Somatics in Group Psychotherapy-for Practitioners, New 2016 Dates – To be Announced

In our practice of group psychotherapy we have found that somatic techniques enhance the healing power of community and mutual connection.  In this workshop, we will teach somatic/body-based interventions to facilitate and build a sense of communal support and containment.  This way of working fosters intimacy, safety and a sense of belonging within the group.

 Kitty & Theresa have presented this workshop at the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Conference four times, 2008 through 2011They also visit pre-existing groups to help them repair their dynamics.

 $260 if registered early/$280 if refistered after early registration deadline

12 CEU’s for MFT’s & LCSW’s (PCE# 937)

This course will expand participant’s ability to:

•    facilitate a sense of community during an individual’s process in the group

•    reduce overwhelm in clients by keeping them in relationship with themselves and others in present time

•    use somatic techniques to facilitate expression and containment of emotion in the group setting

•    deepen body awareness through the exploration of sensations

•    create a sense of safety within the group so that difficult emotions can be expressed with a new sense of group support


Somatic psychotherapy places a unique emphasis on the importance of body awareness and the healing aspects of touch.  We encourage therapist and client to reference and trust the wisdom within their own bodies to guide the therapeutic process.  This wisdom is accessed through helping clients become aware of their sensations, feelings, impulses and instincts.  In this course, we want to expose therapists to the depth and authenticity that can be achieved when body-sourced information and experience are integrated into the therapeutic process. Participants in this course will learn somatic techniques to develop body-centered awareness that focus on moment-to-moment tracking of the processes within, and between, the therapist and group participants.  This kind of tracking fosters intimacy, safety, and a sense of belonging within the group.  With these qualities the group can provide external holding for an emotional experience, resulting in an increased sense of validation.

Family is our first group experience and is at best complicated, full of both loving and injurious emotional experiences.  This marks the beginning of the patterns we develop in relating to others and ourselves. In our work as Somatic/Experiential therapists we have found that we can maximize the depth of corrective emotional experience by exploring all aspects of relating: verbal, non-verbal, and physical touch.  Since the family group is often where the initial wounding occurred, it is in a group setting where the healing of those wounds can most effectively take place.

When clients respond to the group from their past injuries or their story they move into a transference reaction.  They are no longer in relationship to what is actually occurring right now in present time.  They become essentially split between memories of the past and fear of a similar future, all of which live in the mind as thoughts.  We find that by bringing awareness to the client’s moment-to-moment body-felt sensations, we can bring that client back into present time relationship with his or her self and the group.  The awareness of this body/mind split provides an opportunity to choose a corrective experience that opens up possibilities for change and healing.

While the use of touch is included in this course, we are aware that if used unskillfully or in the wrong instances, touch can be inappropriate.  We will encourage each participant to explore his or her own limits regarding touch, based on one’s own personal history.  This will be accompanied by a thorough discussion of the ethics of touch and how to determine when its use is appropriate to the healing process.  We will use a variety of somatic techniques that don’t use touch so that participants of all levels of comfort can learn and participate in the workshop.  Full permission from all participants will be clearly established with each exercise.

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Send payment to: Kitty Chelton MFT                           7765 Healdsburg Ave, Suite-12, Sebastopol, CA 95472

For Grievances contact Kitty Chelton at 707-823-8203 and a form will be provided asking what the complaint is and what your desired resolution would be. Kitty will discuss the complaint by phone or in person whichever is preferred until a resolution is reached.



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