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The impacts of trauma and stress are far reaching, and can lead to a chronic state of hyperarousal and a phobic or dissociated relationship with one’s physical body. Psychotherapy typically focuses on healing trauma through narrative exposure to traumatic memories. However, research also demonstrates the profound physiological effects of trauma, which can make the retelling of traumatic events difficult and even insufficient for healing. Body-centered approaches work indirectly with traumatic memories through practices to tolerate difficult sensations and emotions and build the capacity to stay present.

This daylong institute will introduce somatic healing approaches that can be used with, or as an alternative to, traditional psychotherapeutic work. Patty Adams will support participants in an exploration of body-centered approaches, including learning about the nervous system, examining the politics of trauma, and practicing tools to support embodiment in individuals, relationships, and communities. She will draw from research on the mind-body connection; practices from resiliency-based somatic experiencing work; and trauma-informed yoga, adaptable to all bodies. Participants should expect a dynamic mix of interactive, experiential, self-reflective, small group, and didactic components exploring mental health and trauma healing within a politicized and anti-oppression framework.


Trainer:  Patty Adams, LCSW, E-RYT, SEP in training

Patty Adams, LCSW, E-RYT 200 has worked for more than 20 years in solidarity with and as an accomplice to healing justice and conflict transformation in communities throughout the US and Americas. Her psychotherapeutic practice focuses on LGBTQIA communities, compassion fatigue, healing trauma, including vicarious trauma from social justice work and service provision. She is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in training (expected completion,11/20), with additional training and experience in dialectical behavioral therapy and community resilience. She is also an experienced yoga teacher and trainer, with specialties in yoga for social justice and for trauma, and is committed to providing accessible/affordable yoga to folks who don’t always feel welcome or comfortable in mainstream yoga spaces. She applies an intersectional, anti-racist/anti-oppressive/collective liberation lens throughout all of her work. She is co-founder of tilde Language Justice Cooperative, founder/organizer of Yoga for Queers and Misfits, and founding member of the Triangle chapter of SURJ – Showing Up for Racial Justice.


Learning objectives: By the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  1. Name and explain at least 2 effects of trauma on the nervous system;
  2. Describe at least 1 impact of the fight, flight and freeze on healing;
  3. Name and describe at least 2 physiological impacts of implicit bias and oppression;
  4. Apply an intersectional, anti-oppression and trauma-informed lens to mental health diagnosis;
  5. Identify and explain at least 1 tenet of somatics and the role of the body and embodiment in healing;
  6. Practice with at least 3 embodied tools for self- and co-regulation that are appropriate for most providers, clients, and communities;
  7. Engage with and apply at least 1 somatic practice and 1 trauma-informed yoga practice in a clinical setting



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