The Body Alchemy of Relational Neuroscience (BARN)

BARN 2019

Date: February 22-24 2019 (3 days)            Time: 9:00 – 5:30pm
Venue: The Addington Haven, Addington, Christchurch

CPD/CPE– 18 Hours

Full Fee $845. Early Bird $795 applies until 6 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.

Instructor: Dr Rebecca Ridge PhD CST-D

Course Description

In this 3 day intensive workshop students learn specific skills to manage intense states of body deregulation caused by a loss of trust and safety due to abuse, trauma and PTSD. Students learn how to develop their therapeutic presence with a client, how to restore the body of trust and apply specific skills to assist a client’s nervous system to regulate and repair from their history. The body alchemy process integrates CranioSacral therapy with appropriate somatic therapies and the expressive arts. Students will learn to strengthen their own therapeutic and ethical boundaries and develop communication skills to explore a client’s past so that they can more fluidly guide a client through the body releases of past hurt, pain and fear. Utilizing the current theories of trauma they will also learn how to gently release the freeze/shock from the body and brain, while structurally and compassionately rebuilding resilience and trust. Using metaphor and storytelling that accesses deep body communication, students will discover ways to guide a client through the change making process so that they can find their own creative resources and reframe their traumatic experience to one of hopeful resilience integrating body, mind and spirit.

Course Outcomes

  • Deepen the therapeutic relationship and rebuild the body of trust
  • Strengthen clear ethical boundaries when working with emotional content
  • Learn to distinguish different emotional energy fields through touch
  • How to communicate through story with the body-mind
  • Clear their own emotional history in order to be more present for their clients/patients
  • Develop and integrate advanced hands-on skills for working with people with a history of trauma, childhood abuse and shame
  • Learn and understand the state of the art theories on PTSD from leading experts such as Peter Levine, Steven Porges and Bessel van der Kolk
  • Learn relationship between attachment theories and limbic system applicable to body therapists


Day One:

  • Introduction and definitions of alchemy
  • Building healthy therapeutic relationships, experiential exercises
  • Definitions of trauma and description of current theorists in trauma recovery
  • Exercise in creating a safe place, building resilience. Experiential exercise

Day Two

  • Theories of attachment, creating safety based on needs of client history
  • Triune brain and limbic system, limbic resonance
  • Rebuilding the Body of Trust, Applications to trauma experiential work
  • Pendulation exercises with imagery and CS techniques
  • Exercise working with the limbic system and cyngulate gyrus. CST and SER dialogue

Day Three

  • Lecture on Steven Porges’ Social Engagement system/ Polyvagal theory
  • Dialoguing with vagus nerve
  • Balancing the amygdala
  • Working with the wounded child/ finding resources
  • Applications of SER/CST to trauma, specific scenarios

Prerequisite: SER1

Required Reading: none

Recommended Reading: The Body Alchemy of Psychodrama