Working Somatically with Relational Ruptures

From First 18 months Using Muscles and Developmental Movements

Presented by Anne Isaacs, MSW, LCSW
Bodynamic International and Mind Body Resourcing

These ruptures can be hard to identify because the early periods are nonverbal. The early experiences creates an implicit sense of “ this is just the way it is”. When adults come to therapy, it is easier to work on early issues when we can recognize the developmental stage from which it likely originated.

From the early womb experience through the first 18 months of life, we make a transition from being an embryo to being in relationship with our world. Specifically, the world of our mother’s body, and then the world outside her body. If all goes well, we live with a sense that the world is welcoming, and our very existence is valued. We also develop a trust that our needs can be met in a timely and satisfying way. This sense of security is not conscious, but “just the way things are”. We have a secure attachment state of mind. However, non-traumatic ruptures often occur. These disruptions are not available to our verbal memory but held in our muscles, our nervous system, and our attachment state of mind. This too creates an unconscious imprint of “the way things are.”
We will identify unconscious behavior that indicate relational ruptures from these time periods. These ruptures affect both our sense of self and our intimate relationships. The ruptures can be hard to identify because the periods are nonverbal. It is often easier to work with these adult issues when we can recognize the developmental stage from which they likely originated

Before we sense our individual ego, or an “I”, we are developing a body ego when expressing ourselves with our muscles. At this age, there is no separation for the child in the physiological action and the psychological meaning. For instance, before language, a child will say no by pushing away with their triceps muscle. The impacts of mis-attuned relational support and non-traumatic disruptions, the “drip, drip, drip” effect of ongoing interactions, are imprinted in the muscles as they first are used voluntarily. There are three possible imprints: resourced; a hypo or giving up a psychological function; or a hyper response, a rigid or holding back of function. By relating a present-day issue to a developmental disruption, and using specific muscles, we can bring forth the needed abilities that are missing today.

After an overview of the richness and complexity of these early periods, we will work experientially to physically sense the muscles and developmental movements and their corresponding psychological impact.

We will also have case presentations and time for questions.

Main Points of Workshop:
  • Why ruptures from the first 18 months can be hard to identify
  • The Adult behaviors that can indicate problems from then
  • Learn the difference between the giving up (hypo response) and the holding back (hyper response) to developmental disruption
  • How using the muscles that are first voluntarily used then can help to resource us somatically as well as psychologically now
  • Working with the here and now effects of the early disruptions
  • Exploring contracting and stretching these muscles to discover the impact
  • Case presentations

- Overview of womb and first 18 months developmentally, psychologically and somatically.
- Overview of Bodynamic theory 30 minutes
- What specific muscles are used for the first time voluntarily, and what their psychological functions are
- Using these muscles 30 minutes
- Case presentations 20 minutes
- Q&A 10 minutes

Learning Objectives
  • How to recognize behavior indicating ruptures from this time
  • How to relationally support adults with these ruptures
  • How to use muscles and developmental movements to resource ruptures
  • Learn what the psychological functions are of specific muscles
  • Participants will learn -
  • Centering, grounding and support from these time periods
  • Difference in working with a giving up and a holding back response from the same developmental time
  • Innate resources from these ruptures

ABOUT Presenter
Anne Isaacs, MSW, LCSW
Bodynamic International and Mind Body Resourcing
Certified Bodynamic Analyst and PTSD Trauma Training

Specialty: Working with adults and groups – dealing with developmental issues. This includes working with relational ruptures and repair throughout development and how they affect our sense of self and our relationships.

Helping you to recognize and become the best of yourself by
  • Healing early developmental and attachment disruptions that impact your adult life and relationships
  • Using your body to support, change and solidify new resources
  • Being fully present with you so you can be fully present with yourself
Anne feels it’s a privilege to be moved by the depth in her students and clients. She is very skilled in perceiving how your body holds patterns of protection and limitation. She will help you find new ways to function with more vitality. She is touched by the wonder of what happens when both she and her clients and students surrender to the process of contact and change.

Anne has been a therapist and teacher for 35 years. She is grateful to her many teachers, including, Lisbeth Marcher, Mariana Bentzen, Merete Branbtjerg, Mary Main, Eric Hesse, Diana Fosha, Julie Henderson, Tony Richardson, Bairo Tulku, for the profound wisdom they have shared with her. She is thankful for her smart and loving husband, Joel, daughter, Vida, and the many friends who are such a rich part of her life.

1993-2021 Trainer of Bodynamic Analysis
1977-2021 Private Practice, Los Angeles
1990-2021 Bodynamics Somatic Developmental Psychology primary modality, Attachment Disruptions, Repair of Ruptures
1997-2004 Founding board member of United States Association of Body Psychotherapy
1997-2004 Program and conference planner of first 3 USABP conferences
1974-1977 Developer of community mental health program in a rural county of SE Arizona

1993-2021 Trainer of Bodynamic Analysis

1977-2004 Esalen Institute, yearly 5 day workshops

1990-2019 Presenter at numerous USABP conferences

2004-2010 Adjunct Faculty at SBGI

2006 Presenter at JFK/CIIS symposium

2010 Presenter at JFK conference on trauma and attachment

1973 MSW, University of Denver,

1976-1978, Radix Institute

1978-1983, study of many somatic modalities

1985-1991, Bodynamic Institute 5 years training

1999-2011, Focus on trauma-many modalities

2000-2011, Focus on Attachment-many UCLA conferences and reading

2003-2011, Student of Julie Henderson, Zapchen, a body based Buddhist practice

2008-2011, Systems Centered Therapy, trainings and on-going group consultation

2010, 3 week training with Mary Main and Erik Hesse, AAI

2011 AEDP core training for one year, Ron Frederick

2011 AEDP immersion training, 2 weeks, Diana Fosha

2018-2021 Training and experiential work with Stages International, Terri O Fallon and Kim Barta

Isaacs, Anne and Isaacs, Joel. (2020). Making Somatic Psychotherapy More Effective, International Body Psychotherapy Journal, Vol 18,, Number 2, Fall/Winter

Fosha, D. (2000). The transforming power of affect. New York, NY: Best Books.
MacNaughton, I. (2004). Body, breath, and consciousness. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
Marcher, L., and Fich, S. (2010). Body encyclopedia. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
Bentzen, M., Bernhardt, P., Isaacs, J. (1995 -1997). Waking the body-ego – Parts 1-4. Journal of Energy and Character, Vols. 26-28.
McKoewn, G. (2014). Essentialism. UK. Random House.
Rothschild, B. (2017). The body remembers: Volume 2. New York, NY: North Atlantic Books.
Porges, S. (2018) Polyvagal theory in therapy. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Co.
Brantbjerg, M. (2020) Widening the Map of Hypo-states: a methodology to modify muscular hypo-response and support regulation of autonomic nervous system regulation, Copenhagen, Denmark. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy
O’Fallon, Terri (2020) States and Stages: Waking up Developmentally, Boulder, Colorado. Integral Review, Vol 16 No.1 April 2020

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Your Instructor

Anne Isaacs MSW, LCSW
Anne Isaacs MSW, LCSW
Working with adults and groups – dealing with developmental issues. Helping you to recognize and become the best of yourself.

Other Skills:
Leads long term therapy groups, including incest survivors

Healing early developmental and attachment disruptions that impact your adult life and relationships
Using your body to support, change and solidify new resources
Being fully present with you so you can be fully present with yourself

Conducts Bodynamic Training:

Certified Bodynamic Analyst and Trainer, PTSD Trauma Training

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