Abuse/neglect, Foster care, Residential Care, Uncategorized

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Highlights from the Childhood Trauma Conference (Day 1)

I am at the 3rd International Childhood International Trauma Conference in Melbourne. The conference brings together international leaders in the field of trauma and trauma recovery.

The aim is to distill information that might be relevant to Practitioners be they foster carers, resi-worker workers, case managers or JJ workers etc. A big task!  The conference runs for five and half days, includes 16 national and international speakers and 2,500 conference attendees.

Notable international speakers include Peter Fonagy, Alan Schore, Bessel van der Kolk, and Australian psychologist Jennifer McIntosh.


Session: Conversation with Bonnie Goldstein and Pat Ogden — Sunday 29th August:

Pat and Bonnie are both Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SMP) therapists. Pat is the founder of SMP-  a body-centred approach that aims to treat the somatic symptoms of unresolved trauma. Both provide great insights into how the process works and its relevance to OoHC and juvenile justice populations.

While traditional talk therapies utilise the words of a person as the entry point for treatment, SMP type of therapy depends on the bodily experiences of the individual as a gateway to awareness and improved mental health. SMP is especially useful with children who are nonverbal or at least  struggle to put words to their thoughts and feelings.

See this YouTube video with Pat Ogden for more information on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.

pat ogen


Why Practitioners should know about  Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Because it is one of the few therapies that is applicable to traumatised children who do not have the language skills to express their feelings.

How can Practitioners use SMP?

SMP is a complex psychotherapy that should only be undertaken by people with required training and professional qualifications. However, there are some SMP tools that Practitioners can safely incorporate into their practice. For example, drawing a child’s attention to their  physical or bodily reactions to situations will increase their awareness of their own emotional states.

Today’s Session

Today I am attending Peter Fonagy’s masterclass on Techniques of Mentalisation Based Treatment.


About graemembaird

I am a psychologist with a special interest in improving the outcomes of families, children and young people in the Out of Home Care and Juvenile Justice systems.
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