Welcome to the Relational Trauma therapy website

Here you will find news of Merete Holm Brantbjerg’s english-spoken activities and general information about Relational Traumatherapy, Resource Oriented Skill Training, and the background for the approach. Please click on the links on the left.

Please excuse any language inaccuracies as most of the text on these English pages is either written directly into English or translated from Danish by myself, a Dane. Some translations have also been made by Tania Christensen and Barbara Picton.

Relational Traumatherapy - a psychomotor and systems-oriented approach.

This name places the approach in the paradigm of Relational Psychotherapy, which holds a specific understanding of the relationship between therapist and client. Here is a small introductory article about Relational Psychotherapy - written for a conference held in Cambridge in 2007. I (Merete Holm Brantbjerg) met the concept of Relational Psychotherapy there and resonated with it right away. It named what I was already working with.
In Relational Traumatherapy psychomotor skill-training is combined with mutual regulation through systems-oriented group-process and with training in a databased, verbal language. The 3 aspects are integrated into one methodology.
The development of the approach has - next to the roots in psychomotorwork - been inspired by SCT, Systems Centered Therapy and by attachment theory.
The overall goal is to establish systems (groups, couples, individuals), where dissociative patterns can open up and the emotional states, that have been held in dissociation can become mutually regulated.
You can read an introduction under What is Relational Trauma Therapy?. The other headlines to the right on this page have also been updated.
In What is ROST? you find an updated exercise-manual, describing psychomotor exercises, that support six basic presence-skills. You can download the manual to use both to support yourself and to share with your clients.
In What is Moaiku? you can read about Moaiku as a poetic and visionary name behind the approach. Moaiku has been used since 2006

English-speaking workshops:
I offer one 3-day workshop a year in English - and shift between an online workshop and a physical workshop in Copenhagen.

April 21-23 2023 - physical workshop in Copenhagen - titled: How do we cope with arousal-states and emotions? The workshop was attended by 20 participants from Holland, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and one from Canada.

April 19-21 2024 - online workshop - titled not yet decided

The time-schedule for online-workshops will be 12.30 am CET - 3.30 pm - and 5-8 pm, which means that the primary audience for these worhops is Europeans and Eastcoast of America.
If you live in another timezone and you are up for stretching, you are most welcome in the online courses with European time.
And if not, the online-courses in RTT online are adapted to different timezones - and you are most welcome to join them. See more below.

Email-list: If you are interested in being on an emaillist where you will receive information about the future workshops in English, and about new material, please write to moaiku@brantbjerg.dk

Online courses with Kolbjørn Vårdal and Merete Holm Brantbjerg in RTT Online:
Since spring 2021 Kolbjørn Vårdal and I have offered international online courses in a format available to participants from many different countries. The online course Sitting on the edge of an abyss together - working with hypo-arousal will start September 13. This is a level 2 course, which means that it is required that you have participated in Including and awakening hypo-response or buy it in a special edition without live-sessions - or have been trained in working with hypo-response in other RTT courses. The format is 7 x 3 hrs - 5-8 CET.
At June 1st the course with payment possibility is announced at www.relationaltraumatherapy.com

Podcasts and videos

Podcasts and videos have been produced during 2020 and 2021. Most of the material focuses on how to relate to hypo-states. In stressfull situations (like the one we are all in now), it matters to reach for the parts of us, that easiest go invisible, that have most difficulty in managing stress - and learn something about how these parts of us can be included, normalised and how we can bring energy into them in a dosage that works.
Click on the Video or Podcast button to the right on this page - and it takes you to an overview of the available material.

Here are links to some articles, videos and podcasts:

2 new podcasts - produced summer 2022:

2 short introductory-podcasts are available here on Soundcloud og på Youtube:

The art of dosing: https://soundcloud.com/brantbjerg/the-art-of-dosing-relational-trauma-therapy - og

Having a map matters: https://soundcloud.com/brantbjerg/having-a-map-matters-relational-trauma-therapy - og

The pocasts focus on 2 different aspects of working with hypo-states: Dosing and orienting.

Here is a presentation held in Bristol Psychotherapy Association in April 2021 on working with hypoarousal: "Sitting on the edge of an abyss together". The recording of the presentation is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQlXoJ1oEp0 “Sitting on the edge of an abyss together” captures an essential element in working with hypo-arousal/collapse. Merete Holm Brantbjerg will introduce how low dosed muscle-activation can be used to build enough resilience in both client and therapist to be able to approach hypo-states and stay present instead of either being pulled into the given up state or polarise to it by trying to get out of it.


An article published in the journal for the Danish Psychotherapist Organisation in 2021 has now been translated into English:
"The importance of having a map". The article describes 3 levels of stress-responses related to a case-example - pointing to the benefit of having a conceptual map that can guide choices of methodology, when working with trauma. You can download the article here.

For access to older articles please go to English litterature

VIDEO titled: Supporting sustainable Change, was presented at the 1st online congress of Humanistic Psychology and Psychotherapies. The topic is change processes in psychotherapy and the role hypo-states play in how we sustain change or loose it again. Click on the link - and you come to the video on Youtube: https://youtu.be/w1QgA3A2u30

PODCAST: March 2021: What sustains you?
I was attracted to the question - especially in this time of crisis: What supports me to manage and carry myself through in spite of high both personal and collective stress? The conversation is available on this link, where you also can find other conversations in the series: https://activepause.com/tag/brantbjerg-merete/ The conversation holds an example of how tracking the hypo-responsive part of a stress-pattern can open up to a deeply satisfying presence.

PODCAST December 2021: In December I had a conversation with Susan Groves, a British Core Process Therapist, who became interested in my focus on dominance and submission, when attending one of my presentations. The conversation is wide with no firm structure for what we want to communicate. It is simply a conversation between 2 psychotherapists and women, who from each our viewpoints are curious about dynamics around dominance and submission. The conversation can be reached at: https://soundcloud.com/brantbjerg - for inspiration for those who get curious.

Introduction to the method you will meet in the workshops:
In Relational Trauma therapy psychomotor exercises (ROST) is used to stimulate change in defensive patterns and to build self-regulatory capacity. Skills and resources held in the muscle-system are awakened and with that our capacity for regulating emotions and arousal-states can grow.

Through the process of “dosing” the body exercises are adapted to each participant, building inner authority. Negotiation between opening up or respecting and valuing defensive patterns as they are is supported.

The bodily skill training is based in knowledge about tension and low energy (hyper- and hypo-response) as defense-mechanisms represented in the muscles and connective tissue.  
Regulation of low energy is being addressed first, which supports an unusual group-dynamic and inner dynamic: High and low energy behaviors are valued equally.   

The goal of the method - Relational Traumatherapy - is to build a holding environment where emotions and survivalreactions can become mutually regulated, especially those states that have been held in isolation and dissociation. The psychomotor skill-training supports self-regulatory capacity – and systems-oriented group-work is used to build the capacity for mutual resonance and regulation.

The psychotherapeutic growth process in the workshops happens through active exploration, systems-oriented group-work and reflection. 
Growth in your professional capacity is supported by widening your capacity for knowing and owning aspects of being human in your own body and mind – through direct experience in resonance with yourself and others.