Embodied Therapy

promoting growth ......healing trauma

......workshops and professional training  with Michael Gavin

UPDATED December 2017

Old men ought to be explorers

T.S. Eliot    East Coker  *

Having recently celebrated my 76th birthday , I am continuing to explore how I can make a contribution based on what I have learned during fifty years of working in the helping professions, with the accompanying study and reflection, and the many mistakes and the rewarding number of realisations and discoveries that have resulted.

I imagine that contribution will come through training and personal and professional development workshops, perhaps through some on-line enterprises, and even some writing.  

As you can see on this page, I am continuing to present the EveryBodyKnows Boundary, Contact, Engagement workshop series with Brian Stirner, with workshops already planned in 2017.

Radix Residential Workshops (with optional Learning Days) with Michael Randolph, now past their 30th year, are also continuing.

These workshops are all at present almost fully subscribed through to December 2017.  We are actively considering how to make these unique Radix Intensive Workshops more widely accessible.   

Following July’s experimental Self-Directed Learning Workshop - still under evaluation - I am contemplating a similar workshop next autumn on a Greek island. 

Able and Equal:  I have been able to contact Frances Thronson, the surviving co-author of Denton Roberts'  lovely little book, and am engaged in getting it reissued in print and as an e-book, and in creating an on-line course around the concepts of "Capable, Powerful, Valuable, Lovable, Equal "  foundations of "Human Esteem"  and elements of the "Gentle Path to Peace."

Look out for more information in the New Year


Let me know if you have any suggestions or requests about content, format and means of delivery. 


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With every good wish

Michael Gavin

Old men ought to be explorers.

Here and there does not matter. 

We must be still and still moving

Into another intensity 

For a further union, a deeper communion 

Through the dark cold and empty desolation, 

The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters 

Of the petrel and the porpoise. 

In my end is my beginning.

T.S. Eliot    East Coker


EveryBodyKnows Workshops


for Counsellors and Therapists

One-day workshop  - London - 18 March 2017                BOOK NOW

Residential week - New Forest - May 29 - June 2 2017   BOOK NOW

Boundary, Contact, Engagement

a somatic approach for talk therapists


Michael Gavin and  Brian Stirner

Open Centre, Old Street, London EC1

Saturday March 18  10 am – 5.15 pm 

  £100     BOOK NOW

until 31 January

then £120

- I have noticed I am physically more alive and present to my own sensations and those of others around me..

- I just loved it. I felt contacted on all ego states and very safe to be myself. I enjoyed learning and want to learn more!

        Residential week - New Forest -  May 29 - June 2 2017

Avon Tyrrell, Bransgore, New Forest

Monday 29 May 3.30 pm  - Friday 2 June 3.30 pm

£575 single room

£475 shared

deposit £225  BOOK NOW

balance due March 27th

Building on the rich and enlivening experience of the one day workshop towards an immersive week-long experience of embodied awareness and and interaction.

Located in sixty-five acres of beautiful grounds in the New Forest National Park, Avon Tyrrell is a centre for outdoor activity with a lake and a mixture of woodland and open spaces.

Accommodation is self-catering, in twin rooms. 

Radix Residential Workshops
with Optional Learning Days 
for practitioners


April 7 - 10   (waiting list)

June 9 - 12  (waiting list)

Dec 1 - 4     (waiting list)

October  6 - 9 (not booking yet)

To stay up to date with vacancies and new developments:


 Training  with Michael Gavin

The challenge of working with trauma

""Engagement in this work ... poses some risk to the therapist's own psychological health. 

The therapist's adverse reactions, unless understood and contained, also predictably lead to  disruptions in the therapeutic alliance with patients and to conflict with professional colleagues.  

Therapists who work with traumatised people require an ongoing support system to deal with these intense reactions.  Just as  no survivor can recover alone, no therapist can work with  trauma alone." 

Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery (1996)." Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery (1996)

As a trauma practitioner,  you know from experience how challenging this work can be.  People tell you stories of unbearable experience, and you have to listen.  The many dilemmas you face can seem  impossible to resolve:

  • Creating safety versus providing  challenge
  • The longing for emotional contact versus the fear of contact
  • Containment of unmanageable emotions versus the relief of expression
  • Remaining helpful in the face of transferred hatred, disparagement and rage
  • Maintaining a solid professional boundary in the face of seemingly overwhelming vulnerability and need

You are right to be aware of the risks to clients in trauma work:  retraumatisation, breaches in the therapeutic relationship, decompensation and dangerous acting out - including substance abuse, violence towards others, self-harm and even suicide.

You also need to recognise the risks that you may face, as a trauma practitioner, to your quality of life and to your mental and physical well-being:

  • reductions in vitality, libido and in your capacity for creativity, imagination and fun
  • lowered self-esteem, confidence, and therapeutic potency
  • serious conditions like compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatisation and burnout.


Through training that I offer, I aim to help provide you with the remedies that make trauma therapy as safe and effective as it can possibly be both for you and for your clients or patients.

Michael Gavin 

Certified Somatic Trauma Therapist 

External Supervisor, London Underground Counselling and Trauma Service (2007-15)

Approved Supervisor, Somatic Trauma Training Programme

Babette Rothschild

Author: The Body Remembers, The Neurophysiology Of Trauma And Trauma Treatment


"Michael Gavin has been my closest UK colleague since 1992.… There is no one I have more confidence in as a therapist, teacher, consultant, and supervisor."