Trauma, Attachment & Yoga Training

with Deirdre Fay, LICSW 

This experiential training is an opportunity to explore ways to heal trauma and developmental wounding. 

We do this by creating and embodying felt experiences of secure attachment that encourage natural expression. By exploring practices to positively heal trauma and embody secure attachment in a safe and nourishing environment new "facilitated pathways" are formed (as the neuroscientists say), making it easier to use when you really need them.

Not only is the training practical and skills based but uses current research in attachment and trauma woven together with yogic psychology to give you a felt sense of secure attachment. Taking theoretical concepts we will open the door to an embodied experience through experiential learning.  

Most importantly we’ll use our time together to experience how to repair attachment ruptures with ourselves and with other people by investigating and re-organizing the Internal Working Models (Bowlby) that are implicitly propelling our lives. We're not content to know the patterns -- it's vital, for a satisfying life to shift those patterns so you can live the life you want to live.

The material comes from my latest book Attachment Based Yoga &Meditation (W.W. Norton Publishing, April, 2017).

This experiential seminar for professionals is an opportunity to explore ways to positively heal trauma and embody secure attachment while in a safe and nourishing environment.

"I went from not being able to imagine what safety in a relationship looked like or felt like -- or let alone be able to imagine feeling loved or cared about -- to finding myself in a nourishing relationship. Sure it took work.... actually took a lot of work but I'm so glad I did it. This is something I always wanted and now I have it. Now, when I hear people say, 'I can't imagine what that would be like" I tell them over and over, 'Yes, you can! It's possible." I guess one of the main things I got was hope that I can change from the inside out." 

~ Elizabeth, client

Why put yoga & attachment theory together with trauma treatment?

Three or four years ago I arrived at my office to find a large envelope from Norton Publishing asking me if I would be interested in writing a book for them.  

Just like when the owl dropped the letter in Harry Potter my life changed. Norton was asking me to write on a topic near and dear to me: yoga, trauma and attachment. That book is scheduled to be out in February, 2016.

The combination of subjects is close to my heart. In the 80s and 90s I lived in a yoga ashram for over six years. Held in that safe coccoon my own trauma history erupted. Suddenly I went from being able to be in my body all the time, meditating, practicing asanas, training for triathelons, to wanting to hide under my covers. The world became a scary place.

I couldn't figure it out - I used to be able to do so much. Now all I wanted to do was hide. What happened?

As I struggled with adapting to the unexpected changes my history brought in my body, heart, and mind I found myself confused. How had it been so easy to be in my body before -- and now..... not easy at all? What did I have to do to reclaim that place, to harness the power of yogic psychology to heal my heart and body. In that cauldron of pain I found the wisdom of the ancient teachings actually did mark the path. Integrating yoga, self-compassion and meditation with contemporary trauma treatment made the path even clearer.

The Becoming Safely Embodied Skills were the outgrowth of teaching others the simple skills that provided a foundation for healing for me. The word spread. The skills are now used throughout the globe.

The next piece of the puzzle came through ten years of study with Dan Brown, PhD, my mentor in attachment theory. Repairing attachment wounds gave me an understanding of the underlying developmental issues that made trauma difficult to resolve. Those years of study culminated in a book on Attachment Disturbances co-written with Daniel Brown, David Elliott and a group of us.  

As life would have it those two books were incubating at the same time, Attachment Disturbances publishing September 2016 with Norton Publishing, and my book on Attachment Focused Yoga & Meditation in December, 2016.  

As many are now finding, the wealth of attachment and trauma knowledge combined with yogic psychology is essential and perfect in healing from trauma and attachment wounding. 

It's what I would love to share with you.

"This work is profoundly subtle and powerful. The training deepened my knowledge of attachment repair to a more heartfelt level. Learning how to change attachment patterns from a “felt” experience has been both personally and professionally beneficial. Deirdre’s masterful guidance enables a safe holding environment for learning and for personal growth. The material marinates and the shift toward our natural state of being unfolds as the old embedded attachment pattern changes. Remarkable depth work."

~Celia Grand, LICSW [Portand, Maine]

Here's how we'll do this

Experiential Learning

The body is our physical home. Learning to listen to the body gives access to native intelligence and guides the way home.


One of the fundamental conditions for secure attachment comes from feeling safe to explore. This training provides that safe ground.


Replenishing opens native and creative avenues for wisdom and healing to spontaneously emerge

We are NOT stuck

Learn the critical strategies to shift old familiar patterns that no longer nourish or support healing

Research Based

Uses theimportant research from trauma, attachment and yogic psychology as foundation for experiential learning

Practical, Concrete Skills

Learn simple, easy to apply skills to use in everyday life to support the healing of trauma and to repair attachment wounds

"Being in the training was like going to a spa once a month. At the same time we were also learning new and effective ways to work with our clients that have attachment trauma.” 

~Caitlin Williams, LMHC, Arlington, MA 

What's included in the training seminar series

Training Based On Research

Knowing what the research in the field has been, where the field is going is the basis of this training.

While you also learn from the inside out

The facts and the research provide the ground in which deeper wisdom arises. We access it through the body, learning the signals and the guidance that comes from within after synthesizing all forms of mental, emotional, psychological data. This makes for a richer, more comprehensive understanding. 

"My back is warmed by the sun, and a slight sea breeze whispers over my face. The trees have painted the forefront of the landscape with shades of green that come with spring. I weave my way through a path catching glimpses of babies' faces and delighted dogs. As I approach the baseball field where the very young girls and boys are making their way around the bases and the sidewalk is filled with families, I pause. Waves of memories wash over me, my body smiles with sensation and I breath with and into all of this. Slowly the intensity subsides and I notice there is no sadness or gripping to hold on to any of this and no fear that it will never return. A different process is inside me now. This is how working with Deirdre in transforming stuck patterns and healing attachment wounds has impacted me personally. It has been profound and I am deeply grateful.."

~Jeri Schroeder, LICSW [Portand, Maine]

Topics We'll Cover

  • Knowing how your attachment style gets kicked up and how to shift it
  • The importance of self-compassion
  • Why mindfulness and concentration are the two foundational skills for healing trauma
  • What intersubjectivity is and how come it's so important 
  • Body/energy based systems that inform and open wisdom
  • Self/Other Distinction : how to live in your own skin while being connected 
  • Time Boundaries & Reality/Irreality: the present moment and how we get dislodged and dislocated in time and space 
  • Re-enactments as a way of putting the jigsaw pieces together 
  • Belongingness and affiliation and how that creates a healing environment 
  • Understanding the nature of longing and how to use that as guidance 
  • Transforming neediness and vulnerabilities into direction giving you a moment to moment roadway of where to go 
  • Language of attachment 

The Structure is Designed to Allow Your Own Wisdom to Arise 

As a small group we’ll meet for three, two-day weekends to learn the theories and to put the theories into felt practice.  

The theory is important -- but even more important is knowing yourself, learning how life has generated wisdom that you can trust. Gaining that embodied basis allows you to be in the world in a more nourishing and satisfying way. 

In yoga and meditation practices there is formal practice and the time between formal practice. Our training weekends will give us formal time to explore as well as the time in between when life’s doorways will open. Both are inviting you to return to your true nature and to your heart.  

Model and Protocol 

You’ll learn models from attachment theory and yogic psychology that will inform your work with clients, helping to direct you and guide you. Embedded in those models is a versatile protocol that can help you in your healing your own attachment wounds (something we do the rest of our lives) as well as helping you in your sessions with clients. 

Being known, understood, and seen as “unique in all the world"

As Peter Fonagy of the Tavistock Clinic tells us, “Being understood is a biological necessity.” 

Our time together will be about understanding the unique way each person is organized as well as exploring ways to stretch outside what’s been familiar. This allows us to remap a new, more satisfying way to be in our bodies and in our life. 

Yogic psychology helps us do this by tapping us into the wellspring of prana, the life force which pushes, prods, and urges us to return to our heart and remember our true nature. 

The materials presented and the effortless exercises are designed to give participants an embodied experience of self-awakening while being known by others who are curious and interested in your unique presence in the world. That is the environment which we will create together. 

2019 training

Cork Ireland

Two weekends

January 12-13, March 30-31, June 1-2

1 - Jan 31, 2019 – February 2, 2019 2 – March 28 – 30, 2019  

Trauma, Attachment & Yoga Training Manual

Reading material, detailed exercises to use, and teaching handouts all designed to weave together the wisdom and guidance from the various traditions.

"Deirdre Fay's Trauma Attachment Yoga training provides a rich panoply of skills that help treatment providers focus on trauma sequelae that reside in the body, mind, heart, soul. This training program and treatment approach are invaluable to anyone treating complex or developmental PTSD. 

 It's one of the finest training programs I've ever attended." 

 ~ Ray Howard, LICSW Keene, NH

Informed Consent: This experiential training is about learning from the inside. You don't have to do any of the exercises, ever. However, by signing up we're assuming you understand the experiential nature of the trianing. It goes without saying that this seminar is not psychotherapy, doesn’t presume to be psychotherapy, and won’t be used as psychotherapy. 

Cancellation Policy: Trust yourself. Listen to your heart. If the training sounds right we'd love to have you join us. You're welcome to a guilt-free cancellation if you cancel thirty days before the training. There is a $250 cancellation fee to cover administration costs. 

signing up for the training presumes that you have read this small print and understand how it might effect you. 

A Word From Deirdre Fay

"One of the great joys of my life has been to walk with people on a gentle path to healing. Combining the best of trauma and attachment theory with practical skills makes a solid platform. When you add the nourishment of yoga psychology and body awareness you open an even bigger portal for healing. 

Come join us!"