NeuroAffective Touch® Training
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.
The video clips below show a samples of lecture and the start of a NATouch class demonstration.
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
Dr. Aline LaPierre, Creator of NeuroAffective Touch®
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
A Study Group can be attended In Person, Live Streamed with chat, or Recorded if you cannot attend at the time of the live group. All registered participants automatically receive a link to the recording to review anytime. Past recorded Study Groups are available.
The 3½ hours Study Group offers a combination of Q&A with clinical discussion, new material with presentation of hands-on techniques, and a live session demonstration followed by a debrief period. The focus is on deepening the understanding of NATouch™ principles and methods. The group provides support for the integration of touch interventions and somatic principles in your clinical practice.
- Q&A with Clinical Discussion — 1 hour is devoted to clinical questions and discussion.
- New Material and Hands-On Techniques— 1 hour is devoted to new material and presentation of hands-on techniques.
- Session Demonstration — 1½ hours are devoted to a live session with one of the participants. This allows participants to witness a wider variety of interventions than is possible to demonstrate in the Foundation Training. We then discuss the session in depth to integrate the interventions and principles used.
Study Group participation, in-person, live streamed, or recorded, counts toward NATouch Certification.
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.
Please refer to the NeuroAffective Touch website for details on how to become a NATouch™ Certified Practitioner.
N.B. The cost of the personal sessions and case consults is not included in the NATouch™ training tuition fee.
To assist in the integration of NATouch™ skills and methodology into clinical practice, case consultation is provided by the trainer and approved consult providers to answer students’ questions on how to integrate theory and interventions into their existing practices. These may be taken in either the individual or group format.
- One hour of one-on-one case consultation will count toward one credit hour of your case consult requirements.
- Three hours of group case consultation will count toward one credit hour of your case consult requirements.