Friday 26th March & Saturday 27th March 2021

Trauma and the Body

About the Event

Day One - An Introduction to Working with the Body in Complex Trauma Treatments

Current research indicates that trauma is largely remembered non-verbally, leaving the body and nervous system primed for future threat. Many traditional approaches to treatment lack techniques to work directly with this physical legacy of trauma; indeed, the body has largely been left out of the ‘talking cure’. 

Through a combination of lecture material, experiential exercises and discussion, this workshop will introduce a body-oriented approach to working with unresolved trauma. Andrew’s approach to training encompasses not only the most recent theoretical understanding regarding neuroscience and the impact of our experiences on our body, but also provides a clear and pragmatic link between theory and practice.

At the conclusion of day one, participants will be able to:

  • Review current neuroscience and practical applications in relation to safe trauma work.
  • Understand the role of the body in trauma treatment, including the role of procedural learning and its relevance to trauma treatment.
  • Apply simple somatic techniques to facilitate clients' self-regulation (including directed mindfulness).
  • Acquire increased knowledge and skills in assisting clients to develop body-based resources and enable them to experience and stabilise embodiment.
  • Understand the significance of the relational field in body-based psychotherapy.
  • Acquire increased knowledge and skills in incorporating bodily experience into all phases of trauma therapy.

Day Two - Deepening Resources for Stabilisation

The second day will build on content covered in the first day, with particular focus on assisting clinicians to use more advanced body-based psychotherapeutic techniques to enrich and enhance their treatment approach to clients presenting with unresolved trauma. 

Areas of focus will include the impact of somatics on the therapeutic relationship, and assisting clients to effectively access body-based resources to improve their capacity to regulate strong emotion and physiological arousal and more effectively process their traumatic experiences. The workshop will include both didactic and experiential material, with an emphasis on the provision of practical skills for body-based psychotherapy practice.

At the conclusion of day two, participants will have:

  • Practiced simple somatic techniques to facilitate clients’ self-regulation (including directed mindfulness).
  • Grasped the significance of the relational field in body-based psychotherapy.
  • Acquired increased knowledge and skills in incorporating bodily experience into all phases of trauma therapy.
  • Acquired increased knowledge and skills in assisting clients to develop body-based resources and enable them to experience and stabilise embodiment.
  • Acquired practical skills for the development of advanced resourcing that supports clients’ trauma processing.


Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is suitable for those working professionally with clients who have experienced complex trauma and who have current professional registration with an Australian regulatory body:

  • General Practitioners
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Social workers
  • Counsellors
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Mental Health Nurses

Applicants who do not meet the above criteria can apply on an individual basis to the COTWA Board by emailing or Consideration will be given to the applicant’s:

  • Nature and length of employment
  • Educational background and qualifications
  • Training in trauma
  • Support from the applicant’s supervisor and/or employer

About the Presenter/s

Presenter Name
  Dr Andrew Harkin
Presenter Blurb

Andrew Harkin graduated as a medical doctor from the University College in Dublin in 1990. Having a keen interest in the holistic treatment of his patients, Andrew completed a two-year postgraduate training course in 1998 with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute in Colorado, USA. He subsequently became lead trainer at the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute and taught psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapists in the fields of trauma and attachment across the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, and Australia for more than five years.

Andrew has also trained in other trauma-related models such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Brainspotting, and the Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM). Additionally, he is a teacher in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), having trained with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at the University of Bangor in North Wales.

In 2013, Andrew and his family emigrated to Western Australia to take a position as a Senior Therapist in a psychiatric day hospital. In 2016, he recorded the TED Talk, Mind the Gap: Moving From Brain to Body to explore the importance of reclaiming a sense of health and a sense of belonging in the body. Andrew now divides his time between providing training across Australia for mental health clinicians in body-based approaches to psychotherapy, and a private practice in Bunbury.

Presenter Image


Date/s: Friday 26th March & Saturday 27th March 2021

Registration opens on Wednesday 17th February

Registration closes Sunday 21 March 2021

Venue: Trinity on Hampden Conference Centre,
230 Hampden Road,
Crawley WA 6009
Additional Venue Information

Tea and a light lunch will be provided

Please advise special dietary requirements at time of registration

Accomodation Suggestions:
Recommended Reading:
Cancelation Policy:

Workshop Enquiries

Diana Phillips

Vivien Bainbridge

Membership/Directory Enquiries

Sonia Smuts

Amount For Who?
$750 Non Members
$500 COTWA General and Clinical Members
$300 COTWA Members listed on the COTWA Directory
Notes about Fees


The information in this panel discussion is general in nature and should not be relied on. You should always seek your own professional advice. The views expressed are those of the presenters and may not represent the views of COTWA.

Skip to content