Including and awakening hypo-response

A methodology developed within Relational Trauma therapy

Relational Trauma therapy has specialised in including and normalising hypo-states and developing practical methods for working with these. Psychomotor exercises and neurologically informed training are used to increase empowerment – and reduce the impact of trauma-patterns. Skills and resources held in the muscles, bones and senses are awakened and with that our capacity for regulating emotions and arousal-states can grow.

What do you gain from this course?

Clinicians participating in this course will gain a basic understanding of and practice in including modification of hypo-response in the map of trauma therapeutic methodology

Two traditions are represented in the thinking behind the practical methodology:

  • Two traditions

    Psychomotor skill-training including micro-activations of both muscles and connective tissue – and neurologically informed training focusing on awakening sensation and activating joints.

  • Hypo-response and hypo-arausal

    Differentiation between hypo-response in muscles and hypo-arousal in the autonomic nervous-system will be addressed.

  • The “dosing” principle

    Through the process of “dosing”, the body exercises are adapted by each participant, building an inner authority. The bodily skill training is based in knowledge of tension and low energy (hyper- and hypo-response) in the muscles and connective tissue. High and low energy behaviours are valued equally, however regulation of low energy is addressed first. This supports a group-dynamic and an inner dynamic in each of us, that can hold the polarity between hyper- and hypo-patterns - instead of letting them polarise to each other

  • The online-course

    This online-course offers 7 x 3 hour live sessions that each time will include - presentation of one out of 5 basic elements in working with hypo-response - practical training in body-awareness and specific muscle-and joint-activations - time for sharing in smaller groups - exchange-time in the whole group with questions and answers – and sharing in subgroups - session 4 and 7 focus on integration in the learning process

  • Who is this workshop for?

    Practitioners, consultants, psychotherapists or other professions working with other people therapeutically or in teaching – who wants to add and integrate a focus on hypo-states in their practice. No prior experience with Relational Trauma therapy is required. Prior experience with other psychotherapeutic and/or trauma-therapeutic modalities is required. Organizer has the right to take action to secure that participants fulfill these criteria.

  • Recordings and videoes

    Recordings of each of the 7 sessions will be made available. Short videos presenting some of the thinking behind aspects of the methodology will be part of the workshop material. The material will for the participants be accessible 3 month after the course has ended.

  • Course-leader and senior trainer

    Merete Holm Brantbjerg, body-psychotherapist, member of the Danish Psychotherapist Organisation and of EABP, founder of Relational Trauma Therapy – international trainer – specialised in working with low dosed activation of muscles and connective tissue as an aspect of trauma-therapeutic methodology

  • Course-leader and trainer

    Kolbjørn Vårdal, body-psychotherapist, Masters degree in trauma work, member of EABP, co-founder of Relational Trauma therapy, international trainer, specialised in including neurologically informed training as a trauma-therapeutic methodology.

  • Course manager

    Ayuna Pedersen, psychotherapist, SEP & polyvagal informed therapist, - specialised in working with trauma. A member of the Danish Psychotherapist Organisation. The role of the course manager is to support the group technically, be part of the containment during sessions, be in charge of the course-platform (on Thinkific)

What to expect in this course

5 basic elements in working with hypo-response will be presented – 1 element will be the focus in each out of 5 of the sessions – and 2 sessions will focus on integration:

  • September 14th

    Introduction to modification of hypo-response as part of trauma-therapy. Low dosed activation of muscles and connective tissue: micro-activations. Active invitation is relevant in relation to hypo-states – hypo-states don’t call for attention by themselves. The dosing principle – what are signs of a functional dose? And what do we gain from finding a functional dose.

  • September 28th

    Proprioception – Bringing energy into sensation and into joints (proprioception) can awaken hypo-responsive muscles. Strengthening proprioception includes strengthening orientation in the here and now – and with that supporting a boundary between the present and the past – and between the present and overactive predictions about the future

  • October 12th

    Do we work with hypo-response or hyper-response first? When possible go for what is missing first. Hyper-response (tension) and hypo-response together holds defensive patterns. Starting with tracking and modifying hypo-response can lead to that tension lowers by itself. Modifying hyper-response first can open up for access to hypo-response. The functional sequence differs from person to person. What awakens when we include and bring energy into hypo-responsive areas?

  • October 26th

    Integration-time – Q & A's - Time for personal and professional integration

  • November 16th

    Containment before expression – modifying hypo-response supports containment and regulation of emotions and arousal-states – and lowers the risk of acting in (hypo-arousal) or out (hyper-arousal). The bodily skill-training supports self-regulatory capacity and participation in mutual resonance and regulation.

  • November 30

    Identity – has this course impacted how you relate to your own and other’s hypo-states – has your self-image changed? – Hypo-states often awake shame and self-blame. Normalising and owning hypo-patterns can lead to opening up patterns around status. Awakening hypo-response supports sustainable change

  • December 14th

    Integration-time – Q&A's – Time for personal and professional integration. The 7th and last session in this online course

  • Between the sessions

    Participants can choose to form training/support-groups. Organizing of these groups are in the hands of the participants. An initiative for starting an email-list for those who are interested will be taken prior to the 4th session of the course

Practical information

  • Dates

    Dates: 7 live online-sessions of 3 hrs. on 7 Wednesdays: 14.september - 28.september - 12.oktober - 26.oktober - 16.november - 30.november - 14.december

  • Times:

    Teaching hrs are on 5-8 pm CET all 7 times. - 4-7 pm UTC (Coordinated Universal time, Greenwich mean time) 5-8 pm CET UTC + 1 6-9 pm EET (Eastern European time) UTC + 2 11 am – 2 pm EST (Eastern North America) UTC – 5 8-11 am PST (Pacific Standard Time) UTC -8 11.30pm -2.30 am ACST (Australian Central Standard Time) UTC + 9.30

  • Time zone

    If you are in a different time-zone than the above mentioned – please look up what time will be yours. Please be aware that Daylight savings time shifts in CET on October 30st – and in North-america on November 6th – This means that it doesn’t impact the time for any of the sessions in the course. Please check your local shift to see if this fits for where you are in the world as well Teaching hrs are on 5-8 pm CET all 7 times.

  • Live-session and Online platfom

    We use Zoom, a cloud-based video communications app for our Live virtual sessions. Zoom – link will be made available over email and on the thinkific-platform prior to each session All workshop-material will be made available on

  • Size of course-group

    There is a maximum participating number in this online-course of 100 students

  • Fee

    Early bird registration –Due to high dollar-exchange rate the early bird price of 680$ is still available, with sign up and payment prior to September 14th 2022: 680 US$. Later sign up and payment: 720 US$

  • Scholarship payment

    10 participants can upon request pay scholarship-price: 600 US$. Please send your request to

“Including and awakening hyporesponse”(IAH) is the first online-course format offered within Relational Trauma therapy internationally – and it is the 3rd time it is offered

The IAH-course has started and will not enrol new participants at this time. You can access our free material in RTT Resource Library and gain more infomation to articles and more. A date for our next IAH has yet not been planned.