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MTSU Center for Counseling and Psychological Services will be hosting an in-person training on Tuesday, March 21at from 4:30 to 7:30 pm.

Title: From Shut Down to Synergized: New Somatic Techniques for Use with Clients


Shannon Black, LPC-MHSP-S
Mara Giovanni, MSW, Martial Arts 3rd Dan

To register, visit


What to do with the Shut-Down Client?
THE PROBLEM: Clients that show up but are not “really there.” Sessions in which at the end, you’re not sure if you’ve even gotten anywhere. Clients who don’t “let you in.” Clients who evade and avoid “deeper work.” Clients who seem apathetic and cannot be roused into action.
THE SOLUTION: Knowledge and Skills together are a combo that cannot be beat! In this unique and informative workshop, Mara and Shannon will share information on the Polyvagal state of “Dorsal Vagal,” or the “Shut Down” state, how to recognize it in a client, what to do to bring them into a calm and connected state, and how to titrate this in a way that feels safe to a client. Our techniques are tried and tested at clinical settings such as Onsite Workshops and Integrative Life Centers, and do not fail to get results!
THE RESULTS: When clients’ nervous systems get a taste of a Ventral Vagal, or “Calm and Connected” state, we have primed the pathway necessary for social and emotional wellbeing. Clients get a sense of safety in their bodies, and in the relationship with the clinician who is standing in for the secure attachment figure clients may not have had. This results in endless possibilities for the client that were not previously present.

Session Objectives:
1. Clinicians will learn to distinguish the signs and symptoms of 5 nervous system states in clients.
2. Clinicians will be able to identify the signs of “shut down” or “dorsal vagal state” in clients.
3. Clinicians will bring awareness to nervous system shut down and how somatic techniques apply in the moment.
4. Clinicians will learn 3 somatic techniques to bring a client from “shut down” to “calm readiness” in interactive role play.
5. Clinicians will integrate this information and process how they will begin to use these strategies with a specific client.

For questions, please email Dr. Robin Lee at