“Only one therapy I know of reaches as deeply into the body as it does into the mind, and by reaching for both, touches the soul .”
— Ron Kurtz, Founder of the Hakomi Method
SPI is a professional educational organization that designs and provides the highest-level trainings and services to serve a global network of mental health practitioners, and for the public at large. Seeking to enhance human relationships, our paradigm is substantiated by interpersonal neurobiology and impelled by mindfulness applied in interactive contexts.
To deliver an unparalleled state-of-the-art somatic psychotherapy worldwide through education, practice, and research.
To harness the innate wisdom of the body to liberate human potential.
Our Core Values
Observe the best practices of education and administration to provide a preeminent learning experience; maintain the highest standards of personal and organizational professionalism, ethics, and responsibility that are deserving of the confidence and trust of our constituency.
Treat each individual with dignity and respect; honor and embrace unique backgrounds, talents and perspectives; foster an inclusive culture reflective of our commitment to diversity among our staff and learning community; provide equitable education and participation; work toward eliminating discrimination.
Support an atmosphere that stimulates creativity; enhance the professional growth of staff members and those we serve by integrating and contributing to cutting edge theory, research, and technology; encourage a high level of curiosity, inquiry, and appropriate risk-taking.
Seek to balance innovation, action, and capacity; wisely allocate individual and organizational resources to ensure the health, vitality, and longevity of each member of our community and the organization as a whole.
Recognize that we are a group of individuals unified through a shared purpose; appreciate that together we can broaden our impact; seek a wide range of partnerships; invite each individual’s unique contributions to the whole; integrate the efforts and input of many individuals to achieve our goals as a team.
History of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
In the early 1970s, while working as a technician and yoga/dance teacher at a short-term psychiatric hospital, Pat Ogden became interested in the correlation between her clients’ disconnection from their bodies, their physical patterns and their psychological issues. Before the Diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Dr. Ogden recognized first-hand the way in which many of her patients were at the mercy of reliving the past, and that current treatment methods only seemed to trigger traumatic reminders. Recognizing the link between the body and psychological issues, she began to form the foundations of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® by joining somatic therapy and psychotherapy into a comprehensive method for healing this disconnection between body and mind. In 1981, after co-founding the Hakomi Institute, pioneered by Ron Kurtz, Dr. Ogden founded her own school, a branch of the Hakomi Institute, which is known today as the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute (SPI).
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® draws from somatic therapies, neuroscience, attachment theory, and cognitive approaches, as well as from the Hakomi Method. Since the first course in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® was offered in the early 1980’s, it has gained international acclaim. The first book on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy®, Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy, published in the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology in 2006 gained international acclaim. The sequel to the first book, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment was published in spring of 2015.
Pat Ogden, PhD, is a pioneer in somatic psychology and both Founder and Education Director of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute®, an internationally recognized school specializing in somatic–cognitive approaches for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and attachment disturbances. She is co-founder of the Hakomi Institute, a clinician, consultant, international lecturer and trainer, and first author of Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy. Her second book, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment(2015) is a practical guide to integrate Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® into the treatment of trauma and attachment issues. Dr. Ogden is currently developing Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® for children, adolescents and families with colleagues.
Development of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
Dr. Ogden is currently developing Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for children, adolescents, families, and couples with colleagues.
Several research studies to gather data on the effectiveness of SP are underway or in the process of publication at the following institutions:
Maudsley Hospital (London, UK)
Womens’ College Hospital (Toronto, Ontario)
Modum Bad Outpatient Clinic (Oslo, Norway)
New Research Publication on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy℠ treatment “shows statistically significant results in a chronic and severely ill population” in new research publication (Gene-Cos, et.al., 2016).
“Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Group Therapy in the Treatment of Complex PTSD,” by Nuri Gene-Cos, Janina Fisher, Pat Ogden, and Andy Cantrel, “evaluate[s] a new modality of treatment for a very severe and chronically ill population at a National Trauma Centre…Statistically significant changes in pre-treatment scores on measures of PTSD symptoms, depression, and overall health, and work and social functioning were observed. This study has important implications for stabilization in phase one treatment in the management of individuals with complex trauma presentations” (Gene-Cos, et.al, 2016). Read the article here
The body’s innate intelligence is largely an untapped resource in psychotherapy. This book, designed for therapists and clients to explore together, is both psychoeducational and practical. It will help therapists and clients alike use their own somatic intelligence to reclaim the body and engage it in the therapy process. A companion to the bestselling Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy, the book is not intended to teach the practice of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. Rather, it is meant to act as a guide for helping clients draw on the wisdom of their bodies. Following an initial introductory section, the book consists of relatively short chapters designed to educate therapists and clients about a particular topic. Worksheets are provided for each chapter designed to be used either in therapy or between sessions to help clients integrate the material. The book will be useful for psychotherapists of a variety of persuasions: psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and marriage and family therapists. Some of the material may also be valuable for psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, rehabilitation workers, crisis workers, victim advocates, disaster workers, and body therapists, as well as for graduate students and interns entering the field of mental health.