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  • Beyond Abstract Language, the Truth of Face-Heart-Brain Communication and the Five Practices of Somatic Transformation

Beyond Abstract Language, the Truth of Face-Heart-Brain Communication and the Five Practices of Somatic Transformation

  • October 19, 2013
  • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • UW School of Social Work, Room 305 A&B 4101 15th Ave NE
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Beyond Abstract Language,
The Truth of Face-Heart-Brain Communication and the Five Practices of Somatic Transformation

with Sharon Stanley, PhD.

Presented by 
The Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study
Washington State Society for Clinical Social Workers

About the Conference
Traditional cultures have naturally practiced the art of embodiment, a way of being where subtle facial, tonal and sensory bodil- based cues in communication are closely attended. The “speaking language of the body”, a term coined by the phenomenologist, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, describes the distinctly difference quality of language that emerges from bodily awareness. Speaking language of the body may be headed for extinction as we increasingly depend on signals from abstract language and technology. Yet, attachment research emphasizes the need for embodied attunement and resonance to the experience of the infant for life-long secure, intimate relationships.

Speaking language begins with awareness of the inner, sensory movements of the body that generate feelings and emotions. This communication passes between people and remains unconscious if one is disembodied. With embodiment, the “gut” knowledge that moves up from the viscera, into the heart and up to the face, become conscious, known and shared with others in a spontaneous way.
In this one day workshop we will explore four practices based on embodiment for healing complex trauma which includes somatic empathy, somatic inquiry, somatic intervention and somatic reflection. The research of Allan Schore and Stephen Porges offers a neuropsychological, theoretical perspective that supports embodied somatic practices in the therapeutic intersubjective field.
Embodiment becomes a way of knowing that reaches beyond abstract language, offering a fresh expression of the inner reality, whether it happens in the opening of the heart, subtle shifts in the face, or other bodily-based expression. From an embodied state, clinicians are able to enter into a deeply somatic form of empathy a “felt sense” with the other, where the patient “feels felt”, as well as seen and understood. The practice of somatic inquiry, based on phenomenological methodology, reveals hidden aspects of internal experience, particularly those that have dissociated with complex trauma. Somatic interventions are carefully designed practices of transformation that occur in the context of the intersubjective field through meditation, movement, imagination and dialogue. Somatic reflection is a higher cortical synthesis of the somatic dynamics that reveals the meaning initially experienced as sensation, movement and emotion.

Conference Objectives
  • Describe the process of embodied empathy in the treatment of complex trauma. 
  •  Identify right hemispheric strategies for reconsolidation of traumatic memories. 
  • Demonstrate the process of somatic reflection for the synthesis of lived experience. 

About the Presenter 
Sharon has developed a curriculum, Somatic Transformation, for educating psychotherapists interested in the principles and practices of somatic psychotherapy for complex trauma. She has been teaching somatic psychotherapy for over 15 years to helping professionals in various regions in the US, Israel, Ireland and Scotland and First Nations people in Canada.
The results of Sharon’s doctoral level phenomenological research on the process and development of empathy from the University of Victoria forms the foundations of Somatic Transformation, while practice as a psychotherapist for over 35 years has generated a wide background of lived experience. Sharon has been a member of Allan Schore’s study group for the past 8 years. Schore’s study group focuses on the sources, symptoms and treatment of relational trauma. Following five years direct work with First Nations communities, Sharon has studied the cultural healing practices of Afro-Brazilian people and more recently ancient Celtic philosophy and healing practices in an effort to integrate the new paradigm from neuroscience with the traditional practices of restoring vitality after traumatic experience.
Sharon is a mother of 4 adults and grandmother of 8 children, loves walking the trails and roads of Bainbridge and gathering groups of scholar/practitioners together to explore new and old possibilities for healing trauma.

Conference Schedule
Saturday, October 19, 2013

8:30-9:00 Registration
9:00-9:15 Introduction
9:15 – 10:30  Exploring embodiment and somatic empathy for healing of complex trauma within the therapeutic intersubjective field 
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45- 12:30 Moving with somatic empathy into somatic inquiry
12:30-1:30 Lunch (on your own)
1:30-3:00 Moving with embodied knowing into active processing of complex trauma with somatic interventions
3:00-3:15 Break
3:15-4:00 Somatic Reflection

After you register you will receive a confirmation email. Included in the email is information regarding how to access reading material from Sharon's website. This material will enhance your understanding and experience the day of the conference. 

Continuing Education Credits
Five (5) CEUs offered

University of Washington
School of Social Work, Room 305 A&B
4101 15th Ave NE
Seattle 98105

Directions, Map & Parking Information: Found on the WSSCSW website on the Professional Development/Clinical Conference section & in the registration confirmation email.

Cancellation Policy
Fees refunded minus a $30 administrative charge up to October 5, 2013. No refunds given after October 5, 2013.

Contact: Aimee,

**If you register and are unable to attend, please keep us informed so we can properly adjust our reservation. It is important as we engage in the community WSSCSW is regarded as good stewards of the places that we meet.

Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work
14201 SE Petrovitsky Rd Ste A3-269 Renton, WA 98058 •

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