Welcome to the Relational Trauma therapy website

Here you will find general information about Relational Traumatherapy, Resource Oriented Skill Training, and the background for the approach. Please click on the links on the left.

You will also find news of Merete Holm Brantbjerg’s english-spoken activities and examples of the workshops she can facilitate
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.

Since 2006 "Moaiku" has been used to name the vision of this approach - and ROST, Resource Oriented Skill Training has been used to name the psychomotor skill training, which is an essential part of the approach.
"Moaiku" is a poetic and visionary name - not a name that explains what kind of approach this is.
Different sources of inspiration have now lead to this name for the approach:

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.

The new situation we are all in: Corona, Covid19
Like everybody else the field around Relational Traumatherapy is also impacted by the pandemic our societies and the whole world is relating to now.
Kolbjørn Vårdal and I are teaching online -with big groups of trainees - I have done a 3-day workshop on "Identity, stress and trauma" online in May - and I am participating online in both international and national events on trauma-therapy.

Below you will find ways to access my work with hypo-states, that don't involve attending a workshop - all is for free - and works digitally: An announcment of 2 conversations, a presentation, an interview and access to podcasts.
In a stress-situation 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.
Please pass on the information to anybody who may be interested.

August 1st 2 conversations between Serge Prengel and Merete Holm Brantbjerg will be available:
Serge Prengel has established an online-forum for psychotherapists called Relational Implicit - and a forum for the general public called Active Pause.
On Relational Implicit this conversation will be available on August 1st : Merete Holm Brantbjerg: A gentle, resource-oriented approach to stress and trauma. Merete Holm Brantbjerg talks about working with low energy states and our "invisible parts" in the context of Relational Trauma Therapy. Click here: http://relationalimplicit.com
On Active Pause this conversation will be available on August 1st: Merete Holm Brantbjerg: A gentle exploration of stress. In this conversation with Merete Holm Brantbjerg, we explore experientially what happens in our body when we get stressed. Click here: http://activepause.com
If you access the links prior to August 1st (and later) you will get access to other interesting conversations between Serge Prengel and other psychotherapists - most of them body-oriented.

Presentation May 30th - Facilitator's day - The Embodiment Conference:
May 30th I did a 50 minute presentation as part of a day on traumatherapy with 10-15 international presenters - amongst them Stephen Porges, Steven Hoskinson and other known international names in the traumafield. 1000 participants from all over the world joined the event - and my presentation was received with great appreciation - it showed to be one of the most appreciated throughout the day. This appreciation touches me. The title of the presentation was "Hyporesponse - a hidden challenge in coping with stress and trauma" - so my work with hyporesponse is now reachting out to many more people - and to many places in the world. The link to my presentation is here: https://vimeo.com/user102101996/download/424304009/ea1bc5f73c

New input - interview on O'Radio with Michael Ostrolenk:
I have been interviewed by Michael Ostrolenk a couple of weeks ago - Michael is among other things specialised in making interviews about bodypsychotherapy. The interview focuses on Relational Traumatherapy with special focus on working with hypo-states - and is now available on Youtube on this link.

Podcasts about work with hypo-states - 2020:
5 podcasts are now done - 4 in English and one in Danish - all focused on hypo-states and the development of methodology within Relational Traumatherapy related to work with these states impacted by giving up and collapse. The podcasts are created in cooperation with Ayuna Pedersen (DK) and Kathrin Stauffer (UK), who have both interviewed me - and with Flemming Brantbjerg as sound-technician.
If you want to listen to the podcasts, please go to Soundcloud.com and seek Brantbjerg - then you get to them.
Feedback is welcome.

Articles written in 2014-2018 and earlier are available: Click here on Litterature - and you get access to download all articles written in the Moaiku approach since 2004. You choose what you pay - as support for my writing.

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.

Activities in London and Amsterdam :

London:
The next workshopdates will be in autumn 2021 - we shift to autumn to be able to get a bigger venue, hoping that this will make space for everybody who wants to participate. Kerensa Martin, Steve Elliott and I are working on establishing a new structure that carries on the Moaiku-workshops in London. The dates planned are October 1-3 2021.

Amsterdam:

NVLP represneted by Angela Terpstra has been organising workshops with Merete in Tilburg. Now Arienne Klijn and Nicky Smoare is taking over as organisers - we are in the process of establishing a new structure. The next workshop will happen March 5-7 2021. The title will be: "Identity, stress and trauma". The workshop with this title in March 2020 announced in London got cancelled - due to the corona-situation. We are announcing it now in Amsterdam - Identity, stress and trauma are relevant issues in our here and now ongoing stress-situation. A flyer will be posted soon. If you are interested in the workshop please write to arienneklijn@gmail.com

Email-list: If you are interested in being on an emaillist where you will receive information about workshops in London and Amsterdam - and also potential online-workshops in the future - please write to Merete Holm Brantbjerg on moaiku@brantbjerg.dk

Goodbye to Vancouver:

In May and early June 2018 I ended my work in Vancouver. Thanks for all the years of development and growth. I feel priviliged to have lead and participated in a process with so many highly committed participants, clients, supervisees etc.