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Ethics in TVM™ Trauma-Informed Somatic Therapy & Trainings


Basic Guidelines For TVM™ Educators

Guidelines for Triple Vagal Method (TVM™) Advanced Practitioners in Integrated Somatic Institute Trainings (ISI) and as TVM™ Educators:


  1. Adhere to trauma-informed communication guidelines: Use language that is respectful, inclusive, and appropriate for all participants. Avoid using triggering or harmful language.

  2. Maintain professional boundaries: Implement a strict no dual relationship policy, which means avoiding any personal relationships (romantic or otherwise) with participants. Dual relationships can compromise the therapeutic environment.

  3. Avoid projecting emotions and processing: TVM™ advanced practitioners should refrain from projecting their own emotions, experiences, or personal processing onto participants. Focus on creating a safe and supportive space for participants to explore their own healing journey.

  4. Seek support when needed: Recognize that trauma work can be challenging and emotionally taxing. TVM™ advanced practitioners should actively seek support from supervisors, mentors, or other professionals to navigate their own emotions and challenges. This helps maintain their own well-being and ensures they can provide effective support to participants.

  5. Develop leadership skills: Advanced practitioners should continuously work on developing their leadership skills, including facilitating group dynamics, conflict resolution, and creating a safe and inclusive learning environment.

  6. Be transparent about limitations: If an advanced practitioner realizes they do not possess the necessary skillset to be trauma-informed and ethical in their training, they should acknowledge this and seek further training in leadership and ethics. It is essential to prioritize participants' safety and well-being.

  7. No abuse of power dynamics: Advanced practitioners must not exploit their position of power to gain any financial, emotional, or sexual advantage over participants. Maintain professional boundaries at all times.

  8. Therapeutic touch: All touch should strictly be therapeutic in nature and non-sexual. It should only be used within the boundaries of established and consented-upon practices.

  9. Deliver content professionally: Advanced practitioners should ensure that the training content is delivered in a mature, professional, and responsible manner. Respect the gravity of trauma healing work and avoid any inappropriate or immature behavior.

  10. Maintain clarity and transparency: Communicate openly with participants, providing clear information about the training, expectations, and any potential risks or limitations. Transparency is vital for ensuring a safe and ethical learning environment.

  11. In addition to the above guidelines, it is imperative to maintain a fair, inclusive, and non-discriminatory environment. Any form of favoritism, private arrangements, or any other non-inclusive behavior, discrimination, or any behavior promoting an atmosphere of exclusion is completely unacceptable. We value equal opportunities and respect for all individuals, regardless of their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, disability, or any other protected characteristic.

  12. Legal consequences for breaches: clarify that if the principles and guidelines mentioned above are breached, it can result in legal action from participants, the ISI, and potential loss of affiliation with TVM™ and ISI.


Adhering to these guidelines will help TVM™ advanced practitioners create a safe, supportive, and trauma-informed training environment that prioritizes participants' healing and well-being. Kindly revise this document as changes and updates continue to be added, as we continue our commitment to trauma informed ethical & professional standards. 


Last updated January 29, 2024

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Basic Guidelines for TVM™ Trauma-Informed Somatic Therapy

Basic Guidelines for TVM™ Trauma-Informed Somatic Therapy

1. Establish Safety and Trust:


◦ Create a safe and supportive therapeutic environment

that prioritizes physical and emotional safety.


◦ Develop a strong therapeutic alliance between yourself

and your client based on trust, respect, and clear



2. Understand the Impact of Trauma:


◦ Educate yourself and your clients about the dynamics

and effects of trauma on the body, mind, and nervous



◦ Recognize that trauma can manifest in a variety of ways

and adapt your approach accordingly. Remember layers

of compensation can present both physically in the body

and psychologically in the persona.


3. Promote Body Awareness, Self Regulation and



◦ Encourage clients to develop a greater awareness of

bodily sensations, emotions, and their connection. You

can start with introducing the Wheel Of Emotions,

mapping sensation and feelings in the body, etc.


◦ Teach grounding techniques to help clients regulate their

nervous system between TVM™ session and enhance


present-moment awareness. Tools like ventral breathing

and saying hello to fascia help.

◦ Introduce and educate on the re-association process and

the Rewards & Risks of Re- Association RR.O.R.


4. Foster Resilience and Self-Regulation:


◦ Support clients by educating developing skills for self-

regulation and emotional resilience. This includes support they can have in emotional processing tools, working with a trauma informed clinical psychologist, etc.


◦ Teach somatic tools such as breathwork, mindfulness,

and positive feedback neuro-motor movement to help

clients navigate and manage their emotions and

sensations during the re-association and re-connection

process. Please reference our emotional processing



5. Honor the Client's Autonomy and Empowerment:


◦ Collaborate with clients and involve them in the decision-

making process, respecting their autonomy and preferences. This starts with teaching what informed consent is, and how to practice a welcomed and very respected  ‘No’.


◦ Empower clients by validating their experiences,

strengths, and resources, fostering a sense of control and

agency. This starts withe the principles of listening and



6. Cultivate Body-Based Interventions:


◦ Utilize somatic techniques to facilitate healing, in addition

to TVM™, advanced tools that are shared in regular

masterclasses such as body-centered awareness,

psychosomatic connection and affirmations.


◦ Integrate approaches such as understating lines of fascia

and corresponding trauma links, and adapting them to the

client's needs.


7. Foster Emotional Regulation and Expression:


◦ Help clients develop skills for emotional regulation and

expression, creating a safe space for processing and

releasing emotions related to trauma. This can include

hand scream, stomping, speaking out their unspoken

truths, sounding, breathing and expressing their emotions.


◦ Support clients in building resilience and expanding their

emotional range by recognizing the area of trauma being

addressed and the courage it takes to go to these parts of

the pain body.


8. Recognize and Respond to Triggers:


◦ Be attentive to triggers that may emerge during therapy

sessions and respond with sensitivity and compassion.


◦ Provide tools and techniques for clients to manage

triggers outside of therapy sessions.


9. Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity:


◦ Acknowledge and respect the influence of cultural and

social factors on trauma experiences and healing.


◦ Adapt your approach to be culturally sensitive and

inclusive, considering the client's background and beliefs.

10.Continuous Self-Care and Professional Development:


◦ Engage in regular self-care practices to maintain your

own well-being and prevent vicarious trauma or burnout.


◦ Pursue ongoing professional development to stay

informed about the latest research and therapeutic

approaches in TVM™ trauma-informed somatic therapy.


These guidelines aim to support a trauma-informed and client-

centered approach to TVM™ somatic therapy.


By incorporating these principles into your TVM™ practice, you can create a nurturing and empowering space for clients to heal from the impacts of trauma and cultivate resilience, and in turn hopefully changing their lives towards the better.

Last updated January 29, 2024

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