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The Training Program

In six, 3-day workshops over eight months, you will learn the core principles that underlie the SAFE-T ® approach to healing trauma and developing attachment repair, whilst also learning how to use a large range of Expressive Therapy modalities.

What is SAFE-T®?

SAFE-T® is a multi-modal approach to healing trauma and to enhancing profound Attachment system repair. It is based on the principle that attachment security or insecurity has physiological, as well as psychological, symptoms. As these symptoms are mostly unconscious, using words or insight does not give us adequate access. We need to work at a level below language, essentially with a different part of the brain.

That part is the right brain where the limbic system holds visceral, emotional and implicit memory. It is there that our earliest sense of ourselves, and in relation to others, is formed. Without accessing this, we are working with only a linguistic representation, frequently distorted, of those formative experiences that provide our relationship blueprint and unconsciously guide us through our relationship to ourselves and others.

SAFE-T® uses a combination of the felt sense, interoception, imagination and a range of other expressive modalities to access this vital part of the brain and bridge new neural pathways to an explicit expression of Self and often a new narrative to live by.

Attachment work is the key to SAFE-T®. We use somatic skills, creative modalities and important principles to support our client’s growing sense of safety, trust, self-knowledge; ability to take risks, manage disappointments and rejections; and development of a deeply-held internal sense that a protecting, wise, and attuned someone lives inside of them, guiding them and keeping them safe while enhancing the capacity for joy.

Throughout SAFE-T® is a constant theme of compassion and kindness and, within that, love. It is our capacity to love from our own accessed secure attachment while in session with clients that creates the fertile soil for transformation, both of our clients and of ourselves.

Note: SAFE-T® is a synthesis of my trainings, study and experiences. Key influences are Dynamic Attachment Repatterning Experience; Circle of Security; Somatic Experiencing; Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples; Expressive Therapies and Sand Therapy.

Who Is This Training For?

  • Counselling & Welfare Professionals who are passionate about therapeutically & creatively guiding their clients and themselves toward greater security internally and in their personal relationships. Graduates who have completed all of the requirements will be awarded certification in this ACA accredited training.
  • Individuals, without counselling qualifications, who are interested in both gaining counselling skills, training and qualifications as well as understanding the fundamental concepts of attachment and interested in an exploration of their own attachment style are also welcome to attend, and will received a Statement of Attendance.
  • This training course is accredited for OPD points by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

2021 Dates, Times, Venue & Costs

Fri – 11am – 6pm
Sat | Sun – 9am – 6pm​

  1. 19 – 21 February
  2. 9 – 11 April
  3. 21 – 23 May
  4. 2 – 4 July
  5. 13 – 15 August
  6. 17 – 19 September

Investment

  • Upfront Discount – payment by 22 January, 2021 – $4,500 plus GST
  • $830 per workshop = $5, 000 for full certificate plus GST
  • Scholarships available for Indigenous & Queer Therapists.
  • Deposit of $1000 followed by 8 monthly payments of $500, plus GST, or other payment plans are available.
  • Includes a comprehensive manual
  • Accommodation, meals and travel are not included.​

Please note:  Certification is given to those attendees who have membership with a counselling association, ie. ACA, PACFA, AASW, APA, etc.  A Statement of Attendance will be given to those who do not have membership or are working towards membership.  This training is primarily post-graduate training designed to support qualified counsellors or psychotherapists in their role with their current case load.

The Mentorship Program

I am passionate about supporting both beginning and experienced therapists who are ready to take their therapy practice to the next level, to integrate new frameworks, principles and skills. Therapists who want to work holistically, safely, experientially and joyfully with their clients. Therapists who are not afraid to take a deep dive into their own attachment and nervous system along the way.

No therapist is an island. While therapeutic skill is the product of years of practice and self-determination, most therapists, no matter where they are in their career, need a mentor: someone who, directly or indirectly, ​takes them under their wing and inspires them to be a better therapist.

In conjunction with the SAFE-T® training, I am offering a highly specialised, 8-month online MENTORSHIP PROGRAM for Counselling Therapists. It will take you into the extraordinary world of the heart and practice of Somatic Attachment Focused Expressive Therapies® (SAFE-T) in your practice, with your clients.

Requirements For Accreditation

  • 3 x assignments
  • one book review – from required reading list
  • one personal reflection journal & presentation
  • one case study & presentation with practical facilitation reflection
  • Attendance at all six workshops
  • Willingness to explore experiential exercises & understand own attachment history with the intention of moving toward increased secure functioning. This is crucial to trusting the process of SAFE-T® and trusting that it’s possible to earn security
  • 2 Individual sessions with a trained & experienced SAFE-T® Therapist

Course Structure

  • 6 x 3 day workshops over 8 months
  • 18 days of training
  • 130 hours of training
  • Must attend all training workshops to gain certification
  • Must begin at workshop one

Curriculum

Here’s what we’ll cover during the 8-month Training Program:

It’s Somatic.  It’s Relational.  It’s Creativity on steroids.
It cultivates resiliency, state flexibility, creativity, recovery, healing and the self-agency to steward the counselling practice you desire for yourself and your clients.

  • Introduction to SAFE-T® – Principles and Practice
  • Trauma-Informed Expressive Therapies
  • Creativity, Imagination and Play
  • The Expressive Therapies Continuum
  • The four part model of Expressive Therapies
  • Developing trust & encouraging interest in self-discovery
  • Multiple Intelligences
  • Journal Writing and Worksheets for expression and integration
  • Use of Drawing for expression and emotion regulation
  • Somatic Awareness/Bioenergetics - the importance of accessing the wisdom of the body
  • Using Role Play to build security and to express emotions
  • Using Imagery & Visualisation to soothe the nervous system
  • Introduction to the Attachment Styles
  • Model of Self, Model of other
  • Mental Models
  • The Strange Situation Test
  • Introduction to the core concepts of Security – secure base, safe haven & proximity
  • Secure Attachment
  • Good Enough' Parenting
  • ‘Being With’ – the importance of Attunement
  • Earned Security
  • Independence, Co-dependence & Interdependence
  • The Window of Tolerance – Emotional Regulation
  • Adult Attachment Questionnaire
  • The neuroscience of love & emotions – We are wired to love
  • Psychological mechanisms activated by Sandplay
  • Concepts from Jungian Psychology supporting Sandplay
  • Anxious/Ambivalent Attachment
  • Core Sensitivity - Separation, "Don't Leave Me"
  • Core Wounds and Shark Music
  • The role of memory – Implicit and Explicit
  • The Strange Situation experiment findings
  • The Preoccupied Parent
  • Protest Behaviour
  • Hardwiring Hope & Happiness
  • Receiving Love
  • Self-Compassion
  • The Anxious Attachment Questionnaire
  • Earned Security for the Anxiously Attached
  • Corrective Experiences
  • Interpretation of spatial arrangements in the sandtray
  • Dr Lowenfeld’s theoretical framework
  • Avoidant Attachment
  • Core Sensitivity - Esteem, "Don't Banish Me"
  • The Dismissive Parent
  • The Strange Situation Experiment Findings
  • Characteristics of Avoidant Attachment
  • The Avoidant Attachment Questionnaire
  • De-Activating Techniques
  • Earned Security for the Avoidantly Attached
  • Vulnerability, Authenticity & Shame Resilience
  • Moving Toward Interdependency
  • Repair, Acceptance & Forgiveness
  • Introducing Archetypes and levels of the psyche
  •  Disorganised Attachment
  • Core Sensitivity - Safety, "Don't Intrude on Me"
  • Trauma & the Nervous System
  • Characteristics of Disorganised Attachment
  • The Unintegrated Parent
  • The Disorganised Attachment Questionnaire
  • Earned Security for the Disorganised Client
  • Visualisation, Relaxation & Mindfulness
  • Resourcing
  • Working with Complex Trauma
  • Advanced Sandplay Therapy
  • Interpretation of Spatial Arrangements in the Sandtray
  •  Clinical considerations
  • Vicarious Trauma
  • Ongoing supervision in SAFE-T®
  • Working with different populations
  • Further research
  • Group Sandplay Process
  • Presentation of Self Reflection Process
  • Final Case Presentation
  • Graduation Ceremony

Expressive Therapy Modalities

Across the six workshops you will learn a range of expressive modalities. As ET is process oriented, body oriented and multi-modal, a range of modalities will be used in each workshop. These include:

  • Sand Therapy
  • Journal Writing
  • Symbol Work
  • Bioenergetics
  • Body/Somatic Awareness
  • Body Dialogue
  • Movement
  • Sound, music making and listening
  • Mandalas
  • Clay Work/Plasticine/Playdoh
  • Emotion Regulation Processes
  • Drawing for Release
  • Role Play
  • Story Telling
  • Silence
  • Relaxation
  • Visualisation
Attachment refers to the ability to form emotional bonds and empathic, enjoyable relationships with other people, especially close family members. Insecure attachment early in life may lead to attachment issues and difficulty forming relationships throughout life. Attachment Theory and Research Developmental psychologist John Bowlby originally described the concept of Attachment Theory focusing on the bond between mother and infant. Attachment, according to Bowlby, is not a one-time event, but a process that begins with birth and extends beyond childhood. Attachment impacts us from cradle to grave. What is highlighted over and over again in the literature is that the need to reach out to and receive love from another caring, protective and attuned other is biologically wired into each and every one of us. We literally need to know someone has our back as we engage with the world and that that same someone is a safe haven to come back to when we need comfort and protection. We need to keep close proximity, either physical or emotional, with anyone we consider intimate and when we lose this proximity, we experience separation distress. Attachment Therapy involves having a thorough understanding of the different attachment styles, how they were created, how they show up in the counselling room and providing 'corrective experiences' for our clients to support them in a process of 'earned security'. Because the need for attachment is literally wired into us, we can nurture greater security in our clients, when we know how.
​​Expressive Therapies (ET) is a blend of experiential personal growth (developmental) and counselling (therapeutic) methods, developed in Australia by Dr. Mark Pearson and Dr. Helen Wilson, and others, since 1987, which support the emotional healing of adults, adolescents and children. These approaches cooperate with the natural movement within the psyche towards wholeness – the process Jung called ‘individuation’. Expressive Therapies can help people of all ages recover from experiences of disrupted or insecure attachment. ET methods utilize art materials, such as paints, drawing, clay, collage and even digital media, along with music, drama, movement and writing. Modalities can be grouped into four major categories: Movement, Sound, Storytelling and Silence. Movement involves dancing, yoga, sensory integration, energy arts, cultural practices, labyrinth, play. Sound involves singing, drumming, playing instruments, humming, chanting/prayer, vibration, listening. Storytelling involves enactment, drama, role playing, improvisation, visual art, creative writing, lyrics, journalling, embodied narratives, ceremony/ritual. Silence involves mindfulness, meditation, contemplation, art making, yoga, labyrinth walking, felt sense, interoception, witnessing art. ET is an invitational, self-discovery approach, encouraging insights and change from within the client. The methods and attitudes are client-centred; recognition and value is given to the significance of the client’s personal interpretations and meanings. The processes have been developed from an expanded understanding of the psyche, with an evolving research base, founded on the tradition of creative arts therapies and particularly Jungian, Gestalt, Transpersonal, Emotion Focussed and Constructivist Psychology.
Body Focus is a method of interoception that supports the exploration of psychosomatic signals from the body, indicating unconscious feelings carried in implicit memory, which may need attention. Through inner focus and guiding questions clients can connect with areas of the body that seem to hold feelings or sensations that are ready for expression. Metaphor and imagery are invited as ways of accessing implicit memory and allowing the unconscious to communicate and resolve issues. Bioenergetics are specific exercises that awaken the flow of emotions and energy within the body. Held-in emotional pain is often felt as physical pain or tension. Unexpressed love and generous impulses that have not flowed out can harden and begin to feel like their negative opposites. The body has many habits of physical holding and muscular contraction. Under this is a healthy energy core. Freeing the body is a vital aspect of helping clients connect with the positive, creative self.
​Sand Therapy is a hands-on, expressive counselling and psychotherapy modality that has been in use for over 80 years. Sandtray forms a bridge between verbal therapy and the expressive therapies, combining elements of each. Sandtray allows the deeper aspects of the psyche to be worked with naturally and in safety, and is highly effective in reducing the emotional causes behind difficult behaviours and moving clients toward greater internal security. With an extensive research and literature base, Sandtray is a powerful therapeutic method for use by established professionals. It has been used with children, adolescents and adults, in schools, hospitals, welfare agencies and private therapy practices.
Symbol Work exercises are used throughout the course. Symbol Work combines activities with Gestalt theory and applies this to working with small symbolic objects. The play aspect of this approach makes it inviting and non-threatening. With training, Symbol Work can easily be incorporated into traditional counselling. Symbol Work is used with children, adolescents and adults and can help resolve personal problems, reclaim forgotten qualities and provide a framework for the individual to reconnect with positivity and direction within themselves.
Emotion Regulation Processes can help deal with the underlying feelings that may be driving an individual's behaviour and support a sense of balance and integration. Through process work we can express current feelings as well as work back through old feelings and behaviour patterns that add fuel to acting-out and withdrawal. These implicit memories, or imprints from the past, can contribute to sabotage in daily life. Emotion focussing methods can be used to regulate both conscious and unconscious emotions and integrate in explicit memory, creating a more current narrative. Process work provides a safe, structured way of encountering troublesome issues and supports the deep healing of anger, grief, loss, rage and resentment.
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