Skip to content

COVID-19 Update - Important Information


If this is an emergency, dial 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. Click here for directions to the SickKids Emergency Department if this is the closest location for you.


If you need urgent help but don’t need to go to a hospital emergency room, click here for Crisis Centres.

Learning Institute
Our Courses
All Courses

Somatic intervention: Reclaiming the body after abuse

For survivors of abuse, the body is a complicated place. While it’s obvious that their relationship with the body needs healing, the invitation to quietly notice the body can be very overwhelming. Survivors may feel betrayed by their bodies as well. Whether it is sexual abuse, domestic violence, medical trauma, or chronic illness, the somatic work must navigate around roadblocks to create a safe path to experience one’s body. This requires exquisite attunement and trauma-informed practice.

In this 4-day virtual training, Ricki Bernstein, LMSW, SEP will explore how to guide clients on the journey back to themselves. Learn how to gradually build boundaries and reclaim the body as a safe place. Working slowly and incrementally, somatic intervention will be used to repair the body and seek the sense of self that has been broken by abuse. Help your clients create a different relationship with their body, so they can contain their internal experience, build trust, tolerate intimacy, and approach pleasure.

Sit with us to feel supported and safe to experiment with somatic intervention to reclaim the body after abuse.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify clients who shouldn’t be invited to “go inside” their body
  • Create safety to make therapy possible for clients
  • Resource clients who are particularly difficult to resource; track the body in session and identify dissociation when present
  • Propose somatic “body building” exercises for clients; regulate physiological activation in clients and in self
  • Interrupt habitual patterns, mindfully, to create new neural pathways
  • Identify the missing piece in each trauma and treat it accordingly
  • Address the wounds of incest and early childhood sexual abuse

Prerequisite: Somatic intervention or equivalent training/experience