Facilitator: Merete Holm-Brantbjerg

A new workshop in our CPD series.


This workshop is a new version of ”Authority and trauma” – a workshop I developed in 2009 – and was run a couple of times in London. I have worked with the authority-issue since then and I am curious about how patterns of dominance and submission are woven together with trauma and stress patterns – and the possibilities that become available by making the patterns conscious and negotiating them. Getting conscious about our automatic ways of going over or under can be an important element in opening up to layers of experience, that has been kept away from consciousness.

Dominance and submission is part of our biology – we cannot change that. Going over and under - one up and one down – is part of how we survive in relation to each other – and in the inner dynamic between different parts of ourselves. The patterns often relate to authority and influence – we easily go into automatic reactivity triggered by our interpretations of other people’s behaviours or by the outer reality. We go into fight, become dominant or we submit to others – instead of leading or following based on a sense of direction from within. The more stressed we are, the easier we get triggered into these dynamics.
Dominance and submission hurts – in each of us and between us. When we go over or under each other or parts of ourselves, we loose direction from within and emotional resonance. We loose our capacity to lead and follow, be in contact, manage differences, negotiate conflicts, heal, process etc.

What can we do with this part of us?
We can become conscious of the patterns and normalize them – negotiate with them and through that gain more freedom of choice between dominance/submission and a companionable, even way of relating. The goal of this workshop is to stimulate that process.

In the workshop we will:

  • Stimulate curiosity in relation to dominance and submission on one hand and equal relating on the other
  • Train psychomotor skills that support the experience of direction from within in leading and following roles – and alternative to dominance/submission
  • Train how to sense tension and low energy in muscles and discover how dominance and submission bodily is maintained by a combination of the 2 muscular defense-patterns
  • Explore how dominant and submissive positions can be negotiated bodily
  • Theory about 2 relational systems
  • Relate dominance and submission to stress and trauma healing

The teaching style contains a mix of bodily skill training, practical exploration, systems-oriented group-process and exchange about theory.

Workshop leader:  Merete Holm Brantbjerg, bodypsychotherapist, member of the Danish Psychotherapist Organisation and of EABP, founder of Relational Trauma-therapy – international trainer.

Date:  Friday 15, Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 March 2019

Times:  9:30am to 5:30pm all days

Venue:  Rudolf Steiner House, 35 Park Road, London, NW1 6XT    (location)

The fee for this course is £330.

Registering online by 15 February 2019.  By booking you are entering into a contract with CABP to pay for your place even if unforeseen circumstances prevent you from attending. If the workshop is cancelled we will refund your payment.

Introducing the method – Relational Trauma therapy
In Relational Trauma therapy, psychomotor exercises (ROST) are used to open defensive patterns. Skills and resources held in the muscle-system are awakened and with that our capacity for regulating emotions and arousal-states can grow.
Through the process of “dosing”, the body exercises are adapted by each participant, building an inner authority to choose between opening or respecting and valuing the defensive patterns as they are supported by the body.

This bodily skill training is based in knowledge of tension and low energy (hyper- and hypo-response) in the muscles and connective tissue as defence-mechanisms. Both high and low energy behaviours are valued equally, however regulation of low energy is addressed first which supports both an unusual group-dynamic and inner dynamic. The goal of Relational Trauma therapy is to build a holding environment where emotions and survival reactions can become mutually regulated, especially those states that have been held in isolation and dissociation. The psychomotor skill-training supports self-regulatory capacity and systemic group-work is used to build the capacity for mutual resonance and regulation.

The psychotherapeutic growth process in the workshop happens through active exploration, systemic group-work and reflection. Growth in your professional capacity is supported by widening your capacity for knowing and owning aspects of being human in your own body and mind through direct experience, in resonance with yourself and others.

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