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Manuela Mischke-Reeds

Trauma Sensitive and Somatically Savvy: Clinical Tools for Effective Trauma Treatment

24-25 February 2020 | Sydney

Workshop overview

Working with trauma clients is a challenge to the contemporary Clinician. The complexity of trauma symptoms coupled with systemic and intergenerational traumas requires a multi-layered approach to treating trauma successfully. The contemporary therapist understands that trauma is interconnected, rooted in psychobiological changes and has lasting impact on the body’s health and mental well-being. Talk therapy is limited when treating trauma symptoms. The body has memories of trauma that can only be understood through the language of the soma itself. Clinicians need to learn to be savvy learning the silent language of the body to fully comprehend what the trauma experience truly is for our clients.

This workshop looks at trauma sensitive interventions and the key somatic tools that will help both the client and therapists to work effectively. The focus in not just on the trauma techniques for the clients but how the therapist stays in their therapists “seat” to be grounded, self-regulated and emotionally well, while working with trauma states in the client.

There is no such thing as an isolated trauma, trauma effects all of us. It impacts all relations to self and others and our bodies

Trauma activates the body’s nervous system and creates dysregulated emotional states as well as body symptoms that can be debilitating for the client. The “trauma activations” that are experienced by the clients can range from subtle aggression to violence, from emotional withdrawal to self-sabotage. These dysregulated emotional states need to be understood from a various angles: how the body and nervous system has been changed through trauma, how unhealed trauma will continue to inflict harm on self and others, how trauma is an “illness” of the heart, mind and body and that trauma of the individual is not separate from community trauma. And most importantly: how trauma is experienced in the body and thus needs to be treated including the somatic experience of client as well as the health care practitioner.

Trauma is not an isolated phenomena of the individual. The systemic, historic and repetitive traumas create psycho-physiological effects on the individual, family and community. Trauma experiences that are not healed become “contagions” for any caretaker. This often is not recognized and can result in lower job satisfaction, emotional burnout and compassion fatigue.

Somatic Psychotherapy tools are a powerful and direct route into the clients present moment experience. Through the “soma” the client gains, confidence, control as well as a way to process traumatic memories in a safe way. This workshop highlights key techniques, sets a frame of how to looks at trauma from a somatic perspective and places the intricate healing relationship between client, therapist and the bodies wisdom at the center. Becoming somatically savvy means adding to any existing therapeutic framework and clinical repertoire.

Counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, nurses, somatic psychotherapists, addiction counsellors, couple an family therapists, case managers and other mental health professionals working with traumatised clients.

  • Becoming trauma sensitive from a somatic perspective
  • Identify common trauma arousal patterns in clients
  • Realize the variety of trauma clients and their emotional impact of staff
  • Recognize vicarious trauma symptoms in professional self
  • Removing the stigma of what it means to suffer from vicarious trauma, burn out and compassion fatigue towards an integrative model of mental health
  • Learn concrete somatic awareness techniques for stress regulations
  • Apply on the job mindfulness and somatic practices to keep calm and emotionally grounded in difficult work situations
  • Build on existing inner somatic resources for emotional wellbeing
  • Understand trauma as a psychobiological phenomena that is interconnected between all human beings and is not defined to a job description
  • Explore experiential somatic techniques that can be applied to any existing therapy technique
  • Understand the importance of self-care when working with trauma populations

A PDF of the the detailed workshop program can be downloaded here.

Manuela Mischke-Reeds, MA, MFT has been practicing and teaching for the past 25 years. Manuela is a licensed Somatic Psychotherapist, International teacher of Somatic Psychology, Writer, Consultant and Meditation teacher. She is training health professionals in California, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Europe and China. She co-directs and teaches at the Hakomi Institute of California and Sydney that hosts her Trauma training: “From Trauma to Dharma”. This training integrates current Neuroscience of Trauma Theory, Somatic and Mindfulness-based Interventions with Dharmic Teachings and embodied Meditation Practices.

Manuela lectures, consults and trains professionals in somatic psychotherapy, embodied mindfulness, attachment, trauma, and movement therapy at Conferences, Clinical Agencies, and Universities. She has counseled victims of political torture, veterans, first responders and other trauma victims of extreme trauma. In her work she focuses on how we can live from a deep place of knowing in own bodies. She believes that every person can access their own inherent body health and wisdom despite any stressors, traumas of the past. She maintains a private psychotherapy practice for individuals and couples in Menlo Park, CA.

Manuela’s Publications:

Somatic Psychotherapy Toolbox. 125 Worksheets and Exercises to treat Trauma and Stress. PESI, (2018)

8 Keys to Practicing Mindfulness. Practical strategies for emotional Health and Wellbeing, published by W.W. Norton. (2015).

Hakomi Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapy. W.W. Norton (2015)

The Role of Trauma in Community health: A somatic Perspective. Community Mental Health Practice. Praeger Handbook. (2013)

StandardEnds 24 February 2020
$495 full | $345 concession

The workshop fee includes entrance to the workshop for the two days, a certificate of attendance, and a printed copy of the PowerPoint slides.

All individual registrations are online and payment is by credit card. Please click on the ‘Register now’ button above. A confirmation email will be sent to you automatically.

Sydney Mechanics School of Arts
Mitchell Theatre, First Floor
280 Pitt St
Sydney NSW Australia

Town Hall and Museum Stations are the closest. It is only a couple of blocks walking.

Please check Sydney Transport for the best bus routes.

The closest cheap parking station is Secure Goulburn Street. Please google for other options.

9.30am-5pm | Registrations open at 9am

Break morning: 10.45-11.15am
Break lunch: 12.45-1.45pm
Break afternoon: 3.15-3.45pm

A certificate will be emailed after the event to attendees who signed the attendance sheet.

CPD hours = 10

This workshop adheres to the continuing professional development standards of most professional bodies. Please check the CPD policy of your professional body.

CPD Endorsements

The AASW Endorsed CPD logo is a trade mark of the Australian Association of Social Workers Ltd used under licence. The AASW is not responsible for the course content.

Payment of the registration fee is online by credit card and a receipt/confirmation will be automatically emailed to you. Please bring your receipt to the seminar for proof of registration in case it is needed. An administration fee of $50 applies to all cancellations made more than one month before the event. Registration once paid cannot be cancelled one month or less before the event, regardless of personal circumstances. Registration can be transferred to another delegate only if STARTTS is informed of the name change. The concession price is for full-time students and pensioners only and a photocopy or pdf of a valid concession card must be forwarded to the STARTTS training team upon registration. Online registration is not available for the group price (please fill out the form). Group price is for groups of 5 or more people; must be paid together in one payment; the details of each person in the group must be filled out on the registration form. Registrations will not be confirmed until full payment is received, and full payment must be finalised before the deadline to receive the early bird price and before the start of the event to be allowed to attend. The closing dates for registrations are final and non-negotiable. The STARTTS Training Team can be contacted at or (02) 9646 6700.

Phone: (02) 9646 6700  Ask for the Training Administration Officer

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