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Stuck in Survival: Somatic Experiments Towards Embodied Safeness

Trauma can force us to develop strategies to help us survive what we experienced.

These actions of survival and truncated actions of survival get stuck inside the nervous system and, as we now know, the body keeps the score. Our biography becomes our biology. And then our biology informs our current and future biography. The strategies that kept us alive can keep us from fully living.

By learning to recognize and safely release the tension patterns of these survival responses, we can manage anxiety and overthinking, emotional flooding, and overwhelm. New choices become available for the neuro-muscular system, which can allow us to cultivate self-awareness around past behaviors, thoughts, and emotions.

In this presentation psychologists and psychotherapists will learn how the cascade of tension and immobilization related to the ocular sympathetic/collapsed parasympathetic response can be addressed to facilitate enhanced treatment outcomes, including capacity for bottom-up self-regulation, expanded window of tolerance, and interoceptive awareness.


  • Frame trauma and addictive processes within the context of polyvagal theory and hyper- and hypo-arousal (Window of Arousal model).
  • Learn bottom-up strategies to facilitate self-regulation, which is foundational to all aspects of addiction recovery and trauma recovery.
  • Learn ocular activation exercises for the orienting response, and ocular tension release exercises, as well as whole body orienting responses to facilitate client safeness.
  • Practice somatic techniques can help to release autonomic tension patterns and facilitate interoceptive awareness.

Linda Thai, MSW, ERYT-200

Linda Thai, MSW, ERYT-200, CLYL is an adjunct faculty member in the Social Work Department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and specializes in trauma-informed care and compassion fatigue resilience skills; Mental health clinician at ND Systems, specializing in somatic therapies and trauma therapy. She assists internationally renowned psychiatrist and trauma expert, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, with his private small group psychotherapy workshops aimed at healing attachment trauma. In her work at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, she is responsible for training clinicians in all departments, including psychology, nursing and medicine. She has a Master of Social Work with an emphasis on the neurobiology of attachment and trauma.

Linda has studied Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Brainspotting, Havening, Internal Family Systems, and structural dissociation of the personality. Linda has worked in Fairbanks, AK with those recovering from addiction, trauma, and mental illness. She is passionate about yoga, meditation, and mindfulness and bringing those gifts to her community.

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Who this course is for

Counselors, Social Workers, Psychotherapists, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, Psychologists, Addictions Counselors, Occupational Therapists, Case Managers, other Mental Health Professionals, Educators, Anyone with an interest in the subject

This course is offered at the introductory level.

Stuck in Survival: Somatic Experiments Towards Embodied Safeness

$30.00 USD

Program Only

Included features:

  • 90 Minute Course


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