Our recent global and national context has caused an extremely high rate of fatigue, overwhelm, and burnout for both clinicians and clients from all walks of life. Many people express difficulty slowing-down, finding relief from stress, and actually feeling rested even after ‘self-care’ activities. During times of ongoing stress and exhaustion, it is vital to develop a deeper relationship to rest grounded in the natural rhythms of bodies and nervous systems. It is with this intention that presenter Lauren Pass Erickson began offering “Deep Rest and Restoration” somatic therapy groups in 2021. Drawing from a contemporary approach to trauma treatment and foundational theory in dance/movement therapy, these groups guided clients into an embodied exploration of their own stress responses and relationship to rest. This presentation will discuss the main features of these groups including a trauma-informed perspective on the modern experience of exhaustion, key signs of stress in the nervous system, the primary ingredients needed to move from active to restful states in the body, the difference between resting and collapsing, main psychological blocks to engaging in rest, and the role of relationships and co-regulation. Working from the premise that rest and restoration is less about an activity (what we do), and more about a bodily state (how we are), dance/movement therapy interventions can help both therapists and clients find more effective ways to resource themselves during high-demand periods of time, and access true restorative states in the body and nervous system.

  1. Identify at least 3 somatic markers of hyperarousal, hypoarousal, and restful/restorative states in the body.

  2. Describe four main ingredients needed to effectively move from active to restful states.

  3. Learn at least 2 D/MT interventions that can be used by clients or clinicians to address ongoing stress and burnout.


1.25 ADTA CE, 1.25 NBCC CE, 1.25 NYLCAT CE

Lauren Pass Erickson, MA, R-DMT, LPCC, is a dance/movement therapist in private practice with Natural Embodiment LLC. A graduate of Naropa University, she provides individual therapy, group therapy, movement meditation sessions, and somatic educational workshops. Her specialties include working with complex trauma and PTSD, relationship and attachment wounds, stress and anxiety, and queer identity. Her theoretical model Sensing the Self: A Dance/Movement Therapy Model of Embodied Identity Development was published in the journal Body, Movement, and Dance in Psychotherapy in 2020. More information at