What are co-regulating touch Methods ?

Co-regulating through touch is part of what occurs in healthy human development.  Methods that use touch as a way to support co-regulation are part of the body/mind traditions that focus on presence and connection to address the ways in which both physical and emotional pain are held in our physiology.

What Do We Mean By co-regulating touch ?

¢®, There are many types of practitioners who integrate both touch and a focus on co-regulation into their practices – psychotherapists, bodyworkers, acupuncturists, and various kinds of somatic practitioners.

As a way to describe that unique combination of touch and co-regulation, we have coined the term co-regulating touch practices – not to describe a specific method, but to name a particular approach to working with trauma.

This directory provides a way for clients and fellow professionals to connect with practitioners who use this type of work.

All of the practitioners listed in this directory have completed training in one or more of the following programs:

  • Touch Skills Training for Trauma Therapists, currently Somatic Skills Online, taught by Kathy Kain
  • Somatic Skills Online, taught by Kathy Kain
  • Transforming the Experience-Based Brain®, Transforming Touch® Practitioner Training, taught by Stephen Terrell
  • Somatic Resilience and Regulation: Early Trauma, taught by Kathy Kain and Stephen Terrell

Many have also been trained in Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing© method for working with trauma.

While these types of approaches are particularly effective for developmental and complex trauma, they are also effective for any form of trauma, or as an adjunct to traditional therapeutic modalities.

Co-regulating touch practices can be effective as stand-alone treatment, but many practitioners combine this work with talk therapy, somatic therapies, acupuncture, or other body/mind practices. Each practitioner has a unique style of practice, and this work combines well with many different practice modalities.  Be sure to talk with your practitioner about their approach.

For those who are unfamiliar with Kathy or Stephen’s background:

Kathy L. Kain, PhD, has been practicing and teaching bodywork and trauma recovery for nearly 40 years.  A senior trainer in the Somatic Experiencing trauma resolution model, she is an expert in integrating touch into the practice of psychotherapy and trauma recovery, as well as in somatic approaches to working with developmental and complex trauma.  She teaches therapists about the physiology of traumatic stress through her popular program “Touch Skills Training for Trauma Therapists” and is the principal author of Ortho-Bionomy: A Practical Manuel and co-author of “Nurturing Resilience: Helping Clients Move Forward from Developmental Trauma”, as well as The Tao of Trauma: A Practitioner’s Guide for Integrating Five Element Theory and Trauma Treatment.

Stephen Terrrell, PsyD, SEP, is a leading expert in the field of Developmental Trauma and Adoption. The founder of Austin Attachment and Counseling Center, Dr. Terrell works directly with individuals and families affected by trauma.  Through his work, he has developed and teaches throughout the world, “Transforming the Experience-Based Brain: An Integrative Neurodevelopmental Approach to the Treatment of Developmental Trauma through Transforming Touch®”.  Terrell is co-author of “Nurturing Resilience:  Helping Clients Move Forward from Developmental Trauma”.


“This is such important work.  Now I know what my body feels like when it trusts.  I’ve never felt THIS level of calm and stability!”    


Arlington Hts, IL

“Do people know how effective this work is?”


Burlingame, CA

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Below is the link to an outcome study done with this method.  Further research is in process.

Two Experiments on the Psychological and Physiological Effects of Touching-Effect of Touching on the HPA Axis-Related Parts of the Body on Both Healthy  and Traumatized Experiment Participants         https://www.mdpi.com/2076-328X/8/10/95

A discussion of the ACES study, its findings and the impact of trauma on our health: The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity by Nadine Burke.

The appendix of Nurturing Resilience: Helping Clients Move Forward from Developmental Trauma is outstanding.

Additional resources at: Somaticpractice.com and Austinattach.com

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Coregulating Touch

Co-Regulating Touch repairs the deeper wounds of trust and isolation through safety and connection. Deeper wounding is generally held in the body and can affect our health. Effective treatment is finally available through select practitioners.

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