Somatic Practice with Marginalized Communities


Embedded in the social engagement system in our biological quest for safety and an implicit biological imperative to connect and co-regulate our physiological state with another.  How we look at each other is a critical feature of this capacity to connect. Subtle cues of understanding, of shared feelings, and of intent are conveyed.”

 - Dr. Stephen Porges 


How can somatic practitioners successfully meet the realities of clients who endure chronic social and economic trauma?  How do we enhance practitioner capacity to create safer treatment environments which increase opportunities for attunement with clients who experience marginalization such as racism, nationalism, classism, homophobia, sexism and/or ableism?

This workshop explores elements of practice for practitioners which can support somatic empowerment, healing and liberation.

Using the SE model, we will draw a physiological map of social trauma to offer a framework.  From this map, we’ll focus on elements of practice for somatic practitioners to:

  • Help clients connect with their innate wholeness underneath adaptive protective mechanisms, chronic stress and suffering kept in place by chronic social trauma
  • Increase conditions of safety necessary to explore and unwind impacts of social trauma with clients
  • Track and interrupt your own ‘implicit bias’ and learned socially conditioned responses to racism, nationalism, classism, homophobia, sexism and/or ableism
  • Support appropriate and productive ‘fight and flight’ responses to social trauma
  • Normalize the freeze response as an appropriate coping mechanism to the chronic ‘inescapable attack’ of social trauma