Somatic Methods for Affect Regulation of Traumatized Youth



Clinicians can be stymied by the presentation of traumatized children and youth. These youth display a myriad of social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioural challenges. Traditional talk therapies are often ineffective when working with youth who lack the neurodevelopment and life experiences of adult clients. Early trauma and attachment injuries frequently manifest in affect dysregulation and behavioural patterns that are best accessed through body-based and expressive arts approaches. The capacities to modulate autonomic nervous system arousal, and tolerate and manage affect, are critical first steps to the healing process for traumatized youth. While therapists serve as models and interactive co-regulators with youth and their caregivers, clients can be taught to mindfully observe and explore the habitual physical, emotional and behavioural reactions that emanated from, and were reinforced by, repeated earlier experiences. This workshop provides an overview of indicators that a young person might be outside the window of tolerance, and offers somatic and creative strategies for working with dysregulated youth. Also, the workshop will review several factors, such as environmental, relational and individual, that contribute to the development of a felt sense of safety for young persons. Participants will have an opportunity to engage in three experiential activities

This session was originally presented as a live conference session in October 2020.

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Identify four ways to recognize when a client is outside their window of tolerance
  • Explain two reasons somatic methods work well with traumatized children and youth
  • Describe three somatic methods to help regulate a young traumatized client
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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Presenter: Kimberley L. Shilson, CPsych
Presenter Bio: Kimberley Shilson is a psychologist in Toronto, Canada where she maintains a private practice focusing on trauma assessment and treatment. She also provides clinical training and consultation. In April 2019, Routledge released Kimberley's second book, Somatic Methods for Affect Regulation: A Clinician's Guide to Healing Traumatized Youth.

Presenter: Rochelle Sharpe Lohrasbe, PhD RCC
Presenter Bio: Rochelle Sharpe Lohrasbe, PhD, RCC, is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who holds an MA in Learning and Development and a PhD in Child and Youth Care. Rochelle began her career in forensic psychiatric nursing and she now has more than 30 years of clinical experience in the areas of post-traumatic stress and developmental wounding. In her private clinical practice in British Columbia, Canada, Rochelle sees “children of all ages” who have endured abuse, neglect, and other traumatic/adverse experiences. She is a Sensorimotor Psychotherapy local, regional and international instructor and an instructional design consultant, an EMDRIA-approved consultant and holds certifications in Neuroptimal Neurofeedback and Havening Techniques. Rochelle presents regularly at ISSTD conferences and regional workshops internationally and provides educational workshops for psychotherapists on Trauma and Dissociation. She recently published on the integration of EMDR and SP, and co-authored “Somatic Resources: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Approach to Stabilising Arousal in Child and Family Treatment” (2017), published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.


ISSTD Member cost:
Your Price:
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"Your Price" above reflects your final price based on your membership status and career level. 

  • ISSTD defines a student as those enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certification in the mental health field and who have an interest in trauma and dissociation. 
  • ISSTD defines an emerging professional as mental health professionals who have completed an advanced degree and are in the first three years of their career (or first three years after graduation for researchers).
  • If you do not fall into one of the above categories please register as Professional/Retired. 

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