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2023 Integrative Education Symposium

Empowering and Connecting Pediatric Professionals
24-25 February 2023
Course F: Developmental Roots of Trauma: A Sensorimotor Embodied Approach 
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Tracy Bjorling

Sheila Frick, OTR/L and Tracy Bjorling, OTD, OTR/L

February 24 - 25, 2023, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm CST
Cost: $445
Location: In-person learning at the Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan, MN 55121

CEUs: 12 Contact Hours (1.2 AOTA CEUs)
*Lab Materials: Therapy Ball Trio includes, one (1) Gertie Ball, one (1) Power Up Ball and one (1) Pinky Ball - $27.00

Course Preview
Check out this short video introduction to the course
Course Level: Beginner
Audience: OTs, PTs, SLPs, mental health professionals, educators and interested others
Course Description

Pediatric therapists and other professionals who work with individuals with sensory and developmental disorders (e.g. autism spectrum, attention deficit, learning disabilities) often encounter clients with difficulties related to developmental trauma.  Traumatic events may be overt, such as early loss of a primary caregiver; sexual, physical or emotional abuse; or domestic, community and school violence. Trauma may also be innocent, such as early hospitalization and necessary lifesaving medical procedures in the neonatal intensive care unit. Exposure to adverse life experiences has been shown to increase the likelihood of social emotional and developmental delays. 

Individuals who experience extreme stress and trauma have been shown to demonstrate co-existing sensory processing and sensory motor difficulties. Consequently, as providers, it is important to gain an understanding and awareness of how best to support individuals who experience extreme stress or trauma to be adaptable and successful across environments. This two-day hands-on course will explore from a trauma informed perspective the connections between sensory modulation, arousal, and affect regulation difficulties. Additionally, individuals may also experience other sensory integrative issue that impact one’s ability to find a solid sense of self within the context of the home, classroom, and community. 


Participants will investigate the neurobiological underpinnings of the dynamic interplay between sensory modulation, arousal, attachment, affect regulation, and play. As a part of understanding and working with trauma from a “sensory motor perspective”, we will provide a brief introduction to the tension reducing technique known as TRE®. This experiential learning opportunity will be presented as a part of gaining an understanding of how the body retains stress in core muscular/tissue tension patterns. Interactive hands-on labs, video and case presentations will bring key concepts and treatment strategies to life in this theoretically based, yet practical workshop.

Course Objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the physiological, physical, and emotional sequela of trauma on the developing child.

  2. Recognize when patterns of defense are interfering with function and daily life.

  3. Examine three body-based strategies to decrease tension patterns and regulate arousal.

  4. Discuss three classroom, small-group, or pull-out activities that support regulation, arousal, affect, and social engagement.


Day 1

8:30 am - 9:30 am : Check-in, breakfast provided, find your seat


9:30 - 9:35 am: Welcome, announcements, and speaker introduction

9:35 am - 11:00 am: Developmental Trauma and Sensory Processing 

11:00 – 11:15 am: Morning Break

11:15 am – 12:45 pm: Attachment, Attunement, and Sensory Processing 


12:45 – 1:15 pm: Lunch


1:15 – 2:45 pm: Neurodevelopmental Roots of Defense 

2:45 – 3:00 pm: Afternoon Break

3:00 – 4:30 pm: Brief Introduction to TRE® and Lab 

Day 2

8:30 - 9:30 am: Check-in, breakfast provided, find your seat

9:30 - 9:35 am: Welcome and announcements

9:35 – 11:00 am: Exploring the Connections: Sensory Integration and Trauma

11:00 – 11:15 am: Morning Break

11:15 – 12:45 pm: Trauma’s Impact on the Developing Brain 

12:45 – 1:15 pm: Lunch

1:15 – 2:45 pm: Developmental Movement Patterns of Regulating and Relating 

2:45 – 3:00 pm: Afternoon Break

3:00 – 4:30 pm: Lab Exploration: Regulating and Releasing Stress through Embodied Movement

Instructional Methods

The speakers will be using a lecture with slides, experiential labs, large group discussion, and time allotted for question & answer.


Some of the music selections (Quickshifts) that are used in the course are developed & sold only by Vital Sounds, Inc. This presentation will focus exclusively on Quickshifts & will not include detailed information on other binaural beat technology. Vital Sounds is a sister company of Vital links.


Lab Materials Needed

The Therapy Ball Trio is required for the course with an additional lab fee of $27.00. The trio includes, one (1) Gertie Ball, one (1) Power Up Ball and one (1) Pinky Ball.  If you already have these materials, please bring them to the course.  If you do not have these materials, please purchase them at registration and they will be available on the day of the course.


Participants should also bring a yoga mat or towel to the course.

Course Requirements

In order to qualify for AOTA CEUs, you must attend at least 3 hours of the course (for partial credit), meet at least 2 of the objectives for the course and sign in and out on the sheets provided documenting your attendance at the course.  After completing a self-evaluation, you will be emailed a course certificate within one week of the event.

Continuing Education

12 Contact Hours awarded if course requirements are met. Integrative Education is an AOTA Approved Provider, number 11607. This live course is offered at 1.2 AOTA CEUs for intermediate level, in the areas of occupational therapy service delivery and foundational knowledge.  Course approval number: 05908. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA or indicate AOTA approval of a certification of other professional recognition.For additional continuing education information for PT, and SLP, click here​ to access our CEU policies.

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