Healing Sexual Trauma: A Somatic and Attachment Approach to Working with Therapy Clients

led by

Diane Poole Heller,PhD & Peter Levine,PhD

April 30th – May 28th 2019
Approved for 7 CEs

Presenter Bios:

Diane Poole Heller Ph.D.: Diane Poole Heller, Ph.D., is an established expert in the field of Adult Attachment Theory and Models, trauma resolution, and integrative healing techniques. She is a trainer, presenter, and speaker offering workshops, teleseminars and educational materials on Trauma, Attachment Models and their dynamics in childhood and adult relationships, as well as many other topics. She has lectured and taught around the world as both a Somatic Experiencing trainer and Special topics presenter, most recently with her very popular DARe (Dynamic Attachment Re-Patterning Experience) series on Adult Attachment.

Peter A. Levine, PhD: Peter A. Levine, PhD, holds doctorates in both medical biophysics and psychology. He is the developer of Somatic Experiencing®, a body-awareness approach to healing trauma, and founder of the Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute, which conducts SE™ trainings throughout the world and in various indigenous cultures. Some of Dr. Levine’s achievements include being a stress consultant for NASA during the development of the space shuttle project, as well as a consultant to Sandia Labs during their report on preventing terrorism commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security in 2002. Dr. Levine was a member of the APA Task Force: Psychologists for Social Responsibility in developing responses to large-scale disasters and ethnopolitical warfare. He is also a Senior Fellow at The Meadows Addiction and Trauma Treatment Center in Wickenburg, Arizona. Dr. Levine has written several books about trauma. His international best seller, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, has been translated into twenty-five languages. His other books include In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, Trauma and Memory: Brain and Body in a Search for the Living Past: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Working with Traumatic Memory, , Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes – a resource book for therapists, Trauma Proofing Your Kids, a guide for parents and teachers in how to recognize and prevent trauma, and Freedom From Pain, a guide for working with trauma-related pain. Levine’s original contribution to the field of Body-Psychotherapy was honored with the Life Time Achievement award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP). He also received an honorary award as the Reiss-Davis Chair for his lifetime contribution to infant and child psychiatry.

Content Description:

The wounds caused by sexual trauma and various forms of abuse leave profound scars that can of a physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual nature. The Healing Sexual Trauma course is specifically designed to help therapists work more effectively with clients that are experiencing deep suffering, trauma, and shame with the understanding that sexual trauma can be one of the most damaging and difficult issues we face with our clients in the therapy room.  We will support therapists to expand their clinical skills and psychological understanding of this sensitive topic in a way that promotes true healing and avoids re-traumatization. We will help therapists understand the realities of pervasive sexual trauma- that it is often under-reported due to dissociation and shame.

Early sexual abuse often correlates with neglect and empathetic failure from the family of origin and affects every developmental stage in a person’s childhood and shapes their future experience – often derailing relationships and/or a healthy sense of sexuality. We will be reviewing and debriefing actual client sessions and case studies and including relevant cutting edge research as well as providing many practical skills and clinical interventions to support therapists to better alleviate symptoms that often accompany sexual abuse such as anxiety, depression, sexual acting out or suppression, eating disorders, substance-abuse and various physical syndromes including migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and irritable bowel.

We will help therapists sort through confusion and betrayal, repair their clients’ ruptured boundaries, learn how to pace this activating material in a way that can be integrated, observe and utilize somatic strategies that are vital to healing sexual trauma – and to avoid looking for specific sexually traumatizing memories in a way that may actually harm the client. Therapists will learn how to help their clients experience sensual embodiment in everyday situations and regain a gentle, safe and friendly capacity for flirting that is playful and  is often missing in the aftermath of sexual trauma. Therapists will help clients move toward mature and healthy sexuality, to regain discerning trust, relational resiliency, and begin to heal attachment injuries.

Module 1: Sexuality, Development, & Erotic Energy

  • Learn how early touch, rhythm, mother and child co-regulation, embodied sexuality is developed and finds repetition and modification throughout every childhood stage from infancy to adolescence to form healthy sexuality
  • Discover the devastating impact of molestation at different developmental stages and how to delineate sexual abuse from authentic sexual attraction
  • Explore the anthropological views and incest taboos that underlie some sexual trauma cases and how sexual addiction manifests in abuse cases

Module 2: Powerful Clinical Interventions to Alleviate the Symptoms of Sexual Trauma

  • Peter helps calm Nancy’s over activated sympathetic nervous system as she touches into her “high energy” shame including patterns of stuck rage and mania
  • Watch as she discovers her grounding and literally pushes forward with her boundaries while Peter carefully regulates and protects her from re-traumatization
  • Learn the implicit procedural memory techniques to move a client toward containment, empowerment and serenity

Module 3: Befriending the Body

  • Inviting a client’s curiosity to find a middle ground of exploration of their inner sensory awareness, and bypass the “need to know” and the “fear of knowing” conundrum.
  • Help clients to safely re-establish connection with their body gradually using effective embodiment treatment techniques, including breathe, sound, and movement techniques.
  • Learn how to guide the client towards cultivating a stance of compassionate observer as you work with their memories, sensations, images, feelings and/or sounds that may intrinsically arise as the session unfolds

Module 4: Moving Towards a Healthy Mature Sexuality

  • Learn how to help your clients utilize healthy aggression to establish and maintain boundaries, to return to safe, healthy flirting and support them as they navigate the dating or relationship world
  • Discover how influences from family, friends, society and culture contribute to the past, present and future narrative of your clients, and how it impacts human sexuality in general.
  • Develop a sensitivity and awareness of shame propagated by the cultural and media messaging that impacts the whole continuum of sexual expression and identity – from heterosexual, homosexual, asexual, non-binary, and LGBTQ individuals and couples

Module 5: Powerful Clinical Interventions – Restoring the Client’s Vitality after Sexual Abuse

  • Notice how Peter “builds a charge” of sympathetic arousal gradually in an extremely shutdown client, to find her own agency and safety in the here and now
  • Track sensation in a much safer and effective way and discover why chasing the specific graphic details of a traumatic event can be actually harmful.
  • Observe the effectiveness of how using the voo sound, and other proprioceptive, vestibular, and kinesthetic tools help the client shift from passive to active responses,
    from Shame to Pride

Learning Objectives:

1. Use the competent protector exercise to enhance safety.

2. Apply the clinical focus of working with implicit procedural memory and somatic strategies that enhance attention to sensation and movement.

3. Demonstrate clinical interventions that support the client moving from passive responses to threats toward active self-protective responses.

4. Assess that sexual trauma is often accompanied by an empathetic failure from the family and may impair development that can impact a person’s entire life.

5. Discover how to support clients in moving toward a healthy, mature sexuality

6. Identify practical techniques to help clients discover and restore ruptured boundaries.



Healing Sexual Trauma is a one-time fee of $267!

The 7 CE’s will be a nominal fee of $37. There will be a post-test that will need to be completed post-purchase and will be provided at the end of the five-week program.


Grievance Policy

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) seeks to ensure equitable treatment of every person and to make every attempt to resolve grievances in a fair manner. Grievances would receive, to the best of our ability, corrective action in order to prevent further problems.

Please submit a written grievance to [email protected]

Cancelation Policy

There is a 30-day refund policy. Please contact  [email protected] if you wish to cancel your purchase. After 30 days, you will no longer be eligible for a refund but can cancel out of the monthly program at any time.

Specific CE Information:

It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state. 

Continuing Education Credit is pending through Commonwealth Educational Seminars for the following professions: Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists


Commonwealth Educational Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Commonwealth Educational Seminars maintains responsibility for these programs and their content.

Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LPCs/LMHCs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Social Workers:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Social Workers. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for Social Workers. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Social Workers – New York State

Commonwealth Educational Seminars is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers. #SW-0444.

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LMFTs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.