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 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 - with big consequences financially, healthwise etc.
Kolbjørn Vårdal and I are training ourselves in teaching online - trying it out in big groups of trainees - and I am also doing it with a group of SE-therapists - focusing on regulating fear and disgust.
We are preparing ourselves for difficult choices regarding trainingworkshops, workshops in general etc. And online teaching is an alternative/supplement, that can hold bodily skilltraining, arousalregulation, conceptual clarification etc. It is not the same as being together physically - I miss being in groups directly body to body - and in the same time that is exactly what increases the risk of infection spreading.
The workshop in London March 20-22 got cancelled - it was in the beginning of the pandemic - travelling got shut down. I am happy with the decision - it felt right - and in the same time I am sad about the loss for all of us involved.
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 interview - podcasts - and free access to my latest article.
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.

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.

Newest article available for free until end of June:
The article "Widening the map of hypostates: A methodology to modify muscular hyporesponse and support regulation of autonomic nervous system arousal" was published 6/12 2019 by Taylor & Francis in a peerreviewed journal: "Body, movement and dance in psychotherapy". The article presents the essence of my ongoing work with including and understanding the function of hypo response in psychotherapeutic processes. The journal has now decided to make the article available for free until the end of June. An unexpected gift. Click here and you get to the article. And please pass on the link to others who may be interested.

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 UK and Tilburg Holland :

CABP - Chiron Association of Body Psychotherapy - organizes one more workshop with Merete in London.

CANCELLED DUE TO CORONA COVID19 March 20-22 2020 a workshop on Identity, stress and trauma is offered. Click on the title and you get to the flyertext.
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. The dates planned are October 1-3 2021.

For sign up go to the website of Chiron Association of Body Psychotherapy

Tilburg Holland:

NVLP organizes workshops with Merete in Tilburg - the next one will be in spring 2021 - March 5-7. For sign up write to Angela Terpstra at angelacmyterpstra@live.nl

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.