Trauma Therapist Retreat | Descend into Self-energy | March 6-8, 2020

March 6-8, 2020 | Gassho House | Nicasio, California
This is designed as a deep immersion in SELF-ENERGY, a chance to observe the parts of ourselves that we habitually blend with and keep us from being fully present in SELF…as well as rest, fun, conversation, beauty, art, poetry, good food–all with your trauma-informed colleagues! This will be a blast…

Cost: Early bird $495 Includes shared lodging, all your meals, hot tub and workshop. After January 1, 2020 $535.

Gassho House, Nicasio, CA, is an esthetically beautiful and well-appointed retreat center in Marin County, one hour from San Francisco, but it feels like a world away. Rooms sleep 2-6 people. Beds feature brand new, luxurious mattresses and bedding. Pool and hot tub. Delicious, organic vegetarian food will be provided.

About the Property

This compound is a boutique retreat! There are 3 main structures; the barn, main house, and yurt, nestled on this recently renovated 5-acre estate.

  • hot tub

  • lap pool

  • seasonal garden

  • running stream

  • community fire pit

  • adorable egg-producing chickens

Friday March 6, 2020, Gather at 2 PM

Sunday March 8, 2020, Depart for home 2 PM

Register at or email me with questions

Refund Policy: If you must cancel, you will receive a full refund up until February 1, 2020, minus a $75 processing fee. After that, there are no refunds unless we can fill your space.

Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving | A book I love!

A colleague recently recommended this book to me, and it’s just too good not to share with you!
Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving, by Pete Walker. This book is aimed at clients trying to recover from painful childhoods, and is so complete and illuminating, I think you may really like it. Some clients find it life-changing. You will see your spouses, friends, former friends, difficult coworkers illuminated here, as well as your own life-long patterns.
It makes a broad sweep through the process of identifying how trauma and neglect affect kids (Complex PTSD), and then describes the recovery process in a clear, grounded, and accessible way. It talks about fight, flight, freeze, and fawn (what I call attach and submit), the protective origins of these, and what results when they are relied upon too much. I can’t possibly do it justice here. The author, Pete Walker, a survivor of Complex PTSD himself, weaves his story through the text, in a sincere and humble way, highlighting the pitfalls and successes that are possible in the course of recovery.
I have been searching for a resource aimed at clients for a long time–and here it is. I urge you to give it a try. I will probably listen to it 3 or 4 times. If you don’t like it, that’s fine. Take what you like and leave the rest. You can get it on Audiobooks for free if it’s your first audiobook. If you prefer books, there are many used on Amazon too.

Understanding Trauma Flip Chart: a Therapist’s Tool for Psychoeducation

I co-created this flip chart to teach clients about what happens to our psyche/personality under conditions of neglect and/or abuse. It is designed for therapists to hold on their laps, one side facing them with ‘cheat sheet’ notes for them to explain concepts to clients, while the other side faces the client with fun and friendly illustrations. Those who consult with me love it. Check it out in more detail at

Ongoing Consultation Groups

Cloud Video Conference or Face-to-Face in El Cerrito

I have two monthly face-to-face groups that meet in El Cerrito CA, and two groups that ‘meet’ via  Zoom video conference.  My groups include lots of cases, a layering of theoretical approaches, and room for therapists to grow into effective trauma-informed clinicians. I practice and teach a Phase-Oriented Treatment Model, which emphasizes the following skills: assessment along the dissociative spectrum, affectively attuned psychoeducation, stabilization, attachment repair, and trauma resolution.

Members take turns presenting cases and asking questions. I integrate Internal Family Systems (IFS), Structural Dissociation, EMDR Therapy, as well as tons of other models into my consultation.  Many methods of resourcing, trauma processing, and just good clinical judgement and assessment, will be woven into your learning here. I also share readings, videos, and information about trainings I think will be useful along the way. If you aren’t following me on my Facebook page, you may want to consider it as a way to stay in touch, hear about upcoming training opportunities, and new trauma treatment tools.


Second Thursday in El Cerrito, CA. 9-11 AM PST. This group is for therapists who are learning to treat trauma and dissociation from a number of theoretical perspectives. It is an ongoing discussion of cases, EMDR, Structural Dissociation, and Internal Family Systems. This group is full. Cost $80/group


 -Second Friday in El Cerrito, CA. 12:15-2:15 PST. This group is for therapists who are learning to treat trauma from a number of theoretical perspectives.  It is an ongoing discussion of cases, EMDR, Structural Dissociation, and Internal Family Systems. This group has two openings. Cost $80/group


-Alternate Tuesday Cloud Video Conference. 11-12 noon PST. This is for therapists who are interested in learning how to treat trauma from a number of theoretical perspectives, including EMDR, Structural Dissociation, and Internal Family Systems (IFS). This group has 1 opening. Email me if it sounds like the right group for you. Cost is $40/hour session


-Alternate Wednesday Cloud Video Conference. 12 noon-1 PST. This is for therapists who have experience treating complex trauma, and want ongoing consultation from a number of theoretical perspectives. We integrate Structural Dissociation, Internal Family Systems, and EMDR, as well as many other theories and perspectives! This group has 4 openings. Cost is $40/hour session


Please email me if you have questions or would like to join us.  Once I confirm your spot via email, I will send you a document with all the details–how to pay, where we meet, how to join the video conference, etcetera! Email Colleen here.

Regarding the 10 Hours Consultation for EMDR Training

If you have been trained by Dr. Phil Manfield and are seeking your 10 hours of consultation to become trained in EMDR, please know that most of my students remain in my groups for longer than the required 10 hours. This is because I offer COMPREHENSIVE TRAINING in safely treating dissociation, complex PTSD, and attachment disorders, in addition to EMDR. This means my students learn a large variety of ‘PARTS’ interventions for stabilization of developmental trauma, sometimes in conjunction with EMDR interventions, and sometimes for use in advance of EMDR. If you want to  learn how to spot and treat the dissociative clients who are in your practice, then I’m your man. If you are wanting your 10 hours of consultation in order to get your EMDR certificate only, then I may not be the best consultant for you. Also, if you want to get credit for those 10 hours of EMDR consultation, you MUST present cases, top ten lists, and ask questions about treating your clients with EMDR.

Become a Trauma-informed Psychotherapist

Focussed Attention for You and Your Clients

I combine an extensive knowledge of EMDR with a number of ‘Parts’ models, to meet the needs of clients across the spectrum–from those who are adequately resourced and simply have a number of traumas to process, to those who are dissociative with extensive histories of abuse and neglect. I have the conviction that accurate assessment at the beginning of treatment and throughout, is an essential skill that every clinician who treats trauma must master. I draw from attachment theory, Internal Family Systems, Structural Dissociation, and Schema Therapy, as well as EMDR Therapy, in order to tailor each treatment plan to your client’s needs. I also teach the Ideal Parent Protocol, many many methods of Resourcing, and Sandra Paulsen’s Preverbal Trauma Protocol. I recommend lots of learning resources along the way, including the trainings I have found most rewarding.

When you are up to speed with Trauma-informed approaches, you will be eligible to join my, a site that offers client referrals, to therapists who are trauma-informed.

-My fee is $190. For ongoing group learning, you may wish to join one of my group consultations, or join the Phase-oriented Consultant Training program beginning November 15, 2020.

Email me if you have questions I have not answered here!



The way we learn a trauma-informed paradigm…

Cultivate SELF-COMPASSION and BEGINNER’S MIND. We therapists TALK about EVERYTHING. It is how we stay effective with our clients and how we stay balanced and full of compassion. My individual and group consultation is supportive, full of heart, and can also be fun. I cultivate an atmosphere of self-compassion, so we are all free to try out ideas, make mistakes, and eventually find our way back to the next right intervention.

Learn to treat TRAUMA effectively. EMDR is one way to heal trauma, but as many of you know, it is far from magic. Many clients need a period of preparation before they can safely process their memories, and for some, EMDR may not ever be the best approach for their healing. Assessing your clients in a careful yet intuitive way can help you avoid many clinical setbacks, and offer your clients the best possible treatment. I am now using Internal Family Systems, Structural Dissociation, and Schema Therapy methods to address my client’s distress, and I can lead you to the right approach for you and your clients.

Group Consultation via Zoom video conferencing or face-to-face in El Cerrito


-Individual Consultation video conferencing or face-to-face/Fee $190 for 50 minutes


Group Consultation Openings here

Program to Heal your Shame

The Center for Creative Growth is a wonderful gem in the East Bay therapy community. The jewel in their crown is what they call the 20 Week Intensive, a truly fantastic resource for people who struggle with Codependence and the SHAME that is at the core of it.  I did it–and it changed my life. For clinicians–this is a fantastic resource for clients who are ready for a skillfully-lead group experience that focuses on healing shame and codependence in an experiential way! My clients have been challenged and changed by this group. This group runs for 5 months on Saturday mornings–a new one starts every Spring/Fall. More information here: