Somatic Masterclass: Working with the Body in Psychotherapy

Loading Map....

Date(s) - Saturday 19th September, 2020
10:00 am - 3:30 pm


Categories No Categories

Saturday 19th September 2020

Speakers / Trainers: Nick Totton, Morit Heitzler, and Tony Buckley

Venue: ONLINE and on CATCH-UP for 6 days

This workshop will now be delivered online via YouTube. In line with other workshop providers we’ve made this change as a response to the current Coronavirus situation.

On the day of the workshop you will be able to pause and return to the live streaming, and the content will stay online for 6 days after the event so you can carry on viewing. You do not need any special equipment to join this course online, other than an internet connection and a suitable device (computer, laptop, tablet, enabled TV or smartphone) on which you can watch material via YouTube. If you wish to take part in the on-the-day group chat you will need access to a keyboard (either an actual keyboard or via voice input).

How It Will Work: Delegates will be sent all the details they need to attend this event online via email a few days before the event takes place. It is therefore vital that we have your correct email address. Please make a note of the email address you used to book your ticket as all correspondence will be sent to that email address. Please be aware that btinternet and btopenworld servers regularly reject our emails, often without providing a bounce back message to let us know. We would advise anyone with a btinternet or btopenworld email to provide an alternative email address for the purposes of attending this course.

Schedule: 10am to 3.30pm (approximately)

Course Fee:

  • £95 (standard ticket price before 11am on Thursday 17th September when bookings close – pick this ticket if you can afford to pay this, or if all the discounted tickets have been sold).
  • £80 (discounted ticket – pick this ticket if you are on a reduced income because of CoVid19, or you are a student counsellor/psychotherapist, or you are a newly qualified therapist (2019 or later graduation). Proof of student/graduate status will be required. Limited ticket numbers until 31st August only.
  • All delegates will be supplied with a CPD Certificate. This will be sent automatically to all delegates AFTER the conference takes place.
  • Please be aware that we are NOT accepting payment by cheque at this time. Bookings must be paid for either via Paypal, Credit/debit card (via Paypal, no Paypal account required), or bank transfer. To pay by bank transfer pick OFFLINE payments in checkout, otherwise choose PAYPAL.

Course Introduction

Following the success of our Conference on “The Body Speaks” in February 2018 we have developed a new Masterclass with a focus on the importance and potency of working with the body. While the world is on a very long recovery from the CoVid pandemic the idea of working with the body has become bittersweet; bodies have become fragile vessels that can be invaded by invisible pathogens and we are being told to stay as far away from each other’s bodies as possible.

We begin with a call to action from Nick Totton who shows how our societal tendency to be disembodied is an expected response to trauma. Building on this, Morit Heitzler explores how as therapists we can learn to become more attuned to the body of the other and to offer a deeper emotionally regulating experience. We finish the day with a presentation from Tony Buckley, again focussed on how we can work therapeutically with our clients and how the practice of Sensorimotor psychotherapy works to release those who are stuck in a traumatic experience.

Course Description

Nick Totton: “Body Psychotherapy’s Contribution to Social and Political Renewal

Very many people would agree that we are in deep trouble as a society and as a species. I am going to be arguing that an important aspect of our predicament is that we have become disembodied – losing touch with the rich flesh that grounds our experience of and our relationship with the world. Among the effects  are a loss of connection with the wild and the other-than-human; with our embodied intuition and empathy; and with our capacity for pleasure and relaxation.

These losses are not only bad for us; they are bad for the planetary ecosystem, since we are acting from a place of alienation and isolation. I will be suggesting that our disembodiment is largely a function of personal and collective trauma; and that embodied forms of therapy can make an important contribution to changing it, both on a small scale through individual and group therapy, and on a larger scale by being a public voice for rebalancing and renewal.

Morit Heitzler: “Somatic countertransference and the therapist’s body

Over the last decades, the field of psychotherapy has increasingly recognise the centrality of the body and non-verbal communication in psychotherapeutic processes. Neuroscience’s contributions (mirror neurones, right-brain-to-right-brain attunement, etc) have emphasised the importance of the mind-body connection and helped us understand why awareness of the body is crucial in attachment and affect regulation. This has great implications for the practice both of therapy and of supervision.

Traditionally, psychoanalysts might have used the term ‘somatic countertransference’ to point to aspects of our internal experience as therapists and viewed it as an obstacle to the therapeutic space. These days, we do not see the ability to experience in our own bodies the unconscious messages transferred to us through non-verbal channels as a threat to the neutrality of the therapist, but as a precious form of communication that can support and deepen our understanding and attunement to the client’s body-mind system.

In this talk Morit will explore and demonstrate how as therapists we can attune to and process the information inherent in our ‘somatic countertransference’ so it becomes useful and transformative, and how by doing so we increase our capacity to function as the ‘regulatory object’ and a relational container for both our clients and ourselves.

Tony Buckley: “The Sequelae of Embodied Trauma – Latest Movie Release”

The movies provide an interesting metaphor for illustrating the impacts of trauma which later becomes a sequence of replayed activation in the client’s body in response to triggering stimuli. Defensive action becomes truncated, an incomplete script encoding only partial sequence of activation in response to danger and life threat.

Trauma can be characterised as an interrupted movie script which remains fixated as an incomplete sequence of immobilising or defensive life preserving action patterns, experienced as sensation, tension and impulse replaying like a looping but incomplete movie reel.

Dissociation can be understood as consciousness operating as a movie film board censor, editing and removing the most disturbing scenes which further interrupts the sequence and leaves free floating physiological sensations divorced from original imagistic content.

The phrase “latest movie release” represents a sensorimotor treatment approach which invites the client to access the interrupted sequence and allow the body to complete its sequence of activation where the client can become their own hero or heroine to triumphant outcome. This conference workshop illustrates the sensorimotor approach towards resolution of dysregulated states through exercises, slides and video highlighting the body’s natural sequencing processes.

Reserve List

Bookings will close when this course is fully booked. You can add you name to the Reserve List by sending an email to . You will then be notified if a place becomes available for you.


Bookings are closed for this event.

For information about bookings, please see our events booking policy and information on how to book and pay for an event. When you make a booking, we will add you to our newsletter mailing list. We email our newsletter to people who may be interested in future events. You can opt out of these emails at any time.