Trauma, Memory, and the Restoration of One’s Self
March 14–18, 2022
March 14–18, 2022
with Bessel van der Kolk and Licia Sky
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The function of the brain is to take care of us and to be in sync with the body’s systems. Trauma changes the way our brains process information and the way our bodies engage with the world. Trauma makes people afraid to know what they know and feel what they feel. This is expressed in heartbreak and the state of being out of sync with oneself and one’s surroundings. This course explores how, because of altered biological systems, traumatized people continue to be trapped by their history and react to current experience in a myriad of ways as a replay of the past, shows ways to break the cycles of re-enactment and suffering, and explores ways of representing and befriending our inner experience.

Therapies that work all start from a basic sense of calm and safety. The calmer we are, the more we can allow ourselves to know what we know, and to feel what we feel. We will study and experience the capacity of EMDR, yoga, Internal Family Systems, sensorimotor practices, theater work, and neurofeedback to help people overcome a traumatic past and regain the capacity to be fully alive in the present.

Recommended reading: The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel Van de Kolk

Bessel van der Kolk

Bessel van der Kolk

Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD, has taught yearly at Esalen for more than 20 years. He is medical director of the Trauma Center in Boston, professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, and author of the New York Times bestseller The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma.

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Licia Sky

Licia Sky

Licia Sky is a somatic educator, bodyworker, artist, and musician. She guides transformational experiences incorporating dynamic observational exercises, music, movement, vocalizing, enhanced listening, and touch to foster safe, transformative inner and interpersonal connection.

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Workshop Schedule

Mon 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tue, Thu 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Wed 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Tue, Wed, Thu 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm
Tue, Thu 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Fri 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

More activities can be found on our open class schedule.

See general schedule information including arrival, departure and meal times.

Accommodations & Tuition

Click Register Now to view availability of accommodations and all-inclusive, program-specific tuition. Please note that not all accommodation levels are available for every workshop and additional faculty fees may apply.

We offer scholarship funds for those with financial need. Learn more.

Accommodations & Tuition

For this workshop, you will register and pay for accommodations and tuition in two separate steps.

First, sign up and pay tuition directly to

Second, click Book Accommodations from this page and enter the password to complete your reservation to stay at Esalen.

Prices for accommodations include your lodging, meals, open classes, and use of the baths and other facilities. View partner program accommodations pricing.

COVID Update

All guests and faculty must provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

In addition to proof of vaccination, all guests and faculty must provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective January 7, 2022 in response to the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, all guests and faculty will provide proof of negative PCR, NAAT, or antigen test results at time of check-in. The test must be taken within 72 hours nd results must come from a laboratory or healthcare provider.Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective December 15 in accordance with new guidance from Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Health, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, for the next four weeks (December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022). Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective November 19, 2021, in accordance with new guidance from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are no longer required to wear masks indoors on campus. Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Starting November 5, 2021, due to substantial levels of COVID-19 transmission in Monterey County, a mask mandate established by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will go into effect. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

All guests will be required to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival starting September 3, 2021. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Masks are no longer mandated indoors or outdoors, except during massage sessions. Guests are not required to provide testing or vaccination verification before arriving on campus. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

All-inclusive Pricing
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