Certification Program

Certification Program

The Relational Somatic Therapy program is a comprehensive 200-hour training program, delivered primarily in-person, through a series of training modules, a one-week residential retreat and monthly Skype/Zoom calls. Class size is limited to 12 participants to ensure the experiential and mentorship quality of the program. The modules focus on practical skill building in body-centered counselling, trauma renegotiation and relational repair. Each module is deliberately structured and is accompanied by an extensive manual.

“The training offers participants an experiential immersion into somatic studies. Current research in the field of neurobiology, trauma and attachment is paired with playful explorations of the material. As both right and left hemisphere learning is fostered, the material comes alive and skills are integrated. Experienced and safe mentorship within a small group format supports the process of deepening into and embodying the learning. As we allow ourselves to become informed yet humbled, and sit with human suffering, as we become more fluent in our response, capacity for more presence and clinical attunement arises.”
– Mariah Moser

Relational Somatic Therapy Program

Nelson 2019/2020 Training Dates:

October 18, 19 & 20 (2019)
November 22, 23 & 24 (2019)
January 24, 25 & 26 (2020)
February 21, 22 & 23 (2020)
March 20, 21 & 22 (2020)
April 24, 25 & 26 (2020)

Friday and Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday 10:00am – 1:00pm

Vancouver 2020 Training Dates:

May 7, 8, 9 & 10 (2020)
July 9, 10, 11 & 12 (2020)
September 24, 25, 26 & 27 (2020)
November 5, 6, 7 & 8 (2020)

Thursday through Sunday 10:00am – 5:30pm

The financial investment for the 200 hour certification program in Relational Somatic Therapy is $4,400. For payment plan and funding options, please contact Sue at info@openingtograce.com


Module 1: Body Centered Counseling Skills

This module is an introduction to Relational Somatic Therapy and focuses on the science and practice of body-focused work:

  • The cultivation of presence and relational attunement
  • Somatic work as an awareness practice
  • Elements of Relational Somatic Therapy
  • Brain integration and the somatic approach
  • Working on a sensory-motor level and using language effectively
  • Initiating and setting up a client relationship / therapeutic alliance
  • Skill building (joint field of awareness, tracking, contact statements, assisting differentiation, working with limited self/core essential self, mapping, sequencing and reframing)
  • The role of psycho-education
  • Differentiating the somatic approach from other approaches to counseling.


Module 2: The Psycho-Physiology of Trauma and Trauma Resolution Work

This module addresses the nature of trauma and elements of trauma renegotiation:

  • The Neurobiology of trauma and trauma resolution
  • Ways to understand the impact of trauma on the physiology from a polyvagal perspective
  • Learn to read nervous system signs and non-verbal cues
  • Window of tolerance / understanding hypo and hyper dominant responses and building resilience in the system
  • Core principles of navigating safely and effectively
  • The role of fusions and dissociation in trauma resolution work
  • The nature of memory and principles of updating trauma imprints.
  • Assisting completion of survival responses in the body experience
  • Diagnostic tools
  • Renegotiation and transformation of trauma


Module 3: Relational Somatics

This module focuses on relational wounding and repair as well as building secure functioning in attachment focused therapy:

  • The neurobiology of environmental failures during development
  • Landmarks of developmental trauma
  • Trauma and the developing brain
  • Elements of working with developmental wounding
  • Toxic shame versus healthy shame and how to work with shame in a therapeutic setting
  • Cycles of rupture and repair
  • Attachment theory and somatic approaches and interventions for attachment repair
  • Working with the encapsulated inner child
  • Splits and structural dissociation of the personality
  • Understanding transference and counter-transference dynamics
  • The role of touch in the therapeutic process
  • Somatic perspectives on psychopathologies
  • Sexual abuse and working with victim–perpetrator dynamics
  • Scope of practice


In between modules, students are expected to devote time each week to personal study, reflection, practice and integration:

  • Reviewing the extensive manual that accompanies the training
  • Set up regular, weekly practice session with peers from the training
  • Participate in zoom group supervision calls and tutorials
  • Attend to additional readings


Contact us at info@openingtograce.com

Contact Opening to Grace