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WEBINAR. Trauma, Development, and Attachment: Bringing Attachment Theory and Somatic Developmental Psychology together

  • 6 Feb 2020
  • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Zoom


  • Members don't pay

Registration is closed

Presented By Raja Selvam
Developer of Integral Somatic Psychology (ISP)

 > 2 CEs Available

Ideas discussed

How developmental and shock traumas in different stages early childhood development could affect specific developmental functions in those stages and contribute to a person’s attachment style and ability to relate to others.

How a differentiated understanding of a person’s difficulty in relating to others using both attachment theory and somatic developmental psychology can therapists to work more effectively with a client’s attachment/relationship issues

How a client’s capacity for emotional regulation and attunement to the emotional states of others could be improved through the tools of emotional embodiment and inter-personal resonance from Integral Somatic Psychology (ISP).

Workshop Location: Online

Workshop Date
Thursday, February 6, 2020. 4 to 6 pm
It's recorded for members and registrants to watch in perpetuity 

2 CEs available for Live event attendance or if watched later (quiz required). 2 CEs Cost = $15.00 

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Workshop Description

Trauma, Development, and Attachment: Bringing Attachment Theory and Somatic Developmental Psychology together. 

How an insecure attachment style (avoidant, ambivalent, or disorganized) shows up as specific adulthood difficulties depends on the stage of childhood in which the developmental or shock traumas affected our relational capacities and the specific developmental tasks affected in that stage of development. For example, the vulnerability driving an avoidant attachment style could be the terror of being annihilated from birth trauma (existence); or the deep distrust that one’s needs would be met from the experience of being starved in scheduled feeding practices (need); or the fear that a caregiver could destroy one’s self-experience due to constant neglect or intrusion upon the child’s self-experience (autonomy). Further, within a single stage of development (such as existence), the vulnerability driving the avoidant pattern might have something to do with not having mastered the developmental task of feeling safe enough in one’s body to exist (existential safety); or not feeling worthy enough to be loved (existential shame).

In this 90-minute webinar, we will look at how developmental and shock traumas to different developmental functions in three early stages of childhood development could interact with attachment styles to produce specific vulnerabilities and attachment/relational difficulties in adults and children. The presentation will integrate classical attachment theory (Bowlby, Ainsworth, Main, and Fonagy) with the most developed somatic theory of stages of childhood development and character structure formation (Marcher et. al.), as well as findings that providing emotional regulation through embodied attunement is key to repairing attachment wounds (Wallen).

5 - 7 Key Points Summarizing Main Points of Workshop

1.     Developmental and shock traumas in different stages of childhood can severely affect the development of important developmental tasks such as sensing and expressing one’s needs.
2.    The vulnerable emotions around compromised developmental tasks and the psychological, physiological, and energetic defenses engaged to cope with them contribute to a person’s difficulties in relating to others or their attachment behavior.
3.    Understanding of such specific vulnerabilities and defenses behind a person’s insecure attachment style and relational difficulty can help improve attachment/relationship work.
4.    Presentation of examples of shock and developmental traumas to developmental tasks in different developmental stages and their impact on attachment behavior.
5.    Creating a greater capacity for a larger range of emotional experiences of relationship is very effective in repairing attachment wounds.
6.    The body and the energy of a person can be used as a container for improving the person’s capacity for emotional regulation.  
7.    The innate capacity our bodies and energies have for inter-personal resonance can be used effectively to increase our capacity for attuning to emotional states of others in an embodied manner, important for our ability to regulate each other emotionally in relationship.  


Opening (news from around USABP): 5 minutes.

Welcome to the speaker and the topic: 5 minutes.

Short Interview with the speaker about inspiration and vision: 5 minutes.

The Presentation: 75 minutes.

Q&A:  15 minutes.

Wrap up (promotion of upcoming events, resources etc.): 10 minutes.

USABP closing: 5 minutes

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn and be able to:

1.    Describe at least one developmental function from one stage of development.
2.    Describe at least one way in which the developmental function referred to in 1 can be compromised by a developmental or shock trauma in that stage of development.
3.    Describe at least one emotional vulnerability that can arise in a person with an injury referred to in 2 in a relationship setting.
4.    Describe at least one way in which the injury referred to in 2 and the emotional vulnerability referred to in 3 can form or differentiate the person’s attachment style.
5.    Describe at least two ways in which creating a greater capacity for tolerating emotions can be helpful in repairing attachment wounds.
6.    Describe at least one way in which inter-personal resonance can be used in attachment work. 

Presenter Bio

Raja Selvam, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist (California, PSY30233) is a senior trainer in Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing (SE) professional trauma trainings and the developer of Integral Somatic Psychology (ISP) ( ISP is a complementary body and energy-based modality informed by Western and Eastern psychology and the emerging neuroscience of embodied cognition, emotion, and behavior. It’s aim is to improve outcomes and shorten treatment times in all therapies including body-oriented modalities through building a greater capacity for a wider range of emotions. It is taught in over a dozen countries in North and South Americas, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Dr. Selvam’s eclectic approach draws from bodywork systems of Postural Integration, Biodynamic Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Polarity Therapy, body psychotherapy systems of Reichian Therapy, Bioenergetics, Bodynamic Analysis, Jungian and Archetypal psychologies, psychoanalytic schools of Object Relations and Inter-Subjectivity, Somatic Experiencing® (SE™), Affective Neuroscience, Quantum Physics, Yoga, and Advaita Vedanta.

Resume / Curriculum Vita


2489, Baja Cerro Circle

San Diego, CA 92109

Phone: 310-804-6764



Curriculum Vitae


Professional Licensure:

Licensed Clinical Psychologist. California, PSY30233. 

Formal Education:

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, California, 2008.  

Ph.D. in Marketing. Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 1995.

M.S. in Applied Statistics. The University of Iowa, Iowa City, 1985.

M.B.A., Xavier Institute, Jamshedpur, India, 1980.

B.A. in Economics. Loyola College, The University of Madras, Madras, India, 1978.

Specialized Study in Psychology

Study of the Kleinian psychoanalytic model.  Weekly study/supervision group with Jane Van Buren, Ph.D., Psychoanalyst, Los Angeles. 2002-2003.

Study of the Inter-Subjective psychoanalytic model. Weekly study/supervision group with Robert Stolorow, Ph.D., Psychoanalyst, Los Angeles 2000-2002.

Study of Affective neuroscience and early childhood development. Bimonthly study group with Allan Schore, Ph.D., Northridge, CA. 2001-2002.

Professional Education in Body Psychotherapy and Bodywork Systems

Biodynamic Cranio-Sacral Therapy Training program, Santa Barbara, CA


Somatic Experiencing Practitioner Training, Boulder, Colorado, 1994-1998.

Bodynamic Somatic Developmental Psychology Practitioner Training, Pescadero, California, 1994-1996.


Bodynamic Somatic Developmental Psychology Foundation Training, Los Angeles, California, 1993-1994.


BodyMind Integration Training, BodyMind Institute, Los Angeles, California, 1993.



Trainer, Integral Somatic Psychotherapy (ISP) Training Programs. From 2010.

Countries: India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Israel, Brazil, and the United States.

Senior Trainer, Somatic Experiencing Professional Trauma Training Programs, The Foundation for Human Enrichment/The Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, Lyons, Colorado, From 1997. Countries: USA, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Hong Kong. Turkey, and South Africa.


Adjunct Faculty, Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, CA. 2000-2010.

Faculty Co-ordinator, Somatic Experiencing Professional Training Programs, The Foundation for Human Enrichment, Lyons, Colorado, 1999---2000.


Faculty, Bodynamic Analysis Psychology of Muscles Professional Training Classes, Los Angeles, California, 1996-1999.


Faculty, Bodynamic Analysis Character Structure Professional Training Workshops, Los Angeles, California, 1999---2001.


Faculty, Institute for Psycho Structural Balancing (IPSB), Los Angeles, California, 



Assistant Professor, Marketing, The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, 1989-1993.


Adjunct Faculty, Marketing, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 1987-89.


Adjunct Faculty, Marketing, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 1983-85.


Deputy Manager, Marketing, Management Services, Southern Petrochemical Corporation Limited, Madras, India, 1982-83.


Assistant Manager, Marketing, Management Services, Southern Petrochemical Corporation Limited, Madras, India, 1981-82.


Assistant Regional Manager, Marketing, Tirunelveli Region, Southern Petrochemical Corporation Limited, Madras, India, 1980-81. 

Conference Presentations:

Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing: An Instinctual Model for Healing Trauma. Presentation at the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy Conference, San Francisco, June 1999.


Discussant on Panel on Trauma in Pre and Perinatal Life, 10thInternational Congress of the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health,

San Francisco, December 2001.


Workshop Presenter. Neurons to Neighborhoods Trauma Conference. Los Angeles, March 2002.


Workshop Presenter. Neurons to Neighborhoods Trauma Conference. Los Angeles, May 2003.


Professional Organizations:

Member. American Psychological Association.

Member. United States Association for Body Psychotherapy. 

Member. Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health.


Research Interests

Neurophysiology of early brain development and early childhood trauma, post-traumatic stress patterns in childhood from developmental interactions, and integration of appropriate clinical strategies from psychodynamic and body psychotherapy approaches for treating early developmental trauma with traumatic stress.   

The psychological and developmental functions of individual muscles. Refinement of initial findings from Bodynamic Analysis on the basis of three years of research from weekly classes taught in Los Angeles.


India and depth psychology. Cultural differences that require modifications in Western depth psychological approaches to the Indian psyche. Study of Indian institutions, joint family systems, spiritual organizations, etc., that provide functions provided by psychotherapy in the West.


Advaita Vedanta and Jungian Psychology.  Comparison and Integration of an Eastern and a Western model of individuation. 


Effectiveness of treatment of PTSD symptoms among tsunami survivors in India and survivors of war, violence, loss, and dislocation in Sri Lanka.


Development of an integral model for increasing clinical efficiency in all psychological processes through greater embodiment of different levels of the psyche; based on Western and Eastern psychology, philosophy, spirituality, science, body and energy therapies and psychotherapies, affective and cognitive neuroscience, and quantum physics. 


The neuroscience of embodied cognition, emotion, and behavior and their implications for improving diverse outcomes and shortening treatment periods in all therapies including body psychotherapies.



Selvam, R. (2004). Trauma, Body, Energy, and Spirituality. Positive Health, May 2004, pp. 15-18. 


Selvam, R. (2005). Treating tsunami survivors for trauma: The effectiveness of a short-term psycho-physiological trauma treatment approach among South Asian tsunami survivors. Journal of Holistic Healthcare, Vol. 2, Issue 4, November 2005.


Parker, C., Doctor, R. M., and Selvam, R. (2008). Somatic Therapy Treatment Effects with Tsunami Survivors. Traumatology, Vol. 14, No. 3, September 2008. 

Raja Selvam (2008), Advaita Vedanta and Jungian Psychology: Explorations Towards Further Reconciliation in East-West Dialogues on the Psyche(Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, California). Unpublished doctoral dissertation.

Selvam, R. (2013). Jung and Consciousness. Spring, Vol. 90, Fall 2013, pp. 155-177. 


Farini, A., Lemon, R., Lewis, M.D., T. (2001). A general theory of love. New York: Vintage Books (Random House, Inc.).

Johnson, S. M. (2019). Attachment therapy in practice: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) with individuals, couples, and families. New York and London: The Guilford Press.

Johnson, S. M., Bradley, B., Furrow, J. L., Lee, A., Palmer, G., Tilley, D., & Woolley, S. (2017). Becoming an emotionally focused couple therapist: The workbook. New York, NY: Routledge.

Johnston E. & Olson, L. (2015). The feeling brain: The biology and psychology of emotions. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company.

MacNaughton, I. (Ed.) (2004). Body, breath, and consciousness: A somatics anthology. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Marcher, L. & Fich, S. (2010). Body encyclopedia: A guide to the psychological functions of the muscular system. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Oschman, J. L. (2003). The scientific basis of energy medicine. Churchill Livingstone.

Wallen, D. J. (2007). Attachment in psychotherapy. New York and London: The Guilford Press.

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