Understanding Trauma Courses

Understanding Trauma Courses

Nous Sommes le Temps by Herve Simon
Nous Sommes le Temps by Herve Simon

Over the years, I’ve studied stress, along with several management and healing methods. Recently, Matt Nettleton told me about a free course they offer at their Australian school for coaches, therapists, and healers, The Centre for Healing. Individuals from anywhere in the world can participate in the classes, which are offered online and at your own pace.

This is a somatic approach to healing, following the sensations back into their emotional contractions.

“Trauma is neither the big stuff nor the small stuff, but the ongoing dysregulation within the nervous system after experiencing… stressful events.

[Trauma isn’t what happens, it’s how we respond to it.]

The effect it has on one’s nervous system will depend on factors mainly around [our] development. The nervous system learns to respond and regulate stress [from our] caregivers and the level of adverse experiences [we had] growing up.

Stress itself is healthy and needed, but if the nervous system doesn’t move through the stress and complete the response, then the return regulation doesn’t happen and the nervous system remains stuck in the ‘on’ position [activated].

This lasting impact on the body’s functioning is… trauma.” – Matt Nettleton

I can add that these unfinished experiences leave energetic residues that cloud our experience and quality of life, too.

Those impressions can become part of our identity. I’ll write a followup article on this point, “How Stress Becomes Identity.

The Centre for Healing offers a free Understanding Trauma course in 3 modules.

And a free Trauma Informed Coaching course that I’ve taken. It’s 7 modules. I found it quite insightful.

They also have other short courses on things like Addiction and Your Relationship to Life. And of course, their more involved flagship therapy courses.

If understanding your physiology and healing appeals to you, you may enjoy these classes as I did. But the content is likely to stir up your baggage. 😉

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Davidya

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  1. scott

    Hi David,

    This post led me to this video which demonstrates this process really well. It shows a polar bear (and others) coming out of a freeze response as well as a soldier being treated for PTSD. I thought you ( if you aren’t already familiar with it) or someone else might find this interesting.

    I’m still wondering about some of the residents in the nursing home I recently started working at. Some of them exhibit this stiffened, frozen posture ( like the rabbit in the video). My gut tells me their is a whole area to be uncovered with dementia patients living with this.

    Here is a quote from the video by Peter Levine: ” the animal is actually replicating and completing the last protective motor and muscular survival responses he was making just prior to entering the freeze”


    1. Hi Scott
      I’m very familiar with stress management but am new to the related trauma space. Peter Levine is a big name in the sector. Nice summary video. Similarly, I’m very familiar with healing from a presence/allowing place but new to the somatic approach. I plan to take more training – to support my own process, the blog, and the coaching.

      And yes, unresolved trauma is very widespread. I have another post tomorrow on how it’s often integrated into the sense of self. People often have few skills for managing stress, let alone resolving old trauma. Allowing is not on the map.

      I found stepping into the flow post-awakening has brought some of that shaking up when major contractions are released. But that’s not considered acceptable behaviour, even in some spiritual communities. (this, as distinct from graceful flow movements that illustrate areas opening up.)

      Amazing what a difference it can make to put down these loads. Those nursing home residents will put down a lot of that load when they pass. But the core unresolved stuff will await them in their next incarnation. That’s how we learn best – through direct experience.

      As such, I’m a big fan of taking care of it now. Why wait for spring? Oh – it is spring! 🙂

  2. Michael

    Hi David!

    Yeah, Matt is one of the best out there regarding the understanding and treatment of trauma.
    I took their full EB course.

    Matt and I used to clear collective karma by chatting online lol.

    Much love

  3. scott

    I will check out tomorrow’s post then.

    I can see how it is integrated into the sense of self. Sometimes you can almost see a contracted energy, like a frozen silhouette of fear etc. , pervading someone’s energy field and it does seem to express as part of their self-identity. I see that sometimes in others.

    Like yourself I too only recently started taking a more somatic approach to “healing”. Previous to that I’ve approached meditation as a deepening awareness and an enlivening energy. For the harder to reach nooks and crannies though, I find a little extra is required. Holding certain yoga and chi kung poses has been helpful. I also like the Non-Directed Body Movement approach for releasing and opening up the channels. I’m grateful that I don’t need to go digging for trauma or stories though. I feel like just having a body is a kind of trauma in itself.

    Yeah I heard you mention how shaking/ releasing is not really welcomed in spiritual circles ( I think in your 1st Rick Archer interview) It’s sorta frowned upon while riding the bus or metro too. Ha ha. Another tool which I don’t see talked much about is “emptiness” meditation which I know from Shakyamuni Buddha’s Prajna Wisdom Teaching. It’s a bit nuanced I think from just witnessing meditation. I was looking for it’s equivalent in your posts the other day and found a great article of yours called “Innate vs Illusion” describing what seems to be the same teaching. Personally I think that that is the master healing method. “Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. Emptiness is not other than form, form is not other than emptiness… These two truths are of the same nature”

    I like what you said about the nursing home residents. Makes sense to me.
    Ha ha Yes it is spring here in Canada.

    1. Hi Scott
      Yes, at first it can be easier to see it in others. Then we come to be able to look inside ourselves and see the literal shadows, fog, resistance, and hard nuts. Some people experience spontaneous postures that aid in release. Custom asana. 🙂

      (laughs) yes, compared to higher levels, the body can feel like a trauma body. Pain body Eckhart called it.

      Interesting. I’ve studied Buddhism academically but have not explored the practices. I’ve not experienced what is as empty, so have not related. For me, form is appearance with an intention. It’s experienced as a fullness of expression within consciousness.

      My mother spent her last years in a nursing home. I observed that there were 2 common trajectories. There were those who let go into the process of aging and dying and enjoyed the process overall. And there were those who resisted the process and became grumpy and dark. (There is of course a spectrum of degree here.) I saw examples of both in my family.

  4. scott

    Hi David,
    It’s true it’s easier to see that stuff in others but what I’m talking about is mostly visual, so not as easily perceived in oneself ( I kinda have to FEel it in myself).

    The way I would explain emptiness meditation is learning how to straddle co-emergent bliss with a realization of emptiness – by emptiness I mean realizing that all phenomena lack inherent existence ; have interdependent origination. Then choosing a phenomena, (say the mind for example) through analysis, recognizing that it the lacks inherent existence, does not exist from it’s own side, is mere imputation, which then gives rise to bliss and that bliss fuels the analysis/meditation to go even deeper which generates more bliss…etc. etc. Anyway that is my very reductive style. I’m not a spokesperson for Buddhist meditation by any means.

    Hmm. Do you mean that for you form is an appearance with a concept overlaid onto it…? I don’t think it is correct to say an appearance has intention. The “appearance” is dependent on the perceiving consciousness (which has intention) but from it’s own side, the yet-to-be-appearance , is simply a potentiality.

    Your observation of the 2 basic trajectories is the way I see it too. Better to surrender.

    1. Hi Scott
      Yes, we have to feel them if they are energy contractions. It’s experiencing incomplete experiences that allows them to be resolved. However, the ability to see them may develop too, depending on factors like our dominant sense, etc.

      The “lack of inherent existence” is not “reality” but rather a perspective of reality. As Shankara would put it, an effect of rajas guna being dominant. Emptiness is a quality of the space of self-aware consciousness. That same space can be experienced as lively and thus feels full rather than empty. Another perspective of the same thing. As that’s how I experienced it, I’ve not related to Buddhism as much.

      By “appearance with an intention” I mean that forms arise with a purpose. I don’t mean an overlaid concept, though it could be argued that forms are a concept themselves, in universal mind. By appearance, I mean they’re not real in and of themselves. But they arise from what is real and carry the intention of reality. They don’t arise randomly.

      I disagree that all form is dependent on who is perceiving it. If that were true, we would all live in separate worlds. But rather we live in a shared world. However, our perceiver is a point or wave in universal consciousness. As such, we participate in the process of those forms arising, sustaining, and dissolving. We have an impact but are not the creator.

      Forms are not important in and of themselves but are structured to give us specific experiences.
      This is the perspective here.

  5. scott

    Hi David

    Yes the emptiness that was expounded by Buddha necessitates a fullness; they are inseparable.

    Yes appearances are not real in and of themselves and I agree they arise a priori from reality. I call the “intention of reality” cause and effect.

    Right, forms are not dependent on who is perceiving them rather PERceived forms are dependent on who is perceiving them.

    I’d say we humans share the same sensory apparatus which gives us the experience of a shared world.

    1. Hi Scott
      I see cause and effect as the play in the field of action. But it’s attention and intention that start the ball rolling.

      Forms are inherently perceived. They have no purpose otherwise. Object and subject are 2 sides of the same coin. I wouldn’t say dependent but mutually entwined.

      Having the same senses doesn’t mean we perceive the same thing. Eye witnesses are notorious for variability.

      But we’re getting into the weeds here, nuances of framing… 🙂

  6. scott

    Hi David,

    …Yes two sides of the same coin – mutually entwined. 🙂

    Wouldn’t attention and intention on (or for) ‘this’ rather than ‘that’ still be an effect of a previous cause, therefore cause & effect?

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