NeuroAffective Touch

NeuroAffective Touch® Training

Healing the Relational Matrix
Renegotiating Developmental and Relational Trauma

NeuroAffective Touch® (NATouch™) is a neurologically informed psychotherapy that uses somatic and body-centred approaches as vital psychobiological interventions. Designed to integrate the disciplines of psychotherapy and bodywork, the training uses the key elements of developmental theory, relational psychotherapy, somatic psychology, and bodywork. By highlighting the primary role of the body and emphasising 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

The video clips below show a samples of lecture and the start of a NATouch class demonstration.

Our Approach

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
“We transcend the limitations of talk therapy for healing core relational wounds.”
Dr. Aline LaPierre, Creator of NeuroAffective Touch®
When psychological identity is built on the shaky foundation of an early traumatised physiology, an integrated psychobiological approach is necessary

Bringing compassionate presence to the body is essential to address the neural numbing, muscular bracing, and autonomic disorganisation that are the physiological correlates of grief, shame, anger, and fear.

In NeuroAffective Touch®, we use a variety of body-centred techniques to work bottom-up with implicit procedural behaviour, posture, and movement, and top-down with trauma-based thoughts, beliefs, and identifications.

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

NeuroAffective TouchFor 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. NeuroAffective Touch enables the release of fear and tension in the musculature and organs and cultivates 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.

Talk & Bodywork

We are aware that psychotherapists who are new to body-centred work may 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-centred 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.

NeuroAffective Touch
Mind-Heart Dialogue

“The heart was so tenuous in approaching the mind because of this assumption that the mind was going to be dismissive and detached.”

Developing Personal Somatic Awareness

This training gives special attention to the personal somatic development of the practitioner. NATouch™ recognises 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.

Training Goals

Participants are encouraged to carefully define their training goals and 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.

NATouch™ Learning Objectives

To enhance your clinical outcomes by integrating body and mind in the resolution of attachment trauma and emotional/relational deficits.

  • Develop the key somatic and bodywork skills necessary for working with attachment deficits
  • Access preverbal and nonverbal states
  • Move beyond the traditional psychodynamic understanding of identity as residing in the mind by working simultaneously top-down with the mind and bottom-up with the body
  • Use neuroception, interoception, and proprioception to work with implicit procedural memory and resolve dissociative states
  • Teach clients practical self-care touch exercises to stabilise their nervous system
Training Format

The NeuroAffective Touch Training comprises two 6-day modules, each of 36 hours for a total of 72 hours. Visit the Curriculum for a complete overview of the training and learning objectives.

With a mix of theory and practice, the training format consists of lectures, guided group exercises, live demonstrations with participants, daily practice with fellow participants, questions & answers and directed readings. A comprehensive training manual is provided.

A Certificate of Completion is awarded for completion of all training modules of the Foundation Training.

Ongoing Study Groups

For participants who wish to further deepen their expertise, ongoing study groups and online consultations are available. The Study Group is open to all NeuroAffective Touch Foundation Training graduates and to current students.

NATouch™ Certified Practitioner

NATouch™ Certified Practitioner requirements include the completion of all Foundation Training modules in person together with a combination of personal individual sessions, individual or group case consultations, study group attendance, and a written case study using international guidelines for writing a somatic case study.

The NeuroAffective Touch certificate program offers a listing on the online practitioner directory.

“NeuroAffective Touch® has helped me build on the skills I already have, giving me a framework and language for effectively working with the relational traumas that become part of the therapeutic encounter.”: Karen Bauman, MA, NMT, SEP
Neuro Affective Touch Foundation Training
This is a two module program with attendance required at both modules.
Super Early Bird
enrol by 28 April, 2020
Early Bird
enrol by 28 July, 2020
enrol by 28 September, 2020
Flexible payment plans are available - $77 admin fee applies.
Module 1: 29 Sep - 4 Oct, 2020
Module 2: 2 Mar - 7 Mar, 2021
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Module 1: 08 Oct - 13 Oct, 2020
Module 2: 11 Mar - 16 Mar, 2021
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Nurture To Heal™ Therapeutic Pillows - set of 3
Training Videos - free online access for 5 years
Lunch - provided for all 6 days
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Dr. Aline LaPierreDr. Aline LaPierre

Dr. Aline LaPierre is the creator of NeuroAffective Touch® and director of The NeuroAffective Touch® Institute. She teaches NeuroAffective Touch®, a body-focused and neurologically informed psychotherapy that uses somatic therapy and body-centred approaches as vital psychobiological interventions.
Aline is passionate about exploring how body and mind work together and reflect one another. She has been actively involved in the field of somatic psychology and body psychotherapy for over 35 years, and specialises in the integration of body-based approaches with relational psychodynamic psychotherapy and energy approaches.

Dr. Aline LaPierre is past faculty in the somatic doctoral program at Santa Barbara Graduate Institute (2000-2010), a clinician, author, artist, consultant, speaker, and teacher. She is currently Vice-President of the United Sates Association of Body Psychotherapy (USABP) and Deputy Editor of the International Body Psychotherapy Journal (IBPJ).

In the field of somatics, she has studied Somatic Experiencing® (SE™), Postural Integration, Cranio-Sacral Therapy (CST), Reichian Therapies, Bodynamics Analysis, Continuum, BodyMind Centering (BMC), and EMDR.

In the field of psychotherapy, Dr. Aline LaPierre is a graduate of Pacifica Graduate Institute which intimately connected her with Jungian and Archetypal psychologies, and of The New Center for Psychoanalysis (NCP) focusing on the full range of psychoanalytic evolution from Object Relations to Relational and Inter-Subjective approaches. She was a member of the Allan Schore Affective Neuroscience study group for several years and maintains a private practice in Brentwood~West Los Angeles.

Dr. Aline LaPierre is a Marriage and Family Therapist, California License 31838. Her current interests include developing NeuroAffective Touch® programs for couples and families.

Books and Publications
In addition to a variety of papers published in the International Journal of Body Psychotherapy, the USA Body Psychotherapy Journal, the Journal of the American Psychological Association and the Hakomi Journal, Aline has also written two e-books:

Healing Touch: Honoring the Somatic Dimension of Psyche 
Touch and Sexual Healing: Touch as the Primary Element of Sensual and Erotic Expression. 

Dr. Aline LaPierre is also the co-author with Dr. Laurence Heller of the bestselling Healing Developmental Trauma: How Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship; a groundbreaking book in developmental psychology now available in 12 languages. 

The NeuroAffective Touch® Institute is neither a regulatory nor licensing organisation and therefore cannot certify, license, or otherwise bestow the legal authorisation to practice as a mental health or bodywork professional. Please contact your federal, state, or local agencies and/or licensing boards that govern mental health or bodywork professionals in your geographical region for more information. The NeuroAffective Touch® Institute reserves the right to approve or deny any application to any training or membership, revoke approval at any time, and approve or deny the participation of any person, at its sole discretion, with or without cause, and in accordance with its policies and the law.