Video Course: Touching Trauma: Part 2-Responding to Emotional Releases

Chris Smith, Cathy Speaks Lewis

This course has closed captioning. Click "cc" on the video player to view. 

In Touching Trauma: Part 1—Recognizing Trauma we introduced a basic framework for recognizing trauma. In this second course in the series, trauma touch experts Chris Smith and Cathy Speaks Lewis teach practitioners how to recognize the different stages of emotional releases, respond appropriately in the moment, and discuss the experience with the client after the session. Demonstrations include some subtle, yet important techniques to provide a safe experience for the client before, during, and after the massage. Getting comfortable with holding space for emotional releases and potential releases allows the client to do what they likely did not get to do when the trauma occurred—have a compassionate witness by their side.

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Course Outline
  • Trauma touch therapy: general concepts
  • Emotional releases: signs/signals, states, dissociation
  • Demonstration: hands-on session
  • Demonstration: end-of-session discussion and integration
  • Key takeaways
Learning Objectives

Having completed this online course video, the learner will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the importance of being able to detect signs of trauma in clients and the appropriate responses and hands-on techniques when working with clients who have experienced trauma.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith is a recognized leader in the field of massage therapy and trauma. She is a massage therapist and trauma touch therapist. She developed and has been teaching Trauma Touch Therapy at the Colorado School of Healing Arts (CSHA) and to therapists worldwide since 1992. She has been with CSHA since 1988, where she serves as the school director. For more information on Trauma Touch Therapy, visit the school’s website at

Cathy Speaks Lewis

Cathy Speaks Lewis is a licensed massage therapist and trauma touch therapist. They are dean of students and faculty chair at the Colorado School of Healing Arts (CSHA) where they also teach Oncology, Cranial Sacral, and Trauma Touch Therapy. They also have a massage therapy practice specializing in supporting clients in healing through the processes of pain, trauma, and chronic conditions. For more information on Trauma Touch Therapy courses, visit the CSHA website at

Topics and Techniques

This online massage therapy CE course is available to you on demand to access, learn, and earn CE whenever and wherever it’s most convenient for you!


Visit the ABMP Education Center FAQ page for a full list of resources.

Q: Is this massage therapy CE course approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) for CE credit?
A: Yes! All of the courses are approved under ABMP’s NCBTMB Approved Provider account (451086-09).

Q: How do I earn a CE certificate for this video-based course?
A: After you complete the webinar video, a quiz will appear on the page. Earn a CE certificate by scoring 70% or higher on the course quiz.

Q: How do I access my CE certificates?
A: CE certificates are available on your “My CE Transcripts” page and on the course page. Visit your “My CE Transcript” page by clicking “My CE” on the navigation bar at the top of your screen.

Copyright Statement
All of the ABMP courses contain materials that are proprietary to ABMP. None of the course material may be used without the express written permission of ABMP. Materials may include, but are not limited to, video, audio, images, documents, and slides. Course materials are only for the use of students enrolled in this course and may not be shared publicly or shown to groups. Unauthorized retention, duplication, distribution, or modification of copyrighted materials is strictly prohibited by law. Check your state’s defined scope of practice for massage therapy before practicing any new modalities or techniques.


"A wonderful and very informative presentation. Not only did I learn how to handle emotional releases in my clients, but also learned some great information to apply to myself. Thank you Chris and Cathy."

"The material was very helpful and was presented in a usable format to integrate into my practice."

"Very applicable and it helped me introspect a bit about how to approach all of my clients, thank you!"