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Digital Seminar

Shifting the Trauma Story: Somatosensory Psychotherapy for Restoration of the Self

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, ATR-BC, LPCC, LPAT, REAT
1 Hour 13 Minutes
Nov 19, 2021
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When working with traumatic stress, you must introduce a “shift” in both body and mind to support repair and healing. Applying a continuum of somatosensory (rhythm, movement, sound, enactment, image, and storytelling) approaches is key to supporting change on multiple levels and to restoration of the self.  


Continuing Professional Development
PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 1.25 hours CPD.



Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, ATR-BC, LPCC, LPAT, REAT's Profile

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Cathy A. Malchiodi, PhD, ATR-BC, LPCC, LPAT, REAT, is an expressive arts therapist and art therapist who has spent over 30 years working with individuals with traumatic stress and studying how the arts support reparation, integration and recovery from trauma. She is the founder and executive director of the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute that trains mental health and health care practitioners in medical, educational, and community settings and assists in disaster relief and humanitarian efforts throughout the world. Cathy has given more than 500 invited presentations in the US, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia and has published numerous articles, chapters, and more than 20 books, including Trauma and Expressive Arts Therapy: Brain, Body and Imagination in the Healing Process, Understanding Children’s Drawings, Handbook of Art Therapy, Creative Arts and Play Therapy for Attachment Problems,and Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children. She has received numerous awards for distinguished service, clinical contributions and lifetime achievements, including honors from the Kennedy Center and Very Special Arts in Washington, DC. A passionate advocate for the role of the arts in health, she is a contributing writer for Psychology Today Online with more than 5 million readers and a visual artist and occasional ukulele and Hulusi musician.  


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Cathy Malchiodi is the co-founder and president of Art Therapy Without Borders. She has an employment relationship with the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute, Prescott College, and Lesley University. Cathy Malchiodi is a syndicated writer for Psychology Today. She receives royalties as a published author. Cathy Malchiodi receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Cathy Malchiodi is a member of the American Art Therapy Association, the American Counseling Association, the Association for Humanistic Counseling, the Association for Creativity in Counseling, and the International Traumatic Stress Society.


  1. Apply somatosensory psychotherapy and somatic therapy in work with traumatic stress. 
  2. Analyze the concept of Intermodal Shift. 
  3. Determine the four functions of somatosensory psychotherapy in work with traumatized individuals. 
  4. Assess why sensory integration is a key factor in initial treatment of traumatic stress. 
  5. Differentiate the four somatosensory components of the MSSS Model (movement, sound, storytelling, and silence). 
  6. Conclude at least one way bilateral stimulation shifts body awareness. 
  7. Determine the three components of the Somatosensory Continuum. 


  • Introduction to Major Concepts 
    • How Interpersonal Violence and Adverse Traumatic Events Impact Women’s Psychotherapeutic Experience 
  • What is Somatosensory Psychotherapy 
    • Coming to Our Senses—Neurobiological Basis for Somatosensory Work 
    • Experiencing the Body Through Movement, Gesture, Image Making, and Narrative 
    • Applying a Bottom-Up Approach to Trauma Treatment 
  • Movement as an Entry Point in Psychotherapy 
    • Universal Relational Movements (Malchiodi, 2021) 
    • Introducing Simple Relational Movement Into Sessions 
  • Circle of Capacity Model (Malchiodi, 2021) 
    • Redefining the Window of Tolerance Model 
    • Introducing Capacity—Self-Efficacy, Mastery, Self-Compassion, Curiosity-- to Women’s Trauma Recovery 
  • Questions and Reflections, Summary of Psychotherapeutic and Somatosensory Principles 

Target Audience

  • Psychotherapists
  • Counsellors
  • IAPT practitioners
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Therapists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counsellors
  • Nurses
  • Psychiatrists
  • GPs
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

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