Relational Somatic Healing:

embodied touch in psychotherapy

Explore the Radical Potential of Healing Beyond Words

Touch, our very first language, can reach the deepest layers of our experience and our healing potential. Although the latest research and science supports the healing benefit of touch, many psychotherapists are afraid to use it in their practice. Touch, if done in an embodied, slow, and gentle way, can be an ethical and safe therapeutic tool. Using touch we can have direct access to the physiology of developmental trauma, character style and attachment, and can move far beyond the limitations of verbal exploration. We are here to teach you how to hold your clients’ growth and transformation.

About Us

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Current Trainings

Learn more about our weekend classes, trainings and other opportunities.    

Get In Touch

Please contact us for more information:

(510) 859-8599 


“It’s about trust.

Trusting that your body knows what to do. It made itself, whatever it is and whoever you are.

Nobody else knows what’s going on

The way you do.”

Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen

“ People have been healing each other since the beginning. Long before there were surgeons, psychologist, oncologist, and internist, we were there for each other…the enormous power in the simplest of human relationships : the strengths of a touch, the blessing of forgiveness, the grace of someone else taking you just as you are and finding in you an unsuspected goodness.

Everyone alive has suffered. It is the wisdom gained from our wounds and from our own experiences of suffering that makes us able to heal. Becoming expert has turned out to be less important than remembering and trusting the wholeness in my self and in everyone else. Expertise cures, but wounded people can be best healed by other wounded people. Only other wounded people can understand what is needed, for the healing of suffering is compassion, not expertise”.

Kitchen Table Wisdom / Rachel Naomi Remen

Relational Somatic Healing is the missing link between relationship, words and the body – the part that has no words, but never forgets.”

“Life is so complex – but often the most powerful healing is simple.”

Student Quotes from 2020 Training

Flyer above has photo of Shirley smiling and holding someone lying down, that you cannot see, with a loving look on her face.

Flyer text reads:


Relational Somatic Healing

Embodied Touch in Psychotherapy

Touch, the language of the body, can reach the deepest layers of our clients’ wounding and healing.

Verbal psychotherapy can feel limited to clients, especially those who continue to suffer with significant challenges to their emotional, mental, and physical health. Safe, embodied touch allows us to bring healing to the physiology of attachment, character, developmental trauma, and many other aspects of our clients’ experience that we cannot reach with talk therapy alone. This training will be rooted in the foundational elements, practiced in RSH Module 1.

What We’ll Explore: • The ethics and benefits of touch in psychotherapy

• Bridging talk therapy and touch based psychotherapy

• The physiology of developmental trauma

• Trauma, safety, and regulation

• Receiving clients through touch

• Being in relationship with clients through touch

• Shifting the focus in psychotherapy from wounding to


• Immersing clients in a full, body-mind healing relationship

What’s Included:

• 4 hour online training on the ethics of touch in psychotherapy

• 5 day-long, in-person touch training including immersive hands-on practice

• 1 online follow-up consultation meeting after the in-person training


*There are two date options. Pick the one that works best for your schedule. Both date options are exactly the same training.

Option 1:

Apr 8th (9am-1pm) via Zoom & Apr 14th - Apr 18th in-person

Options 2:

May 6th (9am-1pm) via Zoom & May 12th - May 16th in-person

In-Person Hours: Thurs 10:30am -5:30pm, Fri-Mon Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm

Location: 2149 Byron St, Berkeley, CA 94702

Tuition: $1800

To apply email

Shirley Dvir’s Bio:

Shirley is the founder and lead teacher of Relational Somatic Healing and a Licensed
Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 44258). She is currently earning a PhD at California
Institute for Integral Studies in Somatic Psychology and is writing her dissertation on the use
of safe touch in psychotherapy. She earned an MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology
from John F. Kennedy University and a BA in Social Work from Haifa University in Israel. For
over 10 years she taught as a Certified Hakomi Teacher at the Hakomi Institute of California,
John F. Kennedy University, California Institute for Integral Studies, and Shiluv Center in
Tivon, Israel. She has also supervised associates pursuing MFT licensure and currently
mentors licensed practitioners. Shirley has been practicing psychotherapy since 1997 in
agencies and private practice, seeing families, children, couples, and individuals. She has
training in psychodynamic work, attachment, EMDR, Sensorimotor Trauma Therapy, the
Enneagram, family therapy, CranioSacral Therapy and Body Mind Centering (Bonnie
Bainbridge Cohen). Her main work today focuses on healing relational wounds with safe
embodied touch. Her spiritual practice and meditation support how she holds her work and
her teaching. She has a private practice based in Berkeley, CA.


Relational Somatic Healing

2915 Martin Luther King Jr. Way

Berkeley CA, 94703

Artwork on this website proudly attributed to Bella Bigsby

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