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Practical Guide to Somatic Regulation

March 19 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm PDT

Practical Guide to Somatic Regulation:

Grounding, Orienting, Tracking & Titration
An experiential workshop 

Michael Shiffman, PhD, LMFT

March 19, 2022

1:00 pm – 5:00 PM PST
Somatically Safe via Zoom


Registration is Closed

We often hear clients say that they feel like their body was hijacked in the face of a triggering event. They can’t think, their nervous system seems to have a mind of its own. They lose their sense of home with their sense of self compromised. Somatic practices that support regulation play a key role in supporting clients to form a secure experience of their felt-sense, a return home to safety and security.  

Grounding, orienting, tracking, titration and pendulation are core observable processes involved in the organic movement toward somatic regulation.  This workshop will emphasize recognizing and working with these observables.  

We will start with a brief review of the autonomic nervous system and will introduce specific ways for clients to ground, orient and process traumatic reactivity.  We will do a series of dyadic exercises to practice tracking and working with of activation cycles. 

Part 1 will introduce participants to the autonomic nervous system and the impact of traumatic reactivity.  We will discuss arousal and activation, the window of tolerance, the vegas system and polyvagal theory, top-down and bottom up processing, and measures of activation.

Part 2 will introduce participants to methods of orienting, grounding and the identification of activation/de-activation cycles.  After discussing these processes I will do a demonstration to identify how these processes appear to the observer.  After some discussion we will break into dyads to practice orienting, grounding and tracking sensations.

Part 3 will deepen our practice of tracking by introducing additional elements of prosody and narrative.  These dyadic exercises will be immediately useful with clients and readily integrated within any clinical model or theory.

Part 4 will bring it all together.  We will discuss tracking sensation and affect in the relational field and the integration of titration and pendulation in the treatment of traumatic reactivity.  Time will be reserved for questions and discussion of complex cases.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Differentiate between mindfulness and somatic awareness;
  2. Describe the use of grounding and orienting for somatic regulation;
  3. Describe 4 elements of activation – de-activation cycles;
  4. Track activation de-activation cycles in oneself;
  5. Track activation de-activation cycles in ones clients;
  6. Describe using titration to de-escalate activation cycles.

Michael Shiffman, PhD, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT #122513) in private practice in Los Angeles.  Michael is a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP), a certified Neuroaffective Relational Model Therapist (NARM), a Level 2 PACT Couple Therapist, and is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).  Michael is uniquely trained in the use of touch for trauma resolution and attachment repair.

Michael sees individuals and couples, and runs groups.  His clinical work is mindfulness based, somatically grounded and asset oriented.  He has a substantial background working with anxiety, panic, traumatic stress, substance abuse and recovery, relapse prevention, and somatic oriented therapeutic practices. He teaches mindfulness meditation, neuroaffective regulation and somatic psychotherapy

Michael received his PhD from the UCLA department of sociology.  His academic training includes conversation analysis, social movements, labor union history, gender studies, and social psychology.  His doctoral dissertation was on family trauma and posttraumatic stress among adult children of alcoholics.  He has worked in program evaluation, health care research, grant writing and has provided technical services at UCLA and through several private computer companies.

Michael began meditating in 1994 under the guidance of Shinzen Young.  He founded LA Dharma in 1999 through which he hosted a meditation group and coordinated 20 daylong retreats and two large conferences with teachers from the Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Insight Meditation Center.  In 2002 he began teaching mindfulness meditation and has since taught beginning, intermediate and advanced meditation practices.  He studied with Shinzen Young and Jason Siff, and continues to practice with Rev. Hye Wol Sunim since 2002.  Michael loves to cook and is frequently happy at home in Encino California.  For more details visit his website at https://michaelshiffman.com.

Continuing Education

A CE certificate is issued after the course evaluation is received.

Psychologists: The Insight Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Insight Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course is provides 4 CEs.

MFTs / LCSWs / LPCCs: The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts APA CEs. This course provides 4 CEs.


March 19
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:
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CA United States