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The Training Program

​In six, 3-day workshops over six 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. On successful completion of the 6-month training program, graduates will become registered SAFE-T® Therapists.

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 our relationship 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, touch 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 Psychology is the foundation of SAFE-T®. We use somatic skills, creative modalities and important principles to support our client’s growing sense of safety, trust and self-knowledge; ability to take risks, manage disappointments and rejections; and development of a deeply-held internal sense that a protecting, wise and attuned part 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 provide a loving presence sourced from our own secure attachment while in session with clients, that creates the fertile soil for transformation, both for our clients and for 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™; NeuroAffective Touch; 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.
  • This is post-graduate training and only offered to professionals with prior qualifications in Counselling, Psychotherapy, Social Work or Psychology.  It is not for students or those looking for a pathway to becoming a qualified counsellor.
  • This training course is accredited for OPD points by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

2023 Dates, Times & Costs

Fri – 10am – 5pm, Sat – Sun – 9am – 5pm​

  1. 9 – 11 June
  2. 7 – 9 July
  3. 11 – 13 August
  4. 8 – 10 September
  5. 6 – 8 October
  6. 10 – 12 November

Investment

  • Upfront Discount – payment due by 9 May, 2023 – $5,000
  • $900 per workshop = $5,400 for full certificate due 10 November, 2023
  • Payment plans include 3 x $1,800 or 6 x $900
  • Partial Scholarships available for First Nations & Queer Therapists.
  • Includes a comprehensive manual

Please note: Certification is given to those attendees who have membership with a counselling or psychotherapy association, ie. ACA, PACFA, AASW, APA, etc. This training is post-graduate training designed to support qualified counsellors or psychotherapists in their role with their current case load.

Requirements For Accreditation

  • 2 x assignments
  • One book review – from required reading list
  • 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

Course Structure

  • 6 x 3 day workshops over 6 months
  • 18 days of training
  • 144 hours of training
  • Must attend all training workshops to gain registration as a SAFE-T® Therapist
  • Must begin at workshop one and do workshops sequentially

Curriculum

Here’s what we’ll cover during the 6-month Training Program: It’s Somatic. It’s Relational. It’s Creative. This training cultivates resiliency, state flexibility, creativity, recovery, healing and the self-agency to enhance the counselling practice you desire for yourself and your clients.

  • Introduction to SAFE-T® – Principles and Practice
  • Trauma and Trauma Symptoms
  • Trauma Informed Care – Principles and Practice
  • Somatic Expressive Therapies
  • Creativity, Imagination and Play
  • The Expressive Therapies Continuum
  • The four part model of Expressive Therapies
  • Neurobiological Frameworks for working with Trauma
  • SAFETY® – Somatic Exercises for Trauma Recovery & Post Traumatic Growth
  • Drawing for Self-Regulation
  • Visual Expressive Writing Techniques
  • The Power of Symbology for Transformation
  • Using Fantasy to Build Security and Harness Resources
  • Imaginary Encounters to access Internal Resources and contact Emotions
  • 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
  • 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
  • Boundaries
  • Hardwiring Hope & Happiness
  • Receiving Love
  • Self-Compassion
  • The Anxious Attachment Questionnaire
  • Earned Security for the Anxiously Attached
  • Corrective Experiences
  • 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
  • Transforming Shame
  • Earned Security for the Avoidantly Attached
  • Vulnerability, Authenticity & Shame Resilience
  • Moving Toward Interdependency
  • Repair, Acceptance & Forgiveness
  • Disorganised Attachment
  • Core Sensitivity – Safety, “Don’t Intrude on Me”
  • Characteristics of Disorganised Attachment
  • The Unintegrated Parent
  • The Disorganised Attachment Questionnaire
  • Earned Security for the Disorganised Client
  • Corrective Experiences
  • Resourcing & Mindfulness
  • Working with Complex Trauma
  • Vicarious Trauma
  • Post Traumatic Growth
  • Supervision in SAFE-T®
  • Working with different populations
  • Somatic Resiliency Skills
  • Music & Mindfulness
  • Weaving & Mandalas
  • Symbols and the ‘Orders of Love’
  • Group Sand Therapy Process
  • Presentation of Self Reflection Process
  • Final Case Presentation
  • Graduation Ceremony

Expressive Therapy Modalities

Across the 6 workshops you will learn a range of expressive modalities. As Expressive Therapies are process oriented, body oriented and multi-modal, a range of modalities will be introduced. These include:

  • Creative Journal Writing
  • Symbol Work
  • Movement/Bioenergetics/SAFE-T® Yoga
  • Somatic Awareness to support Nervous System Regulation
  • Somatic & Symbolic Dialogue
  • Touch
  • Sound, Music making and listening
  • Mandalas
  • Weaving
  • Clay Work/Plasticine/Playdoh
  • Emotion Regulation Processes
  • Drawing for Expression and Release
  • Bilateral Drawing
  • Fantasy Role Play
  • Story Telling
  • Silence
  • Somatic Resiliency Skills
  • Imagination and Mindfulness

Attachment refers to the ability to form emotional bonds and empathic, enjoyable relationships with other people, especially close family members. Disrupted attachment experiences early in life may lead to 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 adaptations, 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 that potential for greater security that exists in our clients, when we know how.

​​Expressive Therapies (ET) is the integrative use of two or more creative interventions within the context of counselling and psychotherapy which support the 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, crayons, clay, collage and even digital media, along with music, drama, movement, sounding 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 and 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 somatics as well as the psyche, with an evolving research base, founded on the tradition of creative arts therapies, somatic therapy, neuroscience and particularly Jungian, Gestalt, Transpersonal, Emotion Focussed and Constructivist Psychology.

Somatic Therapy is a process that increases interoception to support 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. Sensation, metaphor and imagery are explored as ways of accessing implicit memory and allowing the unconscious to communicate and complete activation and resolve issues.

Bioenergetics are specific exercises that awaken the flow of sensations, 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 remain incomplete within the body and begin to feel like their negative opposites. The body has many habits of physical holding and muscular contraction. When completed client’s can access connection to core healthy energy. Freeing the body is a vital aspect of helping clients connect with a positive, creative sense of self.

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 feelings we may not have been able to express, as well as work through internalised 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 regulation processes can be used to regulate both conscious and unconscious emotions and integrate in explicit memory, creating a more coherent narrative. Process work provides a safe, structured way of encountering troublesome issues and supports the deep healing of anger, grief, loss, rage and resentment.

DOORS OPEN MAY, 2023

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