Certificate in Somatic Attachment Focused Expressive Therapies® (SAFE-T®)

Psychotherapy Training for Trauma Healing and Emotion Regulation in Children & Adults

Somatic Attachment Focused Expressive Therapies® (SAFE-T) are a range of modalities that can enhance profound Attachment System Repair.

You will Learn to:

  • Identify attachment styles
  • Use appropriate language that will help you attune quickly to your client’s nervous system
  • Help clients identify secure base and safe haven gaps
  • Support clients to find and grow internal and external resources
  • Use ritual and rhythm in the counselling session to create safety
  • Learn ‘corrective experiences’ necessary for secure functioning
  • Introduce processes to support emotion regulation
  • Involve the body in your experiential processes
  • Use a range of expressive modalities to support your client’s learning style
  • Increase your clients self awareness and emotional intelligence
  • Increase your capacity for presence, holding space and ‘being with’ each client
Interested In enrolling? Click Here

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, 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 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; 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.
  • 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).

Requirements For Accreditation

  • 3 x assignments:
    • Literature Review – from required reading list
    • Personal Reflection Journal & Presentation
    • 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
  • Recommended – 2 Individual sessions with a trained & experienced SAFE-T® Therapist

Course Structure

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


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

It’s Somatic.  It’s Relational.  It’s Creativity on steroids.
This training cultivates resiliency, state flexibility, healing, recovery and the self-agency to develop 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
  • 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


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.

Upcoming Courses


About Your Trainer

Monique Pangari
M Ed (SGC); M Ed (BM); B Ed/B Arts (Psych); Adv Dip ET; Cert IV TAA; COS-P; EFT-C; SEP; DARe; PMACA

Monique is the founder of Somatic Attachment Focused Expressive Therapy® (SAFE-T). She is a mother of two, a trained School Teacher, a certified Trainer and an accredited and experienced Psychotherapist. She has experience working and living in an Aboriginal community as a classroom Teacher, with children at-risk in schools as a Behaviour Support Advisory Teacher, with children and families affected by abuse as a Child Protection Child & Family Therapist, as a specialist Counsellor in the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, as a Counsellor with families experiencing Separation & Divorce, as a Clinical Consultant supporting schools to prepare for, respond to and recover from suicide, and as a state-wide Post Adoption Support Counsellor & Mediator. Currently she sees parents, individual adults and children in private practice and is a Trainer and Supervisor of counselling professionals.

Monique is passionate about using the model of attachment theory and the creative practice of Expressive Therapies, including Sandplay Therapy, to enhance her understanding and practice with traumatised populations. She invites therapists to consider…what if your own personal attachment wounds were the key to being a successful compassionate therapist? What if your own creative process of healing those wounds gave you the map to helping others heal their attachment wounds?

Monique has undergraduate training in Education and Psychology and holds two Masters Degrees majoring in Behaviour Management and Guidance & Counselling. She is a Professional Member of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and has post-graduate qualifications in Somatic Experiencing, Dynamic Attachment Repatterning Experience (DARe), Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples, Circle of Security Parenting and Circle of Security Core Sensitivities, Family Constellations, Voice Dialogue, Expressive Therapies and Sandplay Therapy. Find out more

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    Endorsed By:

    You’re an angel! You’re gift is so profound! Thank you for sharing your gift of love.

    Counsellor, Brisbane

    I really loved the depth of play I experienced in the Sandplay and Symbol Work. Monique’s experience and wisdom within the field makes it easy and effortless to trust in each of the processes. Her presence is calm and reassuring.

    Therapist, Brisbane

    The highlight for me was the blend of experiential and theoretical. It was just right! Monique was compassionate and experienced with a good understanding of the range of material across Sandplay, Symbol Work and Trauma theories. This was an enticing introduction to a great combination of topics. It was well presented, informative and enriching. There was a good mix of personal and professional learning.

    Psychologist, Alice Springs

    Monique is so masterful and authentic. She is delightful and brought symbols and Sandplay to life. This training was enriching and transformative. It will change my practice and my ability to work with people in any context.

    Social Worker, Brisbane

    This course was invaluable, surprising, unfolding and growthful! Monique is awesome. She has a wealth of knowledge, is supportive, experienced and flexible. I loved discovering new parts of myself, the connections I made with other colleagues and the case presentations. Engaging in my own Sandplay Process has been most informative in my work with clients. I have learned to trust the process and am more present with my clients.

    Shivawn Davis, Speech Pathologist/Counsellor

    I am more confident that I can connect with children and build trust as well as a deeper and more reflective practice. Monique brings a passion and genuineness to this work. Her experience working with children and parents was evident and useful.

    Linda Casuarinna, Psychologist

    This course has completely changed the way I work. It gave me the most appropriate model of therapy for children experiencing domestic violence. I enjoyed learning in a supportive, mindful and inspiring environment. Monique is a wonderful teacher. She lives and breathes what she teaches and inspired me to do the same.

    Aisling Fry, DV Counsellor

    Monique’s ability to hold a safe, nurturing space in which to learn and heal was paramount to the emotional, relational and intellectual depth I was able to go to in the training.

    Psychologist, Gold Coast

    Monique is absolutely lovely & wonderful! She has such a great mix of personal, accessible energy along with depth and breadth of experience, as well as the ability to convey theoretical concepts clearly.

    Counsellor, Brisbane

    You are so awesome! You have no idea just how much you and your work has done for me. I so appreciate you for all that you do.

    Psychologist, Brisbane

    Monique was excellent! She has a great knowledge of both Attachment and Sandplay. Her sensitivity and skill as a therapist came into play allowing greater focus on the experiential aspect of learning the content and tools.

    Counsellor, Mullumbimby

    Monique, thank you so much for such a powerful and healing training. I appreciate how much energy you put in to your training and wish to acknowledge you for your beautiful presence throughout. You are an incredible teacher and therapist and such an amazing role model for us to learn from. I am so grateful that I made the decision to invest in my personal and professional development. I sense that this course will be life changing for me.

    DV Counsellor, Alice Springs

    I loved the whole program, but especially enjoyed the Sandplay activities. This was my first experience with Sandplay Therapy and I was very excited by it and its potential. I love Monique’s style of sharing her knowledge. She is warm, kind, safe, generous, knowledgable and awesome!! This training was absolutely inspiring!

    Somatic Therapist, Brisbane