Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute

About Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a powerful approach that draws upon the inherent wisdom of the body to heal relational wounds and the effects of trauma, including racialized, collective and transgenerational trauma as well as other forms of oppression both past and ongoing. Our holistic method combines emotional, and cognitive approaches with body based interventions to tap into innate pathways of profound integration and growth.

Our work is not forceful. We believe that people do not need to be “fixed” or changed. We encourage curiosity and follow the unique, natural intelligence of each person and their body to cultivate the desired growth from within. Seeking to enhance human relationships and heal divisions, our paradigm is impelled by a set of overarching philosophical principles, interpersonal neurobiology, and mindfulness applied in interactive contexts. Founded in 1981, the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute (SPI) is dedicated to providing high-level training and resources in this approach throughout the world. In pursuit of the world becoming a better, more compassionate place, our vision is “to harness the wisdom of the body to liberate human potential.” 

SPI strives to be an accessible space, and welcomes people of any class, ability, language, race, religion, identity, sexual orientation, and diversity of all kinds into our community.

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute and BTR Partnership

We are honored and excited to create a partnership between the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute (SPI) and Black Therapists Rock (BTR). Expanding the reach of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to marginalized and underserved communities throughout the world is a central goal at SPI, and we deeply appreciate this opportunity to collaborate and learn together.

At SPI, we are committed to an active, ongoing process of decolonizing our curriculum and integrating an anti-racist, anti-oppression perspective into our institute and our clinical work. Our partnership with BTR is an inspiring next step in this pursuit, and we are thrilled to welcome applications from BTR members into our professional training program. We are grateful to the BTR team for their support and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship between our two organizations.

"I recently completed the SP Level 1 Training, and it has forever changed who I am, how I am present with myself, and how I am present with clients. Embodying the SP principles such as organicity and relational alchemy have been a gift and instrumental in a new way of being in the world. The SP skills and process have been invaluable, and I was able to begin safely integrating them into my practice while doing the training. The structure of the training was great, and the expertise of trainers, assistants, consultants, and support of a peer practice group have all contributed to the effective SP work I am able to do with clients today. As a person of colour and a gay man, I felt safe and welcomed into the SP community. One of the things I have also come to really appreciate about the SP approach, is how integrative it is with other psychotherapy modalities such as EMDR. I genuinely don’t know how I would be able to work with clients who have experienced trauma without having been trained in SP – our bodies do hold so much wisdom! I look forward to doing the SP Level 2 training."
Level I graduate in 2023 states

Important Dates

SPI - Updated Training Information:

We did not get a large enough response to fill a separate BTR-only training with SPI starting in January. The new training dates will start in September 2024. Let us know if you are interested (below) so we can be sure to keep you in the loop!

This training course will consist of 72 contact hours divided into six 2-day live-online modules hosted by course facilitators in real-time (each day is 6 hours for a total of 72 live hours).

There will be an additional 8 hours of independent online activities that allow you to learn on your own schedule, without a specific timeline, for a total of 80 hours for this course. Included in the course are optional online enrichment readings and activities to deepen your knowledge of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.

Training Dates:

The previously shared session dates starting in January 2024 have been postponed and will start in September 2024 

Date & Details coming soon!


Sensorimotor Psychotherapy in Context: Sociocultural Perspectives

Pat Ogden, Sherri Taylor, Laia Jorba, Raymond Rodriguez, and Mary Choi

Carl Hart, PhD

Carl Hart

Dr. Carl Hart is the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. He is also the Ziff Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry. Professor Hart has published numerous scientific and popular articles in the area of neuropsychopharmacology and is co-author of the textbook Drugs, Society and Human Behavior (with Charles Ksir). His most recent book, High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society, was the 2014 winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Professor Hart has appeared on multiple podcasts, radio and television shows including Real Time with Bill Maher and The O’Reilly Factor. He has also appeared in several documentary films including the award-winning “The House I Live In.” His essays have been published in several popular publications including The New York Times, Scientific American, The Nation, Ebony, The Root, and O Globo (Brazil’s leading newspaper).

Paulette Simone Smith, LCSW

Paulette Simone Smith

Paulette Smith, LCSW-C, is a licensed clinical therapist specializing in cannabis therapeutics, adolescent development, and the establishment of productive, results-oriented teams in support of culturally competent treatment. Paulette has used creativity and innovation to build a knowledge base that offers her clients first-class care and consulting services. She also applies that knowledge and creativity in training and educational settings providing authentic, realistic, and easily applicable guidance on various topics. Her expertise has been cultivated over 15+ years in school-based, clinical, private practice, and dispensary settings to acquire a range of skills in traditional and non-traditional counseling practices that scientifically incorporate the integration of cannabis products. A trailblazer in her own right, Paulette is highly sought after to share her knowledge in the growing cannabis therapy field. She possesses an entrepreneurial spirit and has launched a platform for exploring cannabis therapeutics called Canna Heals, LLC, in addition to her counseling practice, Paulette Simone & Associates, Inc. In addition to the real-world experiences that refined her talents, Paulette obtained her bachelor’s in broadcast journalism from Bowie State University, a master’s in Social Work from Morgan State University, and a Master’s in Medical Cannabis Science Therapeutics from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Ms. Smith is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Social Work at Simmons University.

Sa'ed Al Olimat

Sa'ed Al-Olimat

Dr. Sa’ed Al-Olimat, PharmD is a Taiwanese-Jordanian first generation American immigrant. He is a licensed pharmacist, community pharmacy manager, and educator of psychedelic medicine. He has worked with pharmaceutical companies, prescriber clinics, hospice and palliative care organizations, insurance groups, and other settings to enhance patient care. Dr. Sa’ed’s passion in advancing mental health outcomes led him to investigatie psilocybin and other classical psychedelic compounds as tools for mental, spiritual, and emotional support.

Dr. Sa’ed currently serves as a Co-Founder of the Psychedelic Pharmacists Association, Founder of PsiloHealth, advisor to a few psychedelic companies and organizations, as well as a Board Director for his local county pharmacists association. In his free time, he enjoys practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Mischa Dansby, RN

Mischa Dansby

Mischa Dansby, is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse specializing in Women’s Health who was raised in Huber Heights, Ohio. She received her Bachelor’s in Nursing from Wright State University. After her graduation, she joined the Air Force and has continued to serve for 22 years. During her Air Force career, she completed her Master’s in Nursing and became certified as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at The Ohio State University. She is currently studying at the University of Cincinnati pursuing certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Additionally, she is completing her training as an Internal Family Systems Therapist. Mischa is passionate about supporting women on their journey towards healing and wholeness.

Hanifa Nayo Washington

Hanifa Nayo Washington

Hanifa Nayo Washington, she/her/hers, is a social entrepreneur, sacred activist, digital designer, and healing justice practitioner. Hanifa is the co-founder and the Chief of Strategy of Fireside Project, the San Francisco based non-profit that operates the first national Psychedelic Peer Support Line with a mission to help people minimize the risks and fulfill the potential of their psychedelic experiences. The support line, featured in the Rolling Stone, Forbes, Esquire, and Tech Crunch, launched in April of 2021 and has already supported thousands of community members. Hanifa Nayo is also the Co-founder and Organizing Principal of One Village Healing, an online BIPOC centered healing, resilience, and psychedelic wellness space.

Victor Cabral, MSW

Victor Cabral

Victor Cabral, MSW, LSW, CCTP-I, (He/Him/His) is a collaborative and strategic leader who is making an impact on historical inequalities in his community and across the United States. Victor is the Founder of Dreamers of the Day, LLC, and serves as the Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs for Fluence International Inc., a company that provides evidence-based training in psychedelic therapy and integration services to clinicians across the globe. Before joining Fluence, Victor served as Deputy Director for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Advocacy and Reform where he co-led the implementation of the Trauma-Informed PA Plan, helped establish the first Racial Day of Healing in Pennsylvania history, and developed free trauma trainings for Pennsylvanians in collaboration with BIPOC mental health and trauma, and psychedelic medicine. He is a Licensed Social Worker and practicing psychotherapist in Pennsylvania with training in Internal Family Systems, Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy and Psychedelic Integration.

Deran Young

Deran Young,

Deran Young is a licensed therapist, CDWF, CDTL, co-author of New York Times Best Seller, You Are Your Best Thing, retired military officer, and the founder of Black Therapists Rock. Black Therapists Rock is a non profit organization that mobilizes over 30,000 mental health professionals committed to reducing the psychological impact of systemic oppression and intergenerational trauma. She obtained her social work degree from University of Texas, where she studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa for two semesters creating a high school counseling center for under-resourced students.

Deran’s passion for culture and people has led her to become a highly sought after diversity and inclusion consultant working with companies like BBERG, Facebook, Linked In, Field Trip Health, and YWCA. Deran’s advocacy expands over several online and offline platforms. With a current social media audience of over 100,000 followers on IG and Facebook, Deran has become a leading influencer and public figure committed to spreading mental health awareness and improving health equity.