Attachment Through Our Bodies and Hearts

Attachment Through Our Bodies and Hearts


Attachment Through Our Bodies and Hearts

Presented by: Karen Rachels, LMFT | March 17, 2018 | 10 am – 5 pm

Location: Embassy Suites, 101 McInnis Parkway, San Rafael, CA 94903

Cost: $110 early registration, up to 10 days prior to seminar, $120 after

CIP Member Rate: $75 early registration, up to 10 days prior to seminar, $85 after

CEs: 6 CEs for MFTs & LCSWs and 6 CEs for Psychologists

Karen Rachels Bio:

Karen Rachels, LMFT, a private practice therapist in the Bay Area, is the author of “Body, Brain, Love: A Therapist’s Workbook for Affect Regulation and Somatic Attachment.” Karen is a Certified Hakomi Therapist and is trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, EMDR, and Emotionally-Focussed Couples Therapy. Demonstration videos are available on YouTube. Training and group information can be found at


Course Description:

Since the 1990s “Decade of the Brain,” there has been substantive research on the neurobiology of attachment and its relationship to Autonomic Nervous System regulation and the encoding of unresolved trauma defenses in the body. This course is intended for participants who already have a basic grasp of nervous system regulation. It will further an understanding of the evolutionarily-governed neurobiological necessity of attachment for resilient human mental health. The class will explore didactically and with short exercises hard-wired attachment behaviors; the psychophysiology of client and therapist attachment strategies as they are clinically manifest; and enactments of unresolved insecurity in the therapist while working with clients’ attachment insecurity. The didactic material class will begin to teach working from the right brain with clients through left brain-right brain integration. Somatic tracking and principles, mindfulness and body tracking techniques will be used in the short exercises to augment the didactic material.


Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  1. Identify the three aspects of the Polyvagal Theory and how they influence nervous system regulation.
  2. Recognize four different attachment strategies by behavioral, somatic, energetic and verbal markers manifest by clients.
  3. Define both the Attachment Bubble and the Expanded Window of Tolerance and offer examples of how they can be used in clinical applications.
  4. List the functions of the right brain and the left brain and define vertical and horizontal integration.
  5. Explain cognitive empathy versus overwhelm, and what presence means in terms of working from the right brain.


Course Schedule/Outline:


9:45 am – 10:00 am Registration

10:00 am – 10:30 amWelcome


Introduction to the class

Guided Meditation (5 minutes)

10:30 am – 10:45 amIntroduction and Explanation of the Polyvagal Theory

10:45 am – 11:00 amExplanation and Demo of Amygdala-Hippocampus- Neocortex Circuit

11:00 am – 11:20 am Exercise based on the Polyvagal Theory

11:20 am – 11:30 amBreak

11:35 am – 12:05 pmAttachment Neuroscience  

Evolutionary necessity of attachment

Evolutionary wiring in the infant and the caregiver

Brain development and its relation to attachment

12:05 pm – 12:45 pmVideos of the etiology of the four strategies

Exercise related to the four strategies

12:45 pm – 1:30 pmHow the differing strategies show up in therapy and how to work with them 

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Lunch Break

2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Understanding right and left brain functions

Understanding vertical and horizontal integration

Working from the right brain: what constitutes presence? What impedes presence?

Concepts: Cognitive Empathy vs. Overwhelm; Attachment Bubble; Expanded Window of Tolerance; Exercise in maintaining presence (How do you know when you are not present?)

3:45 pm – 3:55 pm Break 

4:00 pm – 4:40pmDemonstration and discussion of presence

4:40 pm – 5:00 pm Questions, Evaluation and Closing


Community Institute for Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Community Institute for Psychotherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content. 

Cancellation Policy: Only cancellations received in writing more than 10 business days prior to the seminar or class will be refunded/credited, with a $10 cancellation fee deducted. However, if you cancel fewer than 10 business days prior to the seminar or class, you will forfeit the registration fee.


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Price $120.00