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Digital Seminar

Trauma, Body, and the Brain: Synchronicity, Rhythmicity, and Play in Healing of Trauma

Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD |  Licia Sky, BFA
1 Hour 30 Minutes
Mar 17, 2023
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
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When overwhelming experiences continue to be lived out in the body, trauma survivors feel unsafe, on edge, ashamed, and shut down. Healing and transformation can only occur when they learn to restore an embodied sense of safety and reclaim a loving relationship with themselves. Through neuroscience and body-centered approaches, such as EMDR, yoga, Internal Family Systems, sensorimotor practices, theatre work, and neurofeedback, this session explores how to help trauma survivors tap into a sense of openness, attunement, and embodied self-awareness. You'll discover:

  • What neuroscience teaches about self-awareness and trauma
  • New psychotherapeutic treatments that help integrate traumatic memories
  • Body-centered approaches drawn from theatre, music, yoga, and play for building attunement, restoring agency, and dealing with trauma
  • Essential keys to help clients overcome a traumatic past and regain the capacity to be fully alive in the present



Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


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 program is worth 1.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD's Profile

Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD Related seminars and products

Trauma Research Foundation

Bessel van der Kolk, MD, has spent his career studying how children and adults adapt to traumatic experiences, and has translated emerging findings from neuroscience and attachment research to develop and study a range of potentially effective treatments for traumatic stress in children and adults.


In 1984, he set up one of the first clinical/research centers in the US dedicated to the study and treatment of traumatic stress in civilian populations, which has trained numerous researchers and clinicians specializing in the study and treatment of traumatic stress, and which has been continually funded to research the impact of traumatic stress and effective treatment interventions. He did the first studies on the effects of SSRIs on PTSD; was a member of the first neuroimaging team to investigate how trauma changes brain processes, and did the first research linking BPD and deliberate self-injury to trauma and neglect in early childhood.


Much of his research has focused on how trauma has a different impact at different stages of development, and that disruptions in care-giving systems have additional deleterious effects that need to be addressed for effective intervention. In order to promote a deeper understanding of the impact of childhood trauma and to foster the development and execution of effective treatment interventions, he initiated the process that led to the establishment of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a Congressionally mandated initiative that now funds approximately 150 centers specializing in developing effective treatment interventions, and implementing them in a wide array of settings, from juvenile detention centers to tribal agencies, nationwide.


He has focused on studying treatments that stabilize physiology, increase executive functioning and help traumatized individuals to feel fully alert to the present. This has included an NIMH-funded study on EMDR and NCCAM funded study of yoga, and, in recent years, the study of neurofeedback to investigate whether attentional and perceptual systems (and the neural tracks responsible for them) can be altered by changing EEG patterns.


His efforts resulted in the establishment of Trauma Center, that consist of a well-trained clinical team specializing in the treatment of children and adults with histories of child maltreatment, that applies treatment models that are widely taught and implemented nationwide, a research lab that studies the effects of neurofeedback and MDMA on behavior, mood, and executive functioning, and numerous trainings nationwide to a variety of mental health professional, educators, parent groups, policy makers, and law enforcement personnel.


Dr. van der Kolk is the author of the NY Times best-selling book The Body Keeps The Score.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a professor at Boston University School of Medicine, the Director of the Trauma Center, and the National Complex Trauma Network. He receives royalties as a published author. Dr. van der Kolk receives a speaking honorarium, recording royalties, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Bessel van der Kolk has no relevant non-financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Licia Sky, BFA's Profile

Licia Sky, BFA Related seminars and products

Licia Sky, BFA, is a Boston-based somatic educator, writer, artist, singer-songwriter, and bodyworker who works with traumatized individuals and trains mental health professionals to use mindful meditation for attunement, healing and connection.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Licia Sky receives compensation as an Intuitive Energy Bodyworker and a peer counselor. She is the co-founder and CEO of Trauma Research Foundation. Licia Sky receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Licia Sky has no relevant non-financial relationships.


  1. Demonstrate how experience itself, and controlled body action, individually and in groups, can powerfully help overcome traumatic repetitions and reactions.
  2. Apply body-centered approaches drawn from theatre, music, yoga, and play for building attunement, restoring agency, and dealing with trauma.
  3. Demonstrate a basic understanding of ways that childhood traumatic experience impacts brain development and the ability to process information is disrupted.



  • How trauma disrupts information processing
  • The connection between physical movement and trauma recovery
  • The role of memory integration and techniques for supporting integration
  • Body-centered approaches for dealing with traumatic stress
  • Play-based approaches for dealing with traumatic stress

Target Audience

  • Counsellors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners 
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

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