NP Intro Part B

Integrating Somatic Psychotherapy with EMDR Therapy

Pacing the Work, Tracking Resiliency, Deepening Processing

CE Credit Hours - Learning Objectives

Participants will learn and experience how to:

  • Describe the Window of Tolerance

  • List 3 advantages of tracking clients activation somatically before and during EMDR processing

  • List 3 ways to assess resiliency somatically

  • Identify 2 somatic signs of subtle dissociation

  • Describe “bracing” and 2 examples of how it can look in a session

  • Demonstrate 2 interventions for working with moments when clients are hypo-aroused

  • and 2 interventions for hyper-aroused

  • List 2 ways to enhance integration of resources somatically

  • Describe “process resources” and ways to increase their integration


Overall Program Objectives

  • Review of the definition of EMDR and the AIP Model

  • Evidence of our natural drive for completion, and the role of awareness in this process

  • Using the Cycle of Experience as a guide to track flow and interruptions

  • Using the Window of Tolerance to track resiliency and pace the work

  • Psycho-physiological education for the client

  • The value of tracking somatically to guide the therapist’s assessment moment to moment, and to build resiliency in the client through sustained awareness of the somatically felt sense

  • Benefits and cautions of somatic interweaves in EMDR processing

  • Using bilateral stimulation to help clients build somatic self-awareness skills

  • The triune brain, the nervous system, and Polyvagal theory - with implications for assessment, pacing and interventions

  • Sustained awareness of somatic experiences creates a language into the activity of

  • the nervous system, which does not have verbal language.

  • Practical ideas for tracking activation, keeping the work within the window of tolerance, assessing resiliency for trauma processing, balancing between trauma processing and present dynamics that interrupt this work


  • Dynamics of moving from “sensation to awareness,” pacing the potential activation, with attention to transference

  • Using somatic interweaves in the face of looping or stuckness, to enable the client to stay in the process without having to return to target, thus clearing somatic blocks and resolving old over-coupled somatic responses in the service of resolution

  • Utilizing a focus on somatic sensation to enhance “bridging”

  • Interoception and the building of internal awareness skills

  • Top-down vs. Bottom-up processing - “Thinking vs. Noticing” questions

  • Tracking sequences and patterns, through the body, emotions, cognitions, images, movement, all the senses, in order to increase awareness and create new alternatives

  • Targeting patterned interruptions in the Cycle of Experience for explicit processing

  • Somatic tracking of client’s presence to expose subtle dissociative patterns, and ways to create collaborative agreements to target the minute moments of a dissociative process


  • Working the inherent dilemma between the drive for completion and drive for safety

  • Using “time” and “giving that room” as resources

  • Enhancing installation of resources somatically

  • Identifying evidence of increased somatic resiliency that arises in the process of the work, and ways to enhance integration

  • Noticing somatic bracing, and incomplete responses, and working for resolution

  • Working with inconsistencies between client’s verbal reports and bodily responses

  • Identifying pre-verbal survival strategies through somatic awareness

  • Deconstructing defensive orienting responses with detailed somatic tracking

  • Facilitating discernment between “discomfort and danger” somatically

  • Addressing embodied dynamics of helplessness

  • Addressing dynamics of shame and humiliation using the somatic manifestations

  • Assessing somatic expressions of attachment difficulties, and pacing intervention strategies

  • Therapist’s self awareness, embodiment of resiliency, and co-regulation

  • Helping clients to trust their own process