Workshop to Benefit the Institute for Meditation & Psychotherapy

with Deirdre Fay, LICSW

author of Attachment-Based Yoga & Meditation for Trauma Recovery and Becoming Safely Embodied Skills Manual; co-author of Attachment Disturbances in Adults

The intense suffering of trauma can completely disorganize a human being. To ease PTSD symptoms people often turn to meditation. Therapists, meditation and yoga teachers can better support their clients/students with an understanding of how trauma imprints on the body-mind-heart. 

Workshop Description

The intense suffering of trauma can completely disorganize a human being. Despite that, our bodies, minds, and hearts are natively wired to connect. When connections are broken, or betrayed, especially while young or in an affectively intense manner, the internal patterns become disorganized, remaining that way despite how one appears externally.  

These underlying, unresolved body-mind patterns result in one of the main reasons post-traumatic stress disorder doesn’t resolve. The body, mind and heart when affectively encoded with traumatic patterns feels as if this is the only way it can be. As therapists and teachers, it can be easy to collude with the suffering, feeling stuck, caught in cycles of despair and hopelessness. Or we oversimplify the disorganizing effect trauma has on the body-mind-heart.  

We need to understand the disorganizing body-mind-heart of trauma, how memory gets dislocated in time and space, and the developmental disruption of attachment patterns that keep a person stuck in trauma reactivity. 

Neuroscience combined with the ancient wisdom traditions gives a conceptual understanding of how the brain is encoded – and better yet, how to shift those body-based patterns. There is a new path forward. Combining cognitive understanding of trauma disruption, attachment theory, body therapies, neuroscience, meditation and yoga, we now have access to changing the non-narrative imprinting.  

This workshop will look at the informal meditation skills we can apply through foundational practices of mindfulness, concentration, self-compassion and non-dual.  

Meditation needs to integrate the complexities of trauma & attachment wounding

Since the 1990s Deirdre has been researching, listening and teaching people who have trauma histories the most effective ways to use mindfulness, self-compassion, concentration and non-dual practices. Recent comments from people in her Meditation Skills for Trauma Recovery course talked about their previous experiences with meditation: 

"Meditation encourages a letting go – and there is a part of me that is so careful not to go where I have gone in those terrible states before."

"Meditation teachers don't realize that life is happening 'outside of me'. I look like I'm there - but I'm really not. Hard when I want to fit in.”

"Meditating on breath and parts of the body is especially hard – leaves me feeling dissociated, that I'm a failure because I can't do it how I'm 'supposed' to."  



Trauma Disruption

Identify how trauma patterns are non-narrative; when activated they often disrupt meditation 

Function of Secure

Most basic to us all is an internal secure base. Without it meditation practices can be derailed. 

Structure Building

Trauma-informed therapy builds self structure, containing what meditation uncovers so it can be integrated

Apply to Practice

Explore ways to apply to meditation and yoga practices with those who have trauma histories


Who is this workshop for?

Sometimes, even the student or client doesn't know how their history is effecting them --until something happens. 

When compensatory strategies are relaxed, underlying time capsules of history can flood the person, making what was previously manageable no longer workable. 

This workshop is suitable for all levels of meditation practitioners.

  • Psychotherapists interested in meditation & yoga
  • Meditation teachers
  • Yoga teachers
  • Body oriented therapists
  • Acupuncturists
  • Physicians, nurses
  • Educators / Teachers
  • Anyone interested in meditation who has a trauma history

Douglas Baker's Review of Deirdre's book & Podcast for Institute for Meditation & Psychotherapy


About Deirdre Fay

Deirdre Fay, LICSW has decades of experience exploring the intersection of trauma, attachment, yoga and meditation. Having meditated since the 70’s and lived in a yoga ashram for six years in the 80’s and 90s Deirdre brings a unique perspective to being in the body.  

In the 90’s Deirdre was asked to teach yoga and meditation to those on the dissociative unit at McLean Hospital. Having amassed skill sets in trauma treatment (as a supervisor under the guidance of Bessel van der Kolk at the Trauma Center), attachment theory (13 years of training with Daniel Brown), body therapy (as a trainer in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy) Deirdre now teaches an integrative approach which Chris Germer calls “a radically positive approach to healing trauma.”  

Deirdre founded the Becoming Safely Embodied skills groups and is the author of Attachment-Based Yoga & Meditation for Trauma Recovery (W.W. Norton, 2017), Becoming Safely Embodied Skills Manual (2007), and co-author of Attachment Disturbances for Adults (W.W. Norton, 2016) as well as the co-author of chapters in Neurobiological Treatments of Traumatic Dissociation. 

Here's what people have to say about Deirdre Fay


Dip In & Dip Out

"Your use of meditation seems quite natural and undemanding, dip in and dip out --a terrific phrase to help us titrate what has been unbearable and unknowable. I went on and listened to your reading from the intro to your book. Despite my vow to not buy another book until I make a dent in my stack of the unread, I fell and fell hard for yours. I will reset the no buy book intention again --Tomorrow."  



Body based practices

"Grounding in the spine as an option to grounding in the feet. Halleluja! Finally an option to this 'grounding of the feet-business' that never ever seemed to be working and was of no interest what so ever.... I mean utterly non-useful, in my case. Grounding in the spine - NOW! There is an option of interest that works! :-)"  

Kerstin Palmer - Sweden


Integrating attachment

"I’m absolutely loving your book! Your gentle, supportive spirit comes right through the page, and so helpful to me to have more written from this perspective…" 

Beth - New Jersey


Registration Information

$195 for benefactors

$150 regular

 $125 for IMP members

$100 for students

  Psychologists: The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 5.25 hours of credit. 

Licensed Mental Health Counselors: The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6048. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. This program is approved for 5.25 clock hours. It is also applicable for MaMHCA/MMCEP hours for relicensure, in accordance with 262 CMR.

Nurses: This program carries 5.25 contact hours and meets the specifications of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (244 CMR 5.00).  

Social Workers: Application for social work continuing education credits has been submitted. Please contact The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy at for the status of social work CE accreditation.  

Marriage and Family Therapists: Application for MFT continuing education credits has been submitted. Please contact The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy at for the status of MFT CE accreditation.