Transforming the experience-based brain

A somatic model of developmental trauma

A touch training for trauma practitioners including psychologist, psychotherapists, bodyworkers, massage therapist, physical therapist, physicians, nurses, chiropractors and others working to help clients through Developmental Trauma, single incident trauma, and relational trauma.

Module 1: August 27-31, 2020. Zoom (Distant Learning)
Module 2: October 30-November 1, 2020 (Distant Learning)
Module 3: February 12-14, 2021 (location to be announced)

For registration: austinattach.com

During the most critical and sensitive periods of brain development, the brain develops and organizes at an incredible rate of growth. These periods begin in utero and continue after birth. During this time of non-verbal development, the brain soaks up a tremendous amount of knowledge and understanding through the environment, novel experiences, and the interconnectedness of the relationships between the baby and the primary caretakers. 
The brain grows in a hierarchical system of development. Each experience relies on the previous experience. Thus, the brain develops from the bottom-up and the inside outward. This development begins with the least complex section of the brain (the Survival/Reptilian Brain), then proceeds to the more complex Limbic/Emotional Brain. Finally, development occurs in the most complex area, the cortex or Learning/Thinking brain.

This neural hyper-plasticity of the brain makes it extremely vulnerable to trauma and stress. In this training, we explore types of early traumas and stresses that can affect the emotional development of the adult ( i.e. neglect, sexual abuse, violence in the home, physical abuse, and medical trauma)  Remembering that human systems are the most adaptable and malleable during these early stages of development, early complex trauma can impact a child’s psychobiology on multiple levels. This is why a multilevel model of treatment is necessary for the child or adult. According to Teacher & al in 2012, early adversity affects everything from neuro-hormonal to neuro-anatomical development. According to Glasser in 2000, these early biological changes may cause synaptic overproduction, pruning, and myelination. These changes can also affect the architecture, structure, attachment, and function of the brain. Often, these effects are observed as issues with sensory-integration, emotional-regulation, decision-making, impulse control, reward-processing function, inhibition, attention, and working memory.

These early effects of trauma and stress can disrupt the actual development of the hierarchical system. Thus, the disruption can affect the rest of a person’s life: how they grow, how they learn, how they interact, and how they love. Transforming the Experience-Based Brain (TEB) is a multilevel model for the treatment of developmental trauma. TEB synthesizes somatic touch, regulation, primitive reflex integration, attachment styles, the bio-physiology of trauma, and the trauma narrative.

According to recent follow-up studies of the Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACE), a majority of people have at least one traumatic experience during their early life. When a person reports shock trauma as the reason for seeking treatment, it is Terrell’s professional opinion that developmental trauma often lies underneath the shock trauma in the system. TEB is able to go to the core of what is needed in effective treatment. It works to bring regulation to the system through somatic touch which builds the client’s capacity and resilience. This allows the client a greater opportunity for long-term resolution and transformation within the system.​

This 4-module training will introduce participants to somatic touch and ways to integrate touch into your practice while working with Developmental Trauma and Shock Trauma.  It is our experience that the majority of those affected by shock trauma have also experienced Developmental Trauma.  TEB is a multilevel model for Developmental Trauma.  TEB synthesizes somatic touch, regulation, primitive reflex integration, attachment theory, the bio-physiology of trauma, and the traumatic narrative. Participants will explore to the use of touch as a vital somatic therapeutic intervention. It is designed to progressively build on each module of the training. Therapist will leave Module 1 with tools to take home and implement immediately into their practices.  For those therapists who don’t use touch in their practices, you will increase your skills through the use of intention with a better understanding of the physiology of the body.

Presented by
Stephen J. Terrell, PsyD

Stephen J. Terrell, PsyD

Stephen completed his Doctorate at California Coast University. He is a recognized leader in the field of Early Developmental Trauma and has provided training for such recognized associations as University of Texas-Austin, The Central Texas Counsel of Adoptable Children, Lutheran Social Services of the South, The International Conference for Adoption Knowledge, and The International Play Therapy Conference.  He works with both professionals and parents in understanding trauma and recognizing ways of working with traumatized children. He is the founder of Austin Attachment and Counseling Center in Austin, Texas. And, currently teaching developmental trauma to therapist throughout the United States and Canada.


For information regarding tuition and for registration please visit: http://www.austinattach.com/

For more information locally please contact: Claire Khudai Dagenais 514-850-0903 or info@constellationsfamiliales.ca


  • Open to all Professionals actively engaged in providing services to clients in a therapeutic or educational setting. 
  • Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist, Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers, Art or Music Therapist 
  • Medical Doctor, Registered Nurse
  • Body Worker, Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist 
  • Or attended Somatic Experiencing Training, Sensory Motor Training, Hakomi Training, 
    or a Somatic Training Program, Touch Skills for Therapist, or Somatic Resilience and Regulation
  • If you are unsure about your qualifications, please reach out to the coordinator 

This program is either taught in 3- 5day module course with the option of purchasing CEU’s. Participants will learn via lecture, video, demonstrations, Q and A sessions, and supervised practice sessions. Each participant will experience TEB as both clinician and client through practice sessions each weekend.  These practice sessions are facilitated by members of the assistant team and the facilitator.

Required Text

« Nurturing Resilience » by Kathy L. Kain and Stephen J. Terrell, Available through Amazon and other book retailers

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