Numerous studies in the helping professions have shown that clients make better progress when they feel their therapist is emotionally attuned and connected with them. In some studies, relationship has been shown to have a stronger impact on client healing than training, experience or modality.

When clients experience a felt sense of human connection with their practitioners, the benefit of the work extends into deeper layers of the person. Ultimately this has the potential to soften long held body/mind armoring, the freeze states and the embodied psycho-emotional tensions that bring our clients in week after week with the same complaints. Psycho-emotional tensions may respond temporarily to pressure but ultimately they are far deeper than we can reach with even the deepest pressure. When we contact our clients on these many levels, our work has the potential to deeply matter to our clients’ lives.

Some of the ways to create this sense of connection with your clients might surprise you. Energetic factors such as loving presence and intention are important but how specifically can we create these conditions? Attachment theory, Interpersonal Neurobiology and the Poly-Vagal Theory have insights into what specific actions foster a present moment, biologically registered sense of safety and attunement that naturally leads to softening on physiological levels. These are learnable skills you can use to create relationships that are truly therapeutic to your clients on many levels.

There are many skills gleaned from the counseling profession that are totally appropriate within a bodywork scope of practice. Communication that fosters greater attunement, connection and the subtle sense of deep safety at the nervous system level is good for your clients and is also an effective way to make your practice stand head and shoulders above the crowd.

Power of Contact: Foundations of META Integrative Bodywork – Sept 7&8

In this exciting two day experiential workshop, students will learn foundational theory and skills drawn from Hakomi, META, Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) Poly Vagal Theory and the science of the human attachment system. Practice key M.E.T.A. techniques that you can use with your clients right away to help make your work more impactful in your clients’ lives. Begin to develop advanced verbal skills drawn from Hakomi Mindful Somatic Therapy to make your sessions more relational and emotionally relevant. Explore the ethical guidelines for creating safe and effective therapeutic relationships. Apply these concepts to yourself through direct experience and thereby grow your capacity for deep connection both in and out of your treatment room. M.E.T.A. Integrative Bodywork offers increased depth and richness to the practice of bodywork, acupuncture and energy-work. We teach body-practitioners the skills to safely and comfortably engage the whole person on the table. Whether you are new to these concepts or a seasoned practitioner, this class will help you deepen the impact and potential of your work with clients.

About the Instructor

Nova Knutson, MA, LMT, (6440) Certified Hakomi Teacher, is a counselor and a bodyworker with nearly 25 years in practice. Nova is the creator of META’s Integrative Bodywork Program. She is a strong believer in the power of body and energy work to impact clients in ways that are meaningful and important. Nova teaches with enthusiasm, kindness and humor and is honored and delighted to share this work with hands-on-practitioners of all kinds.

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2 Responses to The Power of Contact: M.E.T.A. Skills for Touch Therapists

  1. Sandra says:

    Fellow massage therapist from Los Angeles, CA here. Love seeing this topic covered, as the concept of “touch” and being in tune with your massage therapist is not often mentioned in a practitioner’s training, but a highly valuable skill.

    Thanks for the post!