Trauma Informed Massage Therapy – Level I – 14 Hours
  • Understanding Trauma - 3 hours
  • Communication A-3 hours
  • The Psychobiology of Trauma- 1 hour
  • Role of breath work, massage and alternative practices in working with trauma- 4 hours
  • Ethical obligation of self care – 3 hours

    Dates offered:
    Sat-Sun, Sept 10-11, 2016

    Cost: $300 for the 2 day workshop.

    Only $250 for these Early Season Workshop Dates

    Trauma Specific Massage Therapy – Level II – 28 Hours
    Prerequisite: Trauma Informed Massage Therapy – Level I
  • Communication B - 4 hours
  • Practical Considerations and Application in Massage - 12 hours
  • Traumatic Incident Reduction – 12 hours

    Dates offered:
    Sat-Tues, Oct 22-25, 2016

    Cost: $600 for the 4 day workshop.

    Only $525 for this Early Season Workshop Date

    Full Content Outline:
    Understanding Trauma - 3 hours

    This class or class segment demystifies and destigmatizes what we call trauma. The formation of traumatic memory is a feature of our sympathetic nervous system, a feature, not a bug. In times of overwhelm, we are intended to defer memory consolidation until a safer time, a time when we are not in a struggle to survive. Traditionally, and often spontaneously, we do this ourselves in one manner or another. What we refer to as trauma is what remains when we do not.

  • The prevalence of Trauma
  • Definition(s) of trauma
  • The Adverse Childhood Experiences study
  • The impact of trauma
  • How Memory(learning)is processed in the brain from experience(perception)
  • The parasympathetic vs the sympathetic nervous systems and their functions
  • How (and why) Traumatic memory is created
  • How traumatic memory is resolved Spontaneously
  • Indigenous/traditional practices
  • Mental health approaches
  • Traumatic Incident Reduction

    Communication A-3 hours –First 3 exercises
    Communication B-4 hours –Final 4 exercises and rules of facilitation

    This class or class segment engages us in the practice of safe and supportive communication through a series of seven practical, progressive and cumulative skills. Much will seem counter intuitive and contrary to our normal ‘social’ communication skills. This is why it is necessary to practice and experience the difference as both the sender and receiver of the communication. Learning, practicing and embodying this skill set is fundamental to creating safety and holding a safe space for a traumatized person.

  • Rules of Facilitation
  • Disciplines
  • Exercises

    The Psychobiology of Trauma- 1 hour

    This class or class segment picks up from the didactic material in “Understanding Trauma” to fill in the details of how unresolved traumatic event triggers over time do progressively more physical damage to our brains and bodies, potentially resulting in debilitating mental, emotional, social and physical problems including a reduction in life expectancy by up to two decades.

  • Neurological and Endocrine effects of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems
  • Gender differences in the trauma response
  • Unique biological impact of trauma on infants and children
  • Epigenetics and the biochemical impact of trauma on gene manifestation
  • Hereditary, cultural, historical and ‘past life’ trauma
  • The underlying mechanisms for imprinting trauma on the genome

    Role of breath work, massage and alternative practices in working with trauma- 4 hours

    This class or class segment examines the powerful supporting role of alternative therapies in restoring the body, repairing the damage and releasing embodied triggers for clients who have lived with unresolved traumatic memory. It also engages in a practical exploration of several types of breath work, and how they can be an adjunct or complement to and during massage. Massage, likewise, can be an essential support to those undergoing transformational breath while releasing potentially terrifying embodied emotions and sensory memories.

  • State dependent or context dependent memory and it’s role in embodied triggers
  • Releasing, accessing and relieving embodied traumatic memory
  • Restoring homeostasis, or activating the PNS capacity to heal physical damage from Trauma
  • Breath work
  • Breath to reduce arousal states(turn off the stress response/triggers)
  • Breath to release embodied trauma
  • Transformational breath practices

    Ethical obligation of self care – 3 hours

    This class or class segment defines and examines specific risks to practitioners of working with traumatized individuals, and the correspondent risks to clients in the absence of adequate practitioner self care and self awareness. It provides a Jungian psychological framework for exploring and confronting unconscious and preconscious material as it becomes activated by our work with clients. It explains the mechanisms through which we can find ourselves sharing a client’s emotions, sensations or distress and improves our ability to distinguish our own material from that of clients. It suggests activities for expanding and remaining conscious and effective in our work, and several professional supports to assist us.

  • Risks to the practitioner
  • Personal Trauma
  • Direct Trauma from Clients
  • Triggers from Client Stories or Life Events
  • Vicarious or Secondary Traumatization
  • Psychological Projection(Blame Shifting)
  • Compassion Fatigue
  • Compassion Satisfaction
  • Harm to the client
  • Wrong Indications
  • Unnecessarily triggering past trauma
  • Communicating judgment, evaluation or blame
  • Reinforcing client feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
  • Creating a lack of safety, thereby reinforcing avoidance, coping and managing
  • Exploring your own unconscious landscape
  • A Jungian framework for growth and awareness
  • The search for meaning
  • Individuation
  • Archetypes
  • Appropriate self care
  • How much self care do you need?
  • Mindfulness practices
  • Supports for consciousness
  • Mental health counselor, therapist or guide
  • Professional peer support group
  • Peer mentor or confidant
  • Ho’oponopono
  • Maintaining mindfulness and consciousness
  • Differentiating your 'stuff' from your client's 'stuff'

    Practical Considerations and Application in Massage - 12 hours

    This class or class segment explores how we inadvertently trigger trauma survivors with our fearful approaches to working with them and avoidance of our own discomfort, at the expense of holding a secure space for them to heal and process. It involves participating in and practicing some bold techniques you may or may not choose to use in your practice, in order to explore and experience the subtle ways we communicate fear, or safety and security, to the clients on our table. We will learn that security and safety for the client rarely arise from what techniques we choose to use, or not use, with a particular client, but with the confidence we convey and communicate that they are indeed safe. It explores and reinforces the power of our intention in achieving our client outcomes, particularly with traumatized individuals. We will also examine how massage can restore a traumatized person’s ability to receive and benefit from touch, in the therapeutic relationship, in interpersonal relationships, and in intimate relationships. We will experience how massage can help in reclaiming one’s body; it’s sensations, and recovering a healthy, non-shaming body image. We will also heal some of our own limitations, expanding our own ability to live fully, while creating a safer, more therapeutic space for clients.

  • Safety
  • Sex vs nudity
  • Shame vs guilt
  • Judgment vs acceptance
  • Draping
  • Being matter of fact about matters of fact
  • Connection
  • Internal emotional limits vs boundaries
  • Healing/resolving your own trauma/triggers
  • Holding a bigger, safer space for clients
  • Working boldly to confront and heal
  • Massage practice -Techniques for expanding your internal emotional limits

    Traumatic Incident Reduction – 12 hours

    This class or class segment (along with Understanding Trauma and Communications Exercises) completes the full Traumatic Incident Reduction workshop. Traumatic Incident Reduction is a means of facilitating the resolution of past traumatic events. The reason for including this section in this workshop is that participants will work in pairs to resolve the ongoing impact of traumatic memories in their own lives. Unresolved, these memories may be triggered by interaction with clients, making it difficult or impossible to work safely and provide a nonjudgmental, nonreactive, safe space for those suffering from or recovering from the impact of traumatic events. They may choose to continue working with partners from the workshop until they have addressed all of their most distressing life events. Such resolution significantly reduces the likelihood that they will be triggered by, or themselves trigger, massage clients suffering from trauma. It is a powerful step in the obligation of self care in working with these populations. TIR is not psychotherapy or counseling. It does not involve evaluation, judgment, advice or coaching. It provides a safe space and time, as well as a structured technique, by which individuals can be supported to complete the processing of unresolved traumatic memory so that it has no ongoing adverse effect in their lives. Participants will learn the technique which they may offer(without the need for any special mental health license) as a powerful adjunct to their work with traumatized clients, albeit not under their scope of practice as massage therapists.

  • Approach methodology
  • Demonstration
  • Practice in pairs
  • Live sessions

  • 10 AM - 6 PM each day.
    (All days include a morning, afternoon break and lunch on your own)

    Location: Location: Just off US 1 at SW 160th, Miami, FL 33157
    Address and Turn by Turn directions provided to all registrants

    Presenter Bio:

    Michael Brechtel, MEd, JD, LMT is an engaging transformational educator, author and empath. Michael has been teaching about trauma, self-care, ethics and intimacy for the past decade. 'The person I am meant to change is myself. What I am meant to change is reflected in those I meet. I am finished when I see God in everyone.' A massage therapist since 1999, former Director of Education at Educating Hands School of Massage in Miami and Professional Massage CE Provider since 2004, Michael holds a BS in Secondary Education and an MEd in Vocational Education, as well as a Juris Doctor. He has taught public school, community college, massage therapy, and continuing education for massage therapists and licensed mental health professionals.

    What Students Are Saying About Our Classes:

    "Thank you so very much. I am transformed, by which I mean I simply feel I have been restored to myself. The darkness has lifted. The workshop was powerful, whole and expressed so well what I know to be the truth but had not yet fully articulated. You do a remarkable job of weaving all the pieces together and of holding us all with love and gentleness. I can't wait to work with you again!"
    -Jennifer, LMT

    "This was a workshop about so many aspects of our humanity....It was a multidimensional approach to our profession. I have gained clarity and courage. Sometimes others come to our lives as catalysts, and as messengers or reminders for what still remains blurry to us. I am very grateful for that to you specially and also to (each of my classmates).
    -Pelican, LMT

    "I don't think I've ever spent three consecutive days in such absence of judgement -- in a bottomless reservoir of honesty, support and loving feelings. Wow. It will take me a while, or forever, to metabolize it all. What really worked for me was the balance between the hands-on work and the book work. The written part was so well-done, well-developed and thought-out, and supported by evidence-based research in an amazing variety of ways. I appreciate that even as I accept that some things are magically beyond measure and explanation. But I think all those elements come together in your course to create the strongest and most helpful experience. You're a born teacher."
    -Patty, LMT

    "In all the years I've been practicing and taking trainings and workshops(and I've taken many) This was the best, most transformative, enlightening experience of them all. My only serious suggestion would be to extend it by another day or two- or even three. A Retreat! Michael you are such a powerful, intuitive, compassionate healer. Thank you for creating and holding this sacred space."
    -Student Course Evaluation Comment

    "Thank you. I love you. Class was more than I could have expected. Thoughts in my head for years- asking questions- were finally answered. Even though when enrolling in this class was not even a thought. Thanks for a lot of answers and the way to go."
    -Student Course Evaluation Comment

    What is Traumatic Incident Reduction?

    TIR is a rapid (compared to traditional therapy) method of effectively eliminating or reducing traumatic stress from emotionally and/or physically painful events. It is a non-medical model and research-based modality that doesn’t require a degree to learn.
    Read More

    Client Comments after TIR

    The principal change is a great sensation of peace. Things that easily affected me before, now I can think about them and see them more clearly. It really impresses me how, by going through the traumas, I found out how much they affected me, contrary to what I use to think. Every human being has the responsibility to find peace with the past in order to create a happy present and future.
    Former Victim of Trauma after TIR

    I’m more open and receptive to new ideas or situations. I’m more forgiving of faults in other people. I’m aware of my own deficiencies and can admit to them, so I can work on changing them. I’m much more open to new ideas and instead of a fear of change, I look forward to the it as a challenge. My spirituality has been heightened. A lot of the fears I had in several areas are gone. I look at the future with excitement, whereas before I feared it and was afraid to take the first step, because of my fear of failure. That negative attitude has been eliminated. I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I would recommend this to anyone.
    Former Victim of Trauma after TIR