About the Workshop

Together with Dr. Sharon Stanley, we will explore primary modes of communication (Schore) that open to the life-long development of a vibrant spirituality based on the sacred worth of all.

Relational trauma becomes locked in the body and mind, beginning in perception, rising through the right hemisphere into feelings of fear and terror and synthesizing into images and defensive behavior.  Called “the safety ethic” by Darcia Narvaez, this level of morality reinforces practices of oppression including, “emotional distancing” and the “vicious imagination. As Narvaez points out, an ethical system based on efforts to survive, the “safety ethic”, distorts the natural human state of relational connection and communal imagination for the well-being and flourishing of all.

Practices of primary methods of communication open us to social engagement and facilitate the development of empathy throughout the life span bringing about a relational, collaborative, and cooperative intra-personal, inter-personal and communal moral ethic. These primary methods of communication include embodied, intuitive perception, feelings, images and reflection on lived experience, all right hemisphere affective dynamics of relationship.  

The experiential focus of this workshop includes somatic meditations to release the grip of chronic activation of the sympathetic nervous system and practices of primary communications in reflection on personal lived experience and the development of empathic consciousness. 

Learning Objectives

By the end of the workshop, you should be able to:

  • Name the three primary modes of communication and describe the role in the affective dynamics of interpersonal relations;

  • Describe how the primary methods of interpersonal communication activate the neurobiology of life-long development to heal trauma;

  • Explain specific ways by which the practice of “the safety ethic” (by Darcia Narvaez) of reducing “Emotional Distancing” and “Vicious Imagination” unlocks relational trauma in the body.

Featured Readings
for the Workshop

With your On-Demand purchase, you will be given access to 4 articles and chapters curated by Dr. Sharon Stanley especially for this workshop. These materials will enhance the basis for the workshop presentation.

Download a brief overview of the featured readings.

  • Chapter 5, Relational and Body-Centered Practices for Healing Trauma: "With Trauma 'the Spirit Leaves the Body'"

  • "The Centrality of Mothering for Human Flourishing"

  • "Modern Attachment Theory: The Central Role of Affect Regulation in Development and Treatment"

  • "Facing the Trauma: How the Face Reveals and Processes Unexpressed Suffering"

Featured Presenter

Sharon Stanley


Sharon Stanley, founder of Somatic Transformation, LLC., has been a psychotherapist and educator for 40 years. Her spiritual experience began in a strong, extended Irish Catholic family that endured trauma from World War I and World War II. As a mother of four and grandmother of eight, high school theology teacher and Pastoral Associate in a parish oriented to social justice, she became disillusioned with patriarchal religious ways of knowing and explored spiritual questions such as: What does it mean to be human? Who is God? And why is there so much suffering? This life-time inquiry led her into an inspiring doctoral program at the University of Victoria, where she was intrigued with a spiritual and psychological knowing from a biological phenomenological perspective.

Her findings in her doctoral dissertation on the development of empathy drew her into a study group with Allan Schore’s and his research on ‘right-hemisphere to right hemisphere’ relationships as essential for the primary communication needed between infants and caregivers. Her book: Relational and Body-Centered Practices for Healing Trauma: Lifting the Burdens of the Past, published by Routledge in 2016, integrated research from developmental neuroscience into a creative, body-centered, relational model for healing trauma and an educational process for psychotherapists called Somatic transformation. Over the past 32 years, Sharon continues to learn from research, participants in the educational trainings throughout the world, her beloved clients and from her own practice of reflection on lived experience. She is currently researching and writing a book on Spiritual Trauma.

Purchasing this On-Demand Workshop includes access to the recording for 90 days after purchase.

* Student / Early Career Professional is defined as currently enrolled in or having recently graduated from a professional, credentialed training program in the previous 2 years.

CE Certificates

A CE certificate cannot be offered for On-Demand programs at this time. We hope to be able to offer this for our future events.