Courses / Programs / Events


Loving Your Broken Heart: Embodying Secure Attachment  

Glasgow, Scotland, September 21-22, 2012


Research shows that 1-4 of us has a secure attachment. What happens to the other 3 out of 4 of us? Many of us are lucky to have had friends, mentors, coaches, other family members, therapists who have helped us gain an earned secure attachment.   Without that reparative experience we are plagued by attachment patterns of aloneness, despair, worthlessness.

Robert Karen in his book Attachment wrote that attachment theory is “a theory of love and love’s central place in human life.”

Using the current thinking on attachment this workshop will explore how to repair the deep attachment wounds especially as they center around needs and vulnerability.

Knowing that attachment wounding happens before narrative memory develops, and shame is completely embedded in excruciating physical sensations we’ll look at how cultivating positive qualities nourishes our non-verbal, internal ground of being making it possible to heal the painful wounds of dismissive or anxious attachment.

Combining a body-based experiential approach with developing organization of mind allows a person to become free of the crippling intrusions of the past.

This experiential workshop focuses on developing the positive qualities that allow secure attachment to grow. In the context of creating a safe, secure base together we’ll spend time cultivating the fundamental underpinnings that allow our defenses to soften.

With the gentle relaxation of defenses we can explore how to actively re-map the non-verbally embedded attachment patterns that have haunted us and guide us to a more satisfying and nurturing life of connection to ourselves and to others.


Safely Embodied: A Day of Practice for Clients

Glasgow, Scotland, September 23, 2012

This day is about creating safe exploration as we inquire how to help your body/mind/heart to flourish even as you enter the difficult terrain of healing trauma and attachment wounds.

One of the marvelous contributions of attachment theory, meditation, and the field of positive psychology is that we all need ample amounts of positive experiences to buffer the intensity of arising traumatic memories.  Most of us, however, are deficient in cultivating positive experiences.

This time together will hold the constellation of safety and wisdom to awaken our inherent capacity to live inside our body, mind, and heart.  Using the Becoming Safely Embodied Skills and the Embodied Practices we’ll spend a day integrating what works in a slow, easy, safe way.

Becoming Safely Embodied Skills Training 

Portland, Maine area /March 2-3, 2012


Mention the idea to a trauma survivor that they can live the life they want to, instead of living the life their physiology propels them to lead and they are transfixed.  Better yet, tell them this is definitely within their reach and they are both full of hope and at the same time incredibly doubtful.

Yet it is possible.  Organizing what feels so disorganizing is not only possible it is what people report happens when they use the Becoming Safely Embodied skills during their healing.

This skill based approach is dedicated to helping clients with a traumatic past gain control over their internal world.  One of the worst experiences for many clients is not knowing what to do as they tread water between therapy sessions.

Being overwhelmed by internal experience clients often feel it’s impossible or too complicated to find ways to help themselves.   This approach to working with trauma and dissociation is all about helping clients to find ways to organize and de-escalate their internal world especially between therapy sessions.


You’ll learn skills such as:

–       how to assist clients in listening to the internal wisdom of the body

–       find the internal Self, or core person which helps them hold all the disturbances

–       using different modalities to work in the body (art therapy, movement, etc.) can support the client in getting in touch with their satisfying experiences

–       find the value of cultivating positive memories

–       manage overwhelming feelings by standing at the crossroads of experience

–       creating choice points which support emotional freedom

–       concentration and mindfulness

–       separate facts from feelings / interpretations

–       shifting an engrained pattern of living in the body

The workshop will be put together in an easy to understand way using uncomplicated language.  Done experientially you’ll have easy-to-use skills in your toolbox to start with clients on Monday.


Here’s what different clients have said about the Becoming Safely Embodied Skills:

  • I could arrest uncomfortable body sensations when I realized what was on my mind
  • I could connect with my body; notice sensations before they escalated
  • Distinguishing between thoughts, feelings, and body sensations was most helpful and is something that I need to work on more —
  • Learning to watch rather than react; learning to slow down my body so it’s not completely at the mercy of my “head” ; learning to say, “hold on!  it’s my body’s turn now!”
  •  I didn’t know I had so many “nice” things I’d want to _______.  I didn’t know the negative stuff could be visualized and “contained”.
  • Learning to hold the polarities was extremely helpful.  All the work with “holding” and two realities was very useful
  • art exercises surprised me because I really was able to make realizations about the way I think and feel through them.
  • most helpful exercises were ones where we wrote things down or did dictation with partners and then pushed our assumptions to the limit.I came to realize that the move from my body to my mind when I am afraid or anxious is so quick I can usually not even detect it.
  • The images I created tended to have some type of hope in them that materialized without my realizing it.  I don’t think I lack hope, but I forget that is why I continue to work on these issues and seek out groups…


  • I was surprised that I would always gain some type of small insight even though I felt very uncomfortable participating.

Deirdre Fay, LICSW has a private practice in Arlington, MA.  The BSE skills were born from personal healing while living at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.  When no longer able to be in her body with the same ease Deirdre began exploring how to apply the teachings of yoga and meditation to being with trauma.  Her professional background as Trauma Center supervisor,  former faculty member of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute and former board member of New England Society for Study of Trauma and Dissociation add traditional trauma treatment to the Becoming Safely Embodied skills now led throughout the US, Canada, and the UK.   Deirdre supervises therapists and clients on entering the body safely.  




Past Events/Courses/Programs:

Becoming Safely Embodied Online Skills Course  (Spring, 2012),  (Fall, 2010)

Embodied Practices  (Jan/Feb 2012),  (Oct/Nov 2011)

Working with Parts, guest faculty: Janina Fisher, Phd, Claire Frederick, MD, Richard Schwartz, Phd,  (Jan/Feb 2012),  (Oct/Nov 2011)

Loving Our Broken Hearts Retreat / Sivananda Yoga Retreat, Bahamas  (November, 2011)

Becoming Safely Attached  Workshop / Dublin, Ireland  (May, 2011)

Becoming Safely Attached Workshop / Chicago, IL  (April, 2011)

Retreat / Sivananda Yoga Retreat, Bahamas (November, 2010)

Finding Compassion in the Midst of Despair  Workshop / Glasgow, Scotland (March, 2010)

Becoming Safely Embodied Presentation / European Society for Trauma and Dissociation (April, 2010)

Befriending Inner Chaos Workshop / Dublin, Ireland  (May, 2008)

Becoming Safely Embodied Workshop / Dublin, Ireland (May, 2005)


Becoming Safely Attached  / Boston, MA  (March, 2011)



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