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Curriculum

The SE Professional Training provides a rich theoretical framework for understanding and addressing trauma physiology. Our educational model is highly experiential, offering you tangible skills that can be immediately integrated into your professional practice. The training is delivered through a combination of lectures, live demonstrations, guided practice sessions with fellow students, audio-visual case studies, and suggested readings.

Because competent practice of SE requires direct clinical experience, as well as a refined somatic awareness and capacity for self-regulation, becoming an SE Practitioner (SEP) also entails receiving personal SE sessions to deepen your experiential knowledge of SE, and case consultations. Refer to ‘Certificate Requirements’ for further information.

The training program consists of 6 training modules of 6 days in length. The program spans 2½ to 3 years, allowing for full integration of the skills and clinical application needed to support your professional development. You will enjoy personalised attention both from your faculty member and from skillful training assistants who oversee class exercises.

As SE supports regulation of the autonomic nervous system, which underlies every aspect of our physical, emotional, and psychological functioning, the applications of SE are diverse. For example, by working directly with a client’s physiology, SE enhances the depth, effectiveness, and outcome of psychotherapeutic interventions focused on relational, developmental, and psychodynamic issues. SE supports mood regulation, the reworking of addictive patterns, and the prevention or resolution of PTSD. Since trauma can contribute to the formation of many complex syndromes and diseases, SE aids medical professionals in unwinding challenging medical cases. SE techniques are also effective in reducing or eliminating chronic pain and trauma-related symptoms presenting in the musculoskeletal system, making it useful for bodyworkers and other physical-care providers.

BEGINNING – Year 1:
Develop foundational knowledge and skills in the SE biophysiological model for the resolution of trauma.

  • Analyse the physiology of traumatic stress and its effect on the autonomic nervous system (ANS)
  • Practice the fundamental SE method of tracking sensation to access responses in the ANS.
  • Study titration and establishing continuity through the felt sense.
  • Assess the neurophysiology of each aspect of the threat response: defensive orientation, fight/flight/freeze, deactivation and completion, and exploratory orienting.
  • Develop skills in working with the SE model of tracking sensation to support completion of the threat-response cycle and incomplete survival responses.
  • Demonstrate how to “titrate” (modulate) the SE trauma-renegotiation process to ensure healthy integration of experience.
  • Begin to explore and integrate Porges’ Polyvagal Theory of ANS function.
  • Explain the SE model of SIBAM (Sensation, Image, Behavior, Affect, Meaning) and its significance in trauma.
  • Explore coupling dynamics—the over- and under-association of the elements of SIBAM and elements of physiological responses to traumatically-stressing experiences.
  • Self-regulation – be able to identify, normalize, and stabilise traumatic reactions.
  • Attain skills to avoid the pitfalls of re-traumatisation.
  • Support clients in re-establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries.
  • Learn to identify, normalise, and stabilise traumatic reactions.
  • Acquire brief intervention skills that provide long-term solutions to acute and chronic symptoms of trauma.
  • Explore the integration of SE into ongoing professional practice.
  • Explore the appropriate use of touch in the context of SE.

INTERMEDIATE – Year 2:
Assess the different categories of trauma as addressed in the SE model. Identify the primary characteristics and hallmarks of each category of trauma, as well as specific approaches and interventions for working with each category effectively. The knowledge may be applied to many other traumatic or high stress experiences.

  • Global High Intensity Activation: pre- and peri-natal trauma, early trauma, anesthesia, suffocation, choking, drowning.
  • High Impact/Failure of Physical Defense: falls, high impact accidents, head injury, motor vehicle accidents and other high impact accidents.
  • Inescapable Attack: assault, animal attack, rape or sexual abuse, inhibited escape.
  • Physical Injury: surgery, anaesthesia, burns, poisoning, injury due to accidents or attack.
  • Natural and Man-Made Disasters: earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, floods, war, terrorism.
  • Horror: seeing an accident, witnessing abuse or causing harm to another.
  • Torture and Ritual Abuse: war torture, concentration camp.
  • Emotional Trauma: severe neglect, abandonment and loss, ongoing abuse.

ADVANCED – Year 3:
Further integrate and deepen your understanding of SE theory and practice while developing a greater capacity for resonance with the client. Assess how to work with complex trauma and syndromes (IBS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue). Expand on the use of touch in SE practice.

  • Explain the importance of stabilisation when working with complex trauma.
  • Explore the SE concept of “coherence” in working with complex trauma.
  • Refine touch skills for supporting containment and coherence.
  • Explain about the inter-relationship between dysregulation of the ANS and the SE model of syndromes (non-reciprocal relationship between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems)
  • Analyse the Polyvagal Theory as it relates to working with syndromes.
  • Refine the necessary SE skills of “titration” and “pendulation” when working with highly sensitive and syndromal clients.
  • Apply the SE model for working with the eyes.
  • Develop SE touch-based skills for working with different categories of trauma.
  • Explain how SE uses joints, body diaphragms, and the viscera to access ANS responses and to support completion of incomplete survival responses.
  • Explore scope-of-practice issues relating to the integration of SE and SE touch into professional practice.

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There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophies.
Friedrich Nietzche