Touch Skills For Therapists

Touch Skills Module 4:
Coupling Dynamics & Syndromes

This module is part of the Touch Skills for Therapists series

The concept of “coupling dynamics” related to trauma describes how different fragments of overwhelming experiences can become over-connected – or disconnected – as part of the traumatic stress response. For example, someone involved in a car accident that resulted in serious injury may then feel anxiety at the thought of driving. The thought of driving is now “over-coupled” with the stress response related to his unresolved responses from the accident. Under or over-coupled responses interfere with the ability to be in a relaxed and responsive relationship with the environment.

We can think of coupling dynamics as the way in which we “package” overwhelming experiences in order to limit our exposure to the stresses related to those experiences. This tends to create habituated response patterns that can interfere with achieving resolution of traumatic stress. These habituated responses can also include somatic symptoms that mimic physical disorders, such as syndromes.

This module will help practitioners develop greater skills in working with the complex coupling dynamics that occur in the face of trauma, and come to a better understanding of how physical symptoms can arise as part of that complex response system. The module will cover:

  • Coupling dynamics in tissues.
  • How the response patterns that occur in coupling dynamics impact physiological systems.
  • The interrelationship between coupling dynamics and somatic symptoms that mimic syndromes.
  • The ways in which coupling dynamics and their related syndromal symptoms can interfere with a return to coherence in physiological function.
  • Development of skills in recognising over- and under-coupling in traumatic stress responses.
  • Working with titration to ensure that changes to coupled responses and their related symptoms are not overwhelming for the client.

Trauma Categories Addressed:

  • Global High Intensity Activation
  • Syndromes
  • Pre-Requisites:

    The Resilience & Self-Regulation foundation module plus the Complex Trauma module combined or SE Advanced I or similar.