The OI HEARTraining® is a 3-year training program with a unique format: six Modules consisting of both Residential Retreat and At-Home units support professional skill development and personal evolution. Each year, students will attend two, 6-day Residential Retreats and participate in ongoing At-Home study through the OI Virtual Classroom and Mentor Group Meetings. For an overview of learning objectives and scientific references visit the Learning Objectives page.
With the help of Training Facilitators, including OI Mentors, step-by-step practices consolidate students’ observation & intervention skills. Recordings of the Residential Retreats are made available in the membership area of each student’s OI Virtual Classroom along with the live demonstration sessions, which include analysis.
With an equal focus on the development of skills and development of the person, we see beyond trauma to the re-emergence of natural compassion for oneself and others: human empowerment and resiliency. Through practice and formal teaching, students begin to see into the structure of complex systems: biological, family, social, global, and other systems. Students learn to “read” and understand the maps for these systems, practicing implicit trauma resolution and using these maps to make attuned, appropriately timed interventions. Simple human pleasure is cultivated, mindfulness emerges, and hope results.
Students continue their exploration of complex systems and focus on progressive skill development in trauma resolution by working with the most common traumatic events. During this year, Students begin to recognize the natural transition from implicit to explicit processing and develop the art of “the free association conversation.” This year also emphasizes students finding their own latent agency and meaning. We orient around what really matters. If Year 1 is like learning musical scales and playing simple melodies, Year 2 shows how to play complex compositions (Year 3: improvisation!)
The emphasis is on supervised practice and advanced skill development, to include deep listening and touch and embodying what it means to be of service. We will examine how physical syndromes such as migraines, fibromyalgia, environmental sensitivity, addiction, etc., are part of the compromised autonomic organization and use newly developed skills to address these syndromes. Students learn to spontaneously express Organic Intelligence®. The pleasure is unmistakable, the hope is palpable, and the effect is powerful.
The first year of the HEARTraining teaches how to see into the structure of complex systems: biological, family, social, global, and other systems. Students learn to “read” and understand the maps for these systems and how to use these maps to make attuned, appropriately timed interventions. Interventions arising from this uniquely OI-attuned relationship naturally catalyze reorganization of the client’s nervous system. Additionally, students are supported in cultivating mindfulness and compassion, which are central to both the professional and personal work of Organic Intelligence!
Year 1 Topics
From Negative to Positive Reinforcement
OI: The Addiction Model
Natural Plateaus & The Three Errors of Conditioning: Correcting the Deviations from our Natural Learning State
The Three Phases: Chaos, Complexity, Coherence
The Both-And Model: Red and Blue and the Binary Nervous System
Working with Trauma
Initial Conditions and The Implicit Exposure Model: Beyond Trauma, Safer than Safe
Making a Resiliency Assessment: Observable Criteria
Working with Fight-Flight-Freeze
Implicit Exposure Protocol
The Dissociative Continuum — Psychology Meets The Physiology of Freeze
Foundations of Complex Systems
Nervous System Mapping
Deep Ecology & The Science of Complexity
The Fractal Nature of Body & Mind and why this is important
“This experience has been so enlightening!”
“This work is life changing and I’m honored to be part of the OI team.”
“Such a fundamental shift and change in my life.”
Retreat 3 & 4
In the second year we build from the foundation of our stabilization-based trauma resolution protocol and understand the why’s and how’s for working beyond trauma resolution to empowerment and resiliency. Extreme life events such as accidents, abuse, early life mis-attunement, surgery, disasters, assault, etc., show key dimensions of the physiological responses for trauma, and key dimensions of the natural attempt of the nervous system to reorganize. By working organically through the implicit exposure protocol, trauma becomes a portal through which we rescue the system from its spiral of disintegration and facilitate the return to exploration and growth.
Instead of trying to resolve trauma symptoms through the physiology, we learn how the physiology will use the trauma to gain increased agency and capacity. Symptoms point us to the natural entry point of in-the-moment work: the “Complex du Jour,” which in turn often points to a fractal map of unfolding — the important concept of the naturally occurring Holographic Blue resource. Students learn to re-envision the therapeutic landscape.
Year 2 Topics include
Details for Working with the Most Common Traumas
Context is Everything
Priming & The Language of Facilitation
Orientation and The Vestibular System: Gravity, Grounding and Growth
Rescuing Projection from Pathology: The Value of Outsight
From Trauma Resolution to Empowerment, Agency, and Emotional Development
Building on Strengths vs Reducing Symptom Behaviors
How the Nervous System Re-Organizes and the Return of Exploration
What Really Matters — Existential Roots of Felt Destiny
Meaning, Purpose and Motivation in Treatment
Empathy and the Development of Emotional Intelligence
Historical Trauma Repetition and The Social Milieu: Privilege & Oppression
Applying Systems Theory in the Real World
Trauma-Sensitive Systems: Therapeutic Relationships, Organizations, Disaster Relief, Aid Projects
View Year 3 >
Community of Healing
I want to acknowledge
that the way the training was set up
has created a community of healing,
like I’ve never had in a training.
It speaks to the power of OI.
Retreat 5 & 6
In Year 3, we increase the already intensive focus on supervised practice and hone newly acquired observational and other skills for working with the most complex disorganization, including deep listening and touch, and embody the pleasure of what it means to be of service. Clinically, we examine how physical syndromes such as migraine, fibromyalgia, environmental sensitivity, addiction, etc., show the compromised autonomic organization. Special care is needed because these most disorganized systems may appear to be quite functional according to societal standards. Fundamental system disorganization may appear as the successful workaholic, the functional addict, or the successful executive, for instance. Here, the steady work of the shaping paradigm within a positive reinforcement framework is the most challenged and challenging.
Success occurs through working with core regulatory systems previously believed to be out of reach to ‘conscious’ intervention. While the client has the needed resources, they are typically unconscious for the client and overlooked by the therapist. Having learned how to make a deep joining at the level of the nervous system, HEARTraining students understand that complex systems do not organize through interventionist strategies or self-control. Rather, seeing subtle bio-states, instinctive responding alone can talk to the brain stem. Simply put — we each need another person to accurately reflect what is intrinsically available for support. This accurate reflection is what we have cultivated throughout the HEARTraining. With the right support, all complex systems — each of us — can end the cycles of disintegration, and become self-organizing; and even become organizing influences for systems we encounter. Systems such as clients, colleagues, family, friends, and the larger culture. In fact, a lifestyle of compassion begins to emerge and OI students develop the ability to create and increase “islands of coherence.”
In this third year, the refinement of wise support takes us to a new level of sophistication. The result is deeper compassion for ourselves and others, self-acceptance and deepened intuition. As our organism blossoms out of freeze it comes to move naturally and spontaneously, expressing Organic Intelligence. The pleasure is unmistakable, the hope is palpable, and the effect is powerful.
Year 3 Topics Include
Working with the Three Phases
Phase 1: Disorganization and Chaos:
Why & How Systems Get This Disorganized
Assessment of Autonomic Disorganization: Syndromes, Observable Criteria
Phase 2: Complexity
Stabilization and Good Social Work
Facilitating the Transition to Phase 3
Organization and Coherence
System Coherence and Self Organizing Systems
Building Islands of Coherence
Reinforcing and Catalyzing Biological Synchrony
Tracking Organismic Coherence with Eyes and Hands and Hearts Gestalt Seeing Deep Listening & Felt Sense
Nervous System: Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Systems
The Sympathetic Death Spiral
The Dorsal-Sympathetic Breakdown
Glia: Not Just Packing Peanuts
A Cartography of Body Systems and Structures
The Non-doing Reinforcement Approach
Pathologizing as Politicizing
Normalizing Touch for Mammals: We Don’t Thrive with Wire Monkey Mothers
The Ethics of Touch
We’re Made for This: Social Attunement
The Singing and Dancing Species
Building Your Practice
Technology & Treatment
Marketing: Getting Your Skills in The World
I've had the opportunity to learn from Steve
both as a teacher and therapist.
His skill in each is of a high order.
I heartily recommend him for formal training,
and for personal therapeutic work.
Board Certified General, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Jungian Analyst