Trauma Informed 

Trauma Specific Massage Therapy

Including Traumatic Incident Reduction and Breath Work

Trauma Informed Massage Therapy

(2 days-14 hours)

Also Satisfies ethics Requirement LMTs

Understanding Trauma - 3 hours

This segment demystifies and destigmatizes what we call trauma. The formation of traumatic memory is a feature of our sympathetic nervous system, a feature, not a bug. In times of overwhelm, we are intended to defer memory consolidation until a safer time, a time when we are not in a struggle to survive. Traditionally, and often spontaneously, we do this ourselves in one manner or another. What we refer to as trauma is what remains when we do not.


Communication A-3 hours –First 3 exercises

This segment engages us in the practice of safe and supportive communication through a series of seven practical, progressive and cumulative skills. Much will seem counter intuitive and contrary to our normal ‘social’ communication skills. This is why it is necessary to practice and experience the difference as both the sender and receiver of the communication. Learning, practicing and embodying this skill set is fundamental to creating safety and holding a safe space for a traumatized person.


The Psychobiology of Trauma- 1 hour

This segment picks up from the didactic material in  “Understanding Trauma” to fill in the details of how unresolved traumatic event triggers over time do progressively more physical damage to our brains and bodies, potentially resulting in debilitating mental, emotional, social and physical problems including a reduction in life expectancy by up to two decades.


Role of breath work, massage and alternative practices in working with trauma- 4 hours

This segment examines the powerful supporting role of alternative therapies in restoring the body, repairing the damage and releasing embodied triggers for clients who have lived with unresolved traumatic memory. It also engages in a practical exploration of several types of breath work, and how they can be an adjunct or complement to and during massage. Massage, likewise, can be an essential support to those undergoing transformational breath while releasing potentially terrifying embodied emotions and sensory memories.


Ethical obligation of self care – 3 hours    

This segment defines and examines specific risks to practitioners of working with traumatized individuals, and the correspondent risks to clients in the absence of adequate practitioner self care and self awareness. It provides a Jungian psychological framework for exploring and confronting unconscious and preconscious material as it becomes activated by our work with clients. It explains the mechanisms through which we can find ourselves sharing a client’s emotions, sensations or distress and improves our ability to distinguish our own material from that of clients. It suggests activities for expanding and remaining conscious and effective in our work, and several professional supports to assist us. 

About this Series:

Trauma Informed Care means holding an awareness of the impact and prevalence of Trauma, it's long term effects on health and the needs of Trauma survivors. It screens for and when necessary, refers clients to trauma specific interventions. Trauma Informed practitioners and organizations do not further traumatize individuals by their lack of understanding of trauma.


Trauma Specific Care does everything trauma informed care does, but further, offers effective, evidence based treatments that resolve traumatic memory and reduce or eliminate the need for ongoing treatment, coping and managing strategies, or drug protocols. Trauma Specific Care treats trauma directly and effectively, restoring the client's ability to function and enjoy life free of intrusive symptoms or progressive, debilitating disease processes stemming from the trauma.

You may take either the two day, Trauma Informed Care Workshop, or all six days of Trauma Specific Care. The full six days begins the certification process in the evidence based intervention, Traumatic Incident Reduction. While not within the scope of massage, TIR does not require a license and in conjunction with holistic treatments such as massage, acupuncture and breath work, constitutes a full spectrum approach to working with traumatized individuals and freeing them from their ongoing symptoms.

Trauma Specific Care

Additional 4 Days (28 hours) Covers...

Practical Considerations and Application in Massage - 12 hours

This class or class segment explores how we inadvertently trigger trauma survivors with our fearful approaches to working with them and avoidance of our own discomfort, at the expense of holding a secure space for them to heal and process. It involves participating in and practicing some bold techniques you may or may not choose to use in your practice, in order to explore and experience the subtle ways we communicate fear, or safety and security, to the clients on our table. We will learn that security and safety for the client rarely arise from what techniques we choose to use, or not use, with a particular client, but with the confidence we convey and communicate that they are indeed safe. It explores and reinforces the power of our intention in achieving our client outcomes, particularly with traumatized individuals. We will also examine how massage can restore a traumatized person’s ability to receive and benefit from touch, in the therapeutic relationship, in interpersonal relationships, and in intimate relationships. We will experience how massage can help in reclaiming one’s body; it’s sensations, and recovering a healthy, non-shaming body image. We will also heal some of our own limitations, expanding our own ability to live fully, while creating a safer, more therapeutic space for clients.


Communication B-4 hours –Final 4 exercises and rules of facilitation


Traumatic Incident Reduction – 12 hours

This class or class segment (along with Understanding Trauma and Communications Exercises) completes the full Traumatic Incident Reduction workshop. Traumatic Incident Reduction is a means of facilitating the resolution of past traumatic events. The reason for including this section in this workshop is that participants will work in pairs to resolve the ongoing impact of traumatic memories in their own lives. Unresolved, these memories may be triggered by interaction with clients, making it difficult or impossible to work safely and provide a nonjudgmental, nonreactive, safe space for those suffering from or recovering from the impact of traumatic events. They may choose to continue working with partners from the workshop until they have addressed all of their most distressing life events. Such resolution significantly reduces the likelihood that they will be triggered by, or themselves trigger, massage clients suffering from trauma. It is a powerful step in the obligation of self care in working with these populations. TIR is not psychotherapy or counseling. It does not involve evaluation, judgment, advice or coaching. It provides a safe space and time, as well as a structured technique, by which individuals can be supported to complete the processing of unresolved traumatic memory so that it has no ongoing adverse effect in their lives. Participants will learn the technique which they may offer(without the need for any special mental health license) as a powerful adjunct to their work with traumatized clients, albeit not under their scope of practice as massage therapists. Approach methodology

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Tel: 302-290-3597  


Lake Arenal, Costa Rica, Central America

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