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Em-BODY-ing Conversations:  Integrating Narrative Practice, EMDR Therapy, and Somatic-oriented Therapies

This second Course in our Narrative Therapy, Trauma & the Affective Turn Series focuses on Lynne Rosen’s approach to integrating narrative practice with EMDR, and Somatic-oriented Therapies. We aim to open for registration in 2024. Keep watching this site and sign up for our newsletter for updates.

Here Lynne introduces her work to SuEllen Hamkins and Maggie Carey.

Course Description

Our lives and body/mind/spirit are multi-storied, some of which find expression beyond words. Michael White talked about how people would tell half stories about traumatic and oppressive experiences. We learned to honor what clients shared and make visible the absent but implicit, people’s responses to trauma and oppressive experiences that were absent from dominant storylines. We then could explore the foundations of these responses and how they spoke to important values in life and relationships that were threatened or diminished. We can explore the absent but implicit with clients’ affective, imaginal, and somatic responses, making visible these half-stories; how sadness (a tear or the silent refusal of tears) or a gesture, for example, might be protest, reclamation, or testimony to what one holds as precious that has been threatened or diminished. We can also interrogate nonverbal dominant body norms that maintain oppression and the status quo.        Lynne Rosen

Em-BODY-ing Conversations – the second course in the Narrative Therapy, Trauma & the Affective Turn series –  integrates somatic and affective-inspired EMDR Therapy, interpersonal neurobiology, and somatic therapies with a narrative therapy approach.  Through edited video and audio clips from workshops in Shelburne, Vermont, and San Diego, California, Lynne Rosen builds on the philosophical tenets of a narrative therapy approach to explore what becomes possible when we enter the realm of the nonlinear to create different kinds of scaffolding using sensations, images, gestures, affect, dreams, movement, and imagination. Richly illustrated with client stories, Lynne explores ideas around embodiment, memory theory, and interpersonal neurobiology as frames for discernment in helping to inform the pacing and movement between safety and risk and helping clients move from constriction to greater spaciousness, agency, and freedom. Throughout, Lynne seeks ways to guard against imposing Western embodiment ideas on others, to explore ancestral and cultural wisdom and knowledge, and to make visible and heal bodily inheritances from abuse, colonization, and other forms of oppression.

Most importantly, Lynne hopes that the dialogues clients have so generously agreed to share and the ideas shared by colleagues, authors, and professional and personal ancestors, on whose shoulders she stands, engage us in dialogue, envisioning, and collectively imaging different pathways forward that support relational being, greater justice, and collective healing.

Course Objectives

 Participants will be able to:

  1. Construct language and practices around integrating somatic-inspired EMDR Therapy and somatic practices with a Narrative Therapy Approach both philosophically and practically, while escaping recruitment into interiority ideas and binaries of body/mind, inside/outside, thinking/feeling and resources/deficits.
  2. Learn how to help people explore bodily inheritances from abuse, colonization, and other forms of oppression, politicizing experiences of the body by placing somatic and nonverbal experiences back into socio-political, cultural, and historical contexts.
  3. Engage somatic-inspired practices and EMDR practices in ways that stay connected to curiosity, invitation, transparency, and client authorship while resisting taking up expert ways of knowing.
  4. Describe how to experiment ethically and collaboratively with integrative practices, considering potential benefits and contraindications.
  5. Explore the connection between cultural somatics, embodied anti-racism, and embodied
  6. Synthesize how to interrupt survival habits of body that are nonverbal so space opens up for co-research, curiosity, and agency of responding (preferred ways of enacting gesture, movement, affect).
  7. Identify frames for discernment (Memory Theory, Polyvagal theory, Interpersonal Neurobiology/window of tolerance) in moving between risk and safety as we work with implicit memories.
  8. Create scaffolding with direct, in-the-moment somatic and affective experiences that support Re-Authoring and Re-Membering practices aligned with clients’ moral and ethical positions.
  9. Learn through clinical examples what reclamation, radical imagination, and embodied resistance look like in our work as we move between discursive and non-discursive landscapes.
  10. Learn how to expand clients’ somatic bandwidths, moving from constriction to a greater sense of aliveness, spaciousness, agency, and freedom.

Course Contributor

Lynne Rosen
Lynne V. Rosen, LCSW (Pasadena, California) has been engaged in therapeutic work for over 25 years in medical, residential, inpatient, community and private practice settings. She found her therapeutic and philosophical home in the early 90’s when she traveled to New York to hear Michael White and David Epston. Most recently, she has focused her attention on integrating Narrative Therapy with EMDR, Somatic Therapies and Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) with clients who are living with the effects of Trauma, Eating Problems and other difficulties that compromise relational well-being. Her favorite proverb is an African one: “Until lions have historians, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter.” Lynne has had a long-standing interest in bringing forward lions’ tales, stories and experiences at the margins, where there is wisdom and knowledge that can transport us all. She continues to feel passionate about teaching, supervising and public conversation work and for many years, she had the privilege of working as Core Faculty and Director of the Postmodern Therapy Training Program at PGI and Co-Founder of WPLA (Women’s Project Los Angeles).

Course Overview

Lesson One: Getting Situated

Welcoming you to the course, we introduce Lynne and her team of contributors, describe Narrative Therapy & The Affective Turn, grapple with philosophical congruence, explore the meaning of Embodiment and its relationship to challenging power and tactics of oppression using a Cultural Somatic Lens, and illustrate the importance of politicizing experiences of the body, placing somatic and non-verbal experiences back into socio-political, cultural, and historical contexts.

Lesson Two: Bridging Narrative Therapy with EMDR and Somatic Therapies

We build on Lynne’s description of her approach to integrating EMDR and somatic-oriented approaches with narrative therapy, as captured by the 2018 Radical Therapist interview with Chris Hoff. Lynne explores considerations for ethically and collaboratively exploring imaginal, somatic, and body-based practices and identifies frames for discernment that shape moving between discursive and affective landscapes.

Lesson Three: Norm

We devote an entire lesson to Lynne’s EMDR and somatic work with Norm – a cis-gender 60-year-old man with a deep passion for music, an enormous heart, and an incredible wit. Referred to Lynne by her colleague Larry Zucker, Norm challenged so-called facts and “NORM-alizing” judgment shaped by traumatic early experiences, opening space for alternative ways of understanding the effects of history, moral judgment, and a sense of agency. We explore audio recordings and transcripts alongside  Lynne and Larry’s reflections on their collaboration, teachable moments, and learnings from this experience.

Lesson Four: Weaving in Somatic Landscapes

In the fourth lesson,  Lynne Rosen introduces additional somatic therapies and practices that help clients move toward reclaiming or creating novel preferred somatic and non-verbal bodily- experiences, responses, movements, and experiences. Engaging the language of sensations, images, movements, dreams, moral imagination, and memories reconnects clients with moral virtues and courage, a language for the inner life, and new possibilities for acting and relating that are aligned with cherished intentions, values, hopes, dreams, beliefs, purposes, and commitments.

Lesson Five:  P.J. Illustration with Outsider Witness Practices

Lynne shares her work with P.J. to illustrate creative possibilities that emerge when integrating somatic-inspired EMDR Therapy, and Narrative Therapy. This work explores the effects of making clients’ creative and sustaining practices visible and engaging radical imagination around suicidal ideation, connection, agency, and hope. Outsider Witness practices are integrated.

Lesson Six: Additional Somatic & EMDR Illustrations

Lynne further explores moving between different modalities and landscapes in negotiating and co-searching relational safety, working with dissociation, and exploring creative resources like art, movement, music, poetry, and writing.

Lesson Seven: Bringing It All Together

Lynne wraps up the course with reflections, resources for future study, and opportunities for registrants’ contributions.

Registration for this Self-Paced Course

Registration will give unlimited access to all course materials for personal use for an unlimited time.  You can start this course anytime: all course materials are available on-demand and adaptable to personal schedules. For an additional $40, registrants can earn APA-approved CE credits through Alliant International University.

We believe this course will make excellent teaching materials for graduate training programs. Please get in touch with us for an institutional rate if you wish to use these materials for other than personal use.

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When you purchase the course

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  • Each lesson and topic has space at the bottom for comments.
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