Ariel Giarretto

Ariel has been working in the field of body-focused therapies for over 20 years. On staff at the Esalen Institute throughout the 90’s, she studied with sexuality experts Carolyn and Charles Muir, Margot Anand, Jack Rosenberg, Paul Carter and dozens of other somatic teachers. There she met Peter Levine, and is currently senior faculty of the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, which trains professionals world-wide in trauma recovery. She is a certified Somatic Sex Educator, a former doula and has a private practice specializing in sexuality and prenatal/early trauma. She is active in many Bay Area sex-positive communities that meet regularly to explore and discuss non-traditional relationships, including polyamory; safe, consensual sex; jealousy; and open, transparent communication.


Making Friends with the Body After Childhood Sexual Abuse

The long-term, devastating effects of sexual trauma are no secret. As clinicians, we witness shame, disembodiment, self-loathing, destructive behaviors and the tendency to be attracted to abusive relationships, to mention a few.


How do we support these clients in recovering from the trauma, without re-traumatizing? How do we help them develop a healthy relationship with their bodies, as well as learn to gravitate to safe partners, and safe situations?


Using the gentle trauma renegotiation model of Somatic Experience (SE) as a foundation to her treatment model, renowned trauma specialist and sex educator, Ariel Giarretto will present ways of understanding sexual trauma through the lens of the SE model. Ariel will discuss how our physiology responds under threat, and what is needed to work effectively with this in your practice. An essential part of her work with sexual trauma involves techniques that support clients in finding ease and pleasure in their bodies, regardless of their history.