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Digital Recording

Somatic Interventions in Couples Therapy

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Deborah Fox, MSW
1 Hour 32 Minutes
Audio and Video
Aug 04, 2020
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Recording
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Somatic Intervention skills are an essential addition to every relationship therapist’s toolbox. There is no conversation worth having if the nervous system isn’t in a settled state. When couples become emotionally charged it’s because they’re feeling threatened. Their nervous systems become alert, ready to defend. This defence serves to keep vulnerable feelings buried and interferes with their ability to effectively engage with their partner. In this presentation, I will offer strategies to enable couples to settle their nervous systems in order to delve more deeply into the sources of distress so that constructive solutions can emerge.

The body “holds” so much emotional information that isn’t always accessible through words. Participants will learn to identify subtle physical signs that one or both partners are feeling threatened or distressed and be able to intervene on a somatic level. Where words alone often fail, these interventions can lead to a deeper exploration of what underlies their unhappiness.



This online program is worth 1.5 hours CPD.



Deborah Fox, MSW's Profile

Deborah Fox, MSW Related seminars and products

Deborah J Fox, MSW, is a certified imago relationship therapist and certified sex therapist in private practice in Washington, DC.  She offers individual, couples, and group psychotherapy, as well as clinical consultation. Deborah conducts seminars and consultation groups on couples therapy and sex therapy. She has presented on these subjects at the Washington School of Psychiatry, the Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Workers, the Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and the Integrative Sex Therapy Institute and at the 2018 international Imago Relationship Therapy conference. She has studied Somatic Experiencing and wrote the chapter, "The Mind Body Connection: Sex, Couples and Somatic Therapy" in Integrative Sex and Couples Therapy, by Tammy Nelson, Phd. She is passionate about taking couples therapy to a deeper emotional level and enabling greater intimacy and satisfaction. 


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Deborah Fox maintains a private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Deborah Fox has no non-financial relationships.


  1. Apply three techniques designed to engage the parasympathetic nervous system at the beginning of a session that facilitates establishing a safe atmosphere between partners.
  2. Distinguish three early signs of activation that indicate one or both partners are feeling threatened and be able to use strategies to intervene effectively such that the therapeutic work can continue.
  3. Integrate three interventions that utilize a focus on body sensations to further the therapeutic process when working with couples in session.


Somatic-focused couple’s therapy
  • Polyvagal theory, implicit memory, neuroception and
  • Applying these critical concepts in therapy sessions with couples
How to engage the parasympathetic nervous system at the beginning of a session
  • Why this is critical for the efficacy of the therapeutic process 
  • Techniques for settling the nervous system
Once the conversation begins
  • Structuring a conversation to facilitate maximum parasympathetic system engagement 
  • The value of mirroring in keeping the parasympathetic system engaged
  • Tracking the body for subtle signs of nervous system activation – what to look for and strategies to employ
  • Learning the language of body and how to use it as a resource for therapeutic inquiry

Target Audience

  • Counsellors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Other Mental Health Professionals



Overall:      1

Total Reviews: 1


Judith B

"Great presenter, very clear."

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