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Module 5: Somatic Psychology

In our work with the body we experience the deep interrelationship between soma, psyche and spirit. Somatic Psychology seeks to give language and meaning to the fluid and organic experiences of somatic process, enabling us to dialogue and interact meaningfully with material arising from the unconscious in bodywork and movement therapy practice.

Tutors: Paul Beaumont (who will be joined by Jane Okondo for the Neuroscience & Trauma Seminars)
Dates: 5 long weekends over an academic year.

Starting Autumn 2023 – Summer 2024. Dates to be released soon

Times: Fri & Sat 10:30am–6:00pm; Sunday 10am – 5.30pm. (online times will vary slightly)
Venue: Near Totnes, South Devon, UK.
Cost: TBC. 2020 costs: £1425 (£300 Deposit to secure your place, plus 10 monthly payments of £112.50 (due on 1st of each month, Sept 2020 – June 2021); or the EARLY BIRD fee of £1275, when paid in full to be received by 1st June 2020)

Please join our mailing list to hear details of introductory workshops and when appliactions are open for the module starting in 2023.


Participants will have either completed Module 1, 2 and/or 3 of the Diploma Programme. This Module can also be taken as CPD by professionals and students in related fields of practice (you will have studied for at least 100 hours in some other approach to somatic movement or dance movement therapy). Please apply with details of relevant study and professional practice, and join us for an intro workshop.

The module will explore:

  • embryology and the roots of the sense of self and attachment patterns
  • psychological models emerging out of somatic and perinatal process, including both theory and practice.
  • the role of the therapist and their embodied presence in relationship to the client, including basic skills of listening, supporting, witnessing, containing, processing and integrating.
  • Setting up a Professional Practice, ISMETA Scope of Practice & Code of Ethics, information about Final Presentation & Written Case Study.

1. Embodiment of Spirit: an Embryological Journey

  • The process of development from conception through the first few weeks of embryological life.
  • Movement and body meditations to explore the embodiment of cells, membranes, tissues and fluids, engaging with the unfolding of form through which the embryonic sense of self begins to emerge
  • Asking what embodiment means to us as human beings, we will consider how the human embryo embodies spirit
  • The origins of relational patterns as they manifest in the unfolding patterns of movement will be explored

2. Body, Feelings, Mind: Embryology and the Body Systems

  • The splitting and integration of body, feelings and mind, with reference to the embryological layers (Boadella) and the expressive and shadow functions of the body systems.

3. Perinatal Process: Development of Sub-personalities

  • The influence of perinatal experience on the development of the will and personality patterns, with reference to Grof’s basic perinatal matrix
  • The development of sub-personalities, their somatic manifestations, and methods of working with them through inner body dialogue, identification and dis-identification, and movement process

4. Development of the Sense of Self: Neuroscience and Trauma work

  • The development of the senses of self, with particular reference to Stern’s work, in relation to Infant Movement Development and Authentic Movement practice
  • Attachment theory and neuroscience; how early experiences of attachment and loss affect brain development: the implications for bodywork and somatic movement therapy
  • Working with trauma

5. Movement Process Work: the Body as Shadow

  • The body as shadow: movement Process Work and the theory of the Dreambody (Mindell)
  • The Role of the Therapist and their Embodied Presence
  • The dance of relationship: the therapist’s embodied presence as container and as information: transference and countertransference will be addressed
  • The many levels of listening: gathering information from verbal and non-verbal messages, holding creative tension, and creating a context for the work
  • Empathy, compassionate witnessing, resonance and clear seeing.

For more information the other modules, please click the links below:

Module 1: Infant Movement Development

Module 2: Authentic Movement and Therapeutic Presence

Module 3 & 4: Embodied Anatomy and Movement Re-patterning