Working with Emotions with Greater Efficiency: Through the Science of the Physiology of Emotions

Dr. Raja Selvam, PhD

No matter what our clients are working on (trauma, attachment, spirituality, or other ordinary and difficult life experiences), the work with emotions plays a central role.  Anyone doing psychological work (in psychotherapy, bodywork, energy work, or teaching) has much to gain from integrating the knowledge about the physiology of emotions from over a hundred years of scientific research in universities and clinical research in many body psychotherapy traditions.

Both mainstream psychotherapists and body psychotherapists including those trained in Somatic Experiencing and Sensorimotor psychotherapy can improve their work with emotions to a significant degree from learning how different types of emotions (primary, secondary, and tertiary or sensorimotor emotions) are generated as well as defended against in the brain and body physiology.  This includes learning how to work with emotions physiologically and psychologically without destroying them in the process.

Those trained in Somatic Experiencing (SE) will in particular learn that tracking sensations, discharge, and movements, and resourcing and regulating the body are not often enough to work effectively with more complex experiences of emotions and behaviors involved in trauma; and that these great tools when used inappropriately can often destroy the very emotions and behaviors they are working with. Workshop participants will learn how to work more effectively with emotions and behaviors using the knowledge of the physiology of emotions from science and many other body psychotherapy systems so that they are better able to work with all aspects of trauma. Polarity practitioners and other energy work and bodywork practitioners who also work psychologically will benefit in a similar manner.

The workshop will consist of theoretical presentations, guided group exercises, demonstrations with participants, and practice sessions to facilitate embodied learning by participants.  Those interested in the work have the option of taking just this workshop on its own (module 1 of Integral Somatic Psychology training) and the option of taking two follow-up workshops with Dr. Selvam to receive a certificate in Integral Somatic Psychology (ISP), an advanced approach for experienced psychotherapists, body workers, energy workers, and educators for improving clinical outcomes through greater integration of body, energy, and consciousness into any psychological process.  The ISP approach is currently taught in over a dozen countries around the world.

Bio: Dr. Raja Selvam, PhD is a senior trainer in Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing (SE) professional trauma trainings and the developer of the Integral Somatic Psychology (ISP) approach, an advanced training for experienced clinicians for improving clinical outcomes through greater embodiment of all aspects of experience such as cognition and emotion and all levels of the psyche including energy and consciousness. He teaches in as many as twenty countries in Asia, Europe, North and South Americas, and the Middle East. His website is

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