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Flyer has a photo of Shirley with curly brown hair and a warm smile, placing hands on someone who we cannot see. The logo of Relational Somatic healing is on the left with a flight (or murmuration) of birds taking off together from the middle.

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Relational Somatic Healing Embodied Touch in Psychotherapy
In-Person Touch Training
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 tohealing.
  • Immersing clients in a full, body-mind healingrelationship
    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 trainingDetails:
    *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
Relational Somatic Healing Embodied Touch in Psychotherapy
In-Person Touch Training
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.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the components for ethical, safe touch in psychotherapy.
  2. Discuss the impact of ongoing consent.
  3. Utilize clear boundaries between clients and therapists.
  4. Identify contraindications of touch in psychotherapy.
  5. Discuss the impact of systems of oppression and privilege on therapeutic touch work. 
  6. Describe the benefits of touch in psychotherapy.
  7. Apply Being as an inner state of the therapist. 
  8. Utilize therapeutic holds in practice sessions.
  9. Demonstrate use of therapeutic presence in touch work.
  10. Identify the difference between open and closed systems.
  11. Assess the presence of developmental trauma.
  12. Apply basic knowledge of anatomy.
  13. Identify the three layers of wounding: safety, nourishment and freedom. 
  14. Use receiving and naming to support the unfolding of the practice sessions.
  15. Demonstrate ability to follow countertransference and own comfort level with touch.
  16. Utilize Developmental map to steer toward healing and repair.
  17. Apply healing nourishing experience with safe touch.
  18. Demonstrate understanding of protective parts.


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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