HEARTraining Curriculum Year 1

Year 1

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

  • Shifting Paradigms
    • 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
    • State-Specific Memory
    • The Dissociative Continuum — Psychology Meets The Physiology of Freeze
  • Complex Systems
    • Foundations of Complex Systems
    • Nervous System Mapping
    • Deep Ecology & The Science of Complexity
  • Bio-Mapping
    • The Fractal Nature of Body & Mind and why this is important
    • Attuning Interventions to Bio-Phase
  • The Roots of Compassion: Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory

View Year 2 >

Experiences from the HEART

Cathleen Bucio
“This experience has been so

Marisol Colette
“This work is life changing and I’m
honored to be part of the OI team.”

Patrick Hager
“Such a fundamental shift and
change in my life.”

HEARTraining Curriculum Year 2

Year 2

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
    • Recognizing Thresholds & JNDs (Just Noticeable Differences)
    • Closure & Completion: Wundt’s Gestalt Laboratory
    • The Free Association Conversation
    • Rescuing Projection from Pathology:  The Value of Outsight
  • Beyond Trauma
    • 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.
OIH Student
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HEARTraining Curriculum Year 3

Year 3

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
  • Touch
    • 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
Heartily Recommended
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
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Julie Kilpatrick, MD