Morit Heitzler: Somatic countertransference in trauma work

Morit Heitzler: Somatic countertransference in trauma work

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November 12, 2016 @ 09:30 – 17:00
National Council for Voluntary Organisations
Holloway Rd
£105 - £135
Cynthia Ransley

A 1-day CPD workshop organised by: UKAPI (UK Association for Psychotherapy Integration)


Over the last 25 years, trauma work – more than any other aspect of our field – has shown us the limitations of purely verbal ‘talking therapy’, and neuroscience has helped us understand why awareness of the body is crucial in attachment and affect regulation: in PTSD, by definition, the client is dissociated from the trauma which is experienced as terrifying and overwhelming sensorimotor affect, mostly in the body.

It is impossible for the therapist to function reliably as an attuned regulatory object without being acutely aware of both the bodies in the therapeutic relationship – the client’s and her own.

Traditionally, psychoanalysts might have used the (dubious) term ‘somatic countertransference’ to point to these aspects of our internal experience as therapists. What it means in practice is being constantly exposed to – what feels like – unmanageable intensities, picked up by subliminal, non-verbal channels and via our ‘mirror neurons’, our autonomic nervous system and other spontaneous bodymind processes.

Vicarious traumatisation is recognised as one of the dangers of such acute, but necessary exposure. How can we process the information inherent in our ‘somatic countertransference’, so it becomes useful and transformative, both for our own sake, survival and well-being and that of the client and their process?

This workshop will aim to address these questions and other related issues through an integration of theoretical discussion and experiential exercises. Morit’s aim is to support therapists from all modalities in accessing non-verbal communication through offering some practical techniques that will enhance and expand the therapist’s existing way of working.

Morit Heitzler ( or see her website: is an experienced therapist, supervisor and trainer with a private practice in Oxford. She has been teaching on various training courses in the UK and abroad and regularly leads workshops and groups. Since working both at the Traumatic Stress Service of the Maudsley Hospital and The Oxford Stress and Trauma Centre, Morit has gained experience over many years in working with a wide variety of PTSD symptoms and traumatised clients, including refugees and asylum seekers. She has developed an integrative approach to trauma work, incorporating - within an overall relational perspective – different types of somatic trauma therapy, EMDR, Body Psychotherapy, attachment theory, modern neuroscience and Family Constellations.

Booking and further information:

Early Booking Fee (before October 2) UKAPI members: £ 105 - Non members: £120
Standard Booking Fee (from October 3) UKAPI members : £120 - Non members: £135

Download Leaflet & Booking Form        -           Visit UKAPI website

By |2016-08-23T12:25:32+00:00May 5th, 2016|Comments Off on Morit Heitzler: Somatic countertransference in trauma work