approach—integrating lecture, videotapes, and experiential exercises—participants were introduced to Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a simple body-centred talking therapy that addresses such trauma-related challenges as: dysregulated autonomic arousal, overwhelming affects and sensations, intrusive images and memories, impulsivity and acting out, dissociative phenomena, numbing and disconnection.


Comments from participants

“Janina imparts many valuable clinical skills and perspectives in her teaching; she is a warm, humorous and engaging speaker”

“Always a pleasure to be in the company of one of the world’s greatest therapists”


Dr Janina FisherJanina Fisher, Ph.D. is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and an Instructor at a Trauma Center in the USA, a clinic and research centre founded by Bessel van der Kolk. Known for her expertise as a clinician and presenter, she is Assistant Director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, past president of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation, an EMDR International Association Consultant, and former Instructor, Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Fisher has authored a number of articles on trauma treatment and lectures nationally and internationally on the integration of the neurobiological research and body-oriented psychotherapy into traditional therapeutic modalities.