The Body is a Portal: The Way Through

How many of us have been studying trauma resolution for many years?I started healing prenatal and perinatal trauma 20 years ago when a client remembered her birth on my table during a Biodynamic craniosacral therapy session. At first, I was curious about her experience and wanted to help. But, when I started tracking feelings of anxiety in myself while working with her, I committed to learning more about prenatal and perinatal experiences. It turns out we had similar birth experiences as babies. I asked myself, How could her experience affect me in present time? That question opened the way for my energy to flow into the work that has become my passion.

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Take a Tool and Run with Dr. Heather Corwin

TTR 3:  Dr. Heather’s Corwin explores a simple and effective breath exercise, the K breath, to help explore expansion of ribs and deepening breath. The K breath helps reset the nervous system by tapping into back rib breathing. Anxiety and stress can be slowed down and addressed through the simple K breath. A repetition of 5 in a row is ideal with regular breathing as breaks in between, with 3 sets total as needed. Let your body help you ease your mind so you can take this tool and run!

Dr. Heather Corwin’s Take a Tool and Run is a monthly vlog that offers quick and effective tools to share somatic centering practices.


Blossoming is Mandatory, Sparkling is Optional.

The Sacramento sky is scattered with fluff. The trees, covered in pink and white blooms reminiscent of the bedspread my mother chose for my childhood bedroom, are on a mission to make me sneeze. As I hold a tissue to my nose and behold the beauty around me, I wonder:Do flowers ever get tired of blossoming? Does it start feeling like the same old thing year after year until there are no surprises left?

Safety in Therapeutic Interactions: A Polyvagal Influence

My journey involves a deep and prolonged exploration of the Polyvagal theory (Porges, 2011). In my quest to understand when intimacy, emotional expression, and connected communication are possible, I delved deeply into Porges’ research with the vagus nerve and its role in the evolution of the nervous system. His insights provided a road map for me and my clients to a fuller emotional life as we connected with our interoceptive awareness of emotions that motivate our behavior, their influence on our relationships, and the conscious choices we have.

Prenatal and Birth Experience: Shadow and Potential

Much of pre- and perinatal therapy orients to early traumas. While important to acknowledge, understand, and liberate from shadow, my mission in this field is to also highlight the amazing potential of little embryos in the womb developing from one tiny cell into complex individuals. How much of that potential to become also hides in shadow?

Human Baby, Human Being: Contributions from the Emerging Field of Pre and Perinatal Psychology

Matthew Appleton is pleased to announce an upcoming conference Bristol, UK. This keynote conference will bring together innovative pioneers who have changed our understanding of the importance of how our womb and birth experience impact us as human beings. Many of the presenters are highly respected authors, lecturers and workshop leaders in the emerging field of prenatal and perinatal psychology.

Healing Adverse Early Experiences Moves Beyond “Keeping Score” In the Body

Early experiences that influence adult disease are not just in childhood; they begin in the womb. Our earliest pioneers of fetal origins of adult disease such as David Barker, MD, PhD and Peter Nathanielsz, PhD revealed that nutrition, geographic location, stress, and the environment all have an effect on the baby in the womb. The study of the baby’s experience of conception, pregnancy, birth and attachment also create patterns of distress that may last a lifetime. What do these patterns look and feel like? How can we help our babies and their families, and the professionals who support them?

Send Your Worrywort on Holiday

Worry can plague you. It digs and jabs, disrupts and jumbles: your sense of serenity dislodged. According to Rick Hanson, PhD, anxiety—a form of worry—allowed our ancestors to survive. Being able to sense danger, to determine if it was safe to approach, to avoid or move on allowed our ancestors to see another day. But when we focus on the bad, the good gets left behind. Luckily our brain can be trained . . .


RSS Somatic Perspectives: Conversations on Psychotherapy

  • Andy Fisher: Ecopsychology March 1, 2019
    This conversation is a wide-ranging exploration of the new field of ecopsychology. It includes discussions of how the lived body and Buddhist psychology figure in this field, as well as the radical implications of reconnecting our minds to nature. Audio only: Andy Fisher, PhD, is a major figure in ecopsychology, having tracked and reflected on […]
    Somatic Perspectives
  • Janina Fisher: Integrating somatic approaches to trauma with ‘parts’ language February 1, 2019
    Trauma often inculcates fears of body awareness and incapacitating shame that complicate the use of somatic approaches. As Janina Fisher explored how to help such clients with befriending their emotional and body responses to trauma, she began to develop a way of helping them to understand themselves as fragmented and to become more aware of […]
    Somatic Perspectives

Relational Mindfulness with Serge Prengel

Serge Prengel

Revisiting last month’s article about the Window of Tolerance, Polyvagal Theory...

Last month, I published an article with a very similar title to this one. It was exploring mindfulness within the context of the Autonomous Nervous System (ANS). The gist of it was captured in a few charts about the Window of Tolerance and the Polyvagal Theory. I realized that my point could be better expressed through a different set of visuals. The following is are-write of this article, including new visuals.


Book Reviews

The Science of Addiction: From Neurobiology to Treatment, 2nd Edition

The Science of Addiction provides up-to-date research to explain causes of and treatment options for addiction. In so doing, author Carlton Erickson informs readers of the many facets of addiction, i.e., neurobiology, genetics, brain disease, and offers a detailed look at its manifestations. Thirteen distinct chapters help readers understand addiction. Chapters 1-3 focus on the terminology of addiction and why it confuses both professionals and the general public. A detailed look at what addiction is and what it is not is rooted in words. The author suggests that words like ‘addiction’ and ‘alcoholism’, as used in every day conversations, are “colloquial, unscientific, stigmatizing, and just plain wrong” (pg. 3). “Words matter!” he writes. “Precise language reduces misunderstanding, stigma and false impressions” (pg. 4).

Anorexia Nervosa: Focal Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Anorexia nervosa. Two words that often summon an image of emaciation: the kind where skin hangs off bones, darkened sockets shield distant eyes refusing to see, the smell of one’s body feeding on itself, the remnant of a cannibalization process meant to perpetuate life.

Infant and Toddler Development: From Conception to Age 3. What Babies Ask of Us

Mary Jane Maguire-Fong and Marsha Peralta, recently published, Infant and Toddler Development: From Conception to Age 3. What Babies Ask of Us. In their “Preface”, they acknowledged my mom as a colleague and friend who has been “a source of wisdom, counsel, and inspiration in this work” (pg. x). Peralta noted, “We have so appreciated her contributions to our thinking and perspective”


It’s Never Too Late: Healing Prebirth and Birth at Any Age – A Reflection...

Early in the writing of the first draft of It’s Never Too Late: Healing Prebirth and Birth At Any Age, I discovered there were steps, especially in the embryo’s story, that even after studying, I had difficulty envisioning. At the time I wondered, could I leave these hard to reach, yet essential steps out of my written examination? Would anyone besides experienced embryologists and biodynamic craniosacral therapy teachers notice? It didn’t take long to come clean with myself, that if I skipped intricate steps in my understanding, I would only further reinforce what was at the root of my amnesia, and that in order to be whole myself, I had to find out what was going on.


Dr. Jacqueline Carleton

Jacquie’s Pick of the Month

Dr. Jacqueline Carleton has guided interns in the art of literature review and academic critique for decades, and SPT Magazine has thankfully shared their reviews with our readers since our inception 8 years ago. It’s a pleasure to write with up-and-coming psychologists and researchers, to share in their discoveries and their opinions regarding books that are ‘hot-off-the-press’, the ones we prefer to publish. Older books, however, those published two years ago or more, have not been shared with the thought that they’ve been reviewed by many others that it was redundant news. Until now.

The Dark side of Personality

The Dark Side of Personality uses the dark triad of personality traits as a building block to discuss a wide array of socially maladaptive traits. Divided into five main sections, the ‘Big Five’ personality dimensions, the authors discuss antagonism, disinhibition, rigidity, and negative affectivity. Under each section, several subcategories are addressed in individual chapters and are broken down further.