Contemplative - Based Trauma and Resiliency Training
Developed by: Gaea Logan & Patricia Tollison
What is The Portable Calm?
The Portable Calm is an eight-week online evidence-based training for global mental health and medical professionals, humanitarian aid workers, educators and those on the frontlines of trauma. It is an immersive experience providing structure, inspiration and support for anyone wishing to establish a daily mindful awareness practice.
Through an experiential framework of contemplative practices and group work, The Portable Calm serves as the Level 1 Foundation Module for Contemplative-Based Trauma and Resiliency Training (CBTRT). The Portable Calm helps cultivate resilience by strengthening the capacity for self-regulation and building protective internal factors essential to the prevention of burnout.
The Portable Calm now has a Spanish translation. We have available - Calma Portable. Our first Spanish only cohort completed their eight week training in 2021.
We re-think the trauma paradigm
Research suggests that trauma is not created by traumatic events but occurs when the body's emergency circuitry is overwhelmed, mobilized for fight/flight/freeze and unable to get back to a state of calm. Trauma is expressed in symptoms that are painfully disruptive to well-being.
Resilience is the essential ability to get back to calm, to "bounce back." Trauma affects human resilience at neural, genetic, community, interpersonal, and multi-generational levels. In the Contemplative-Based Trauma and Resiliency Training (CBTRT) we focus on the important task of re-thinking the trauma paradigm at a personal, community and global level. The Portable Calm creates the opportunity to simply begin with ourselves.
"The greatest thing, in all of education, is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy."
Together we create an online learning and healing environment across time zones to deepen our skills for calm, compassionate attention. Drawing from key concepts, insights and cutting-edge research at the intersection of neurobiology, contemplative practice and group therapy, we share William James perspective from 1890 in The Principles of Psychology.
Based in our shared human neurobiology, CBTRT transcends culture, race, gender, religion, tribe, ethnicity and socio-economic status. The training is conducted by the faculty of the International Center for Mental Health and Human Rights. One hundred percent of the tuition fees are used to cover the expenses of program implementation and development. The curriculum has been implemented and/or adapted for mental health professionals and humanitarian aid staff deployed throughout UN Peace Keeping Missions in the Middle East, refugee camps in Africa, and other social service and non-governmental agencies across cultures.
Experience the power of the small group cohort
We take a relational stance towards resilience. Our small online groups provide a space for connection in the work of creating positive change. The felt sense of bonding and belonging that occurs between group members and the facilitator(s) is an essential part of the process.
Whether it is in a private practice setting, educational setting or in a tent within a refugee camp, CBTRT offers a clear pathway. We believe in the "train the trainer" model. By first learning skills to become more self-regulated, mindful, grounded and compassionate ourselves, we can teach others. As of 2022, the Portable Calm team is providing training in Ukraine through the Zoom platform in support Ukrainian clinicians' trauma work. To find information about our program, go to www.icmhhr.org.
To see another of our CBTRT in-country programs, please view this short video of our work in Northern Uganda The Healing Environment: Inner LandscapesPassword: Uganda
Each cohort is led by an experienced group facilitator who moderates the weekly online discussions, providing support and insight from relevant mind/body/brain research to help to create a healing environment within the group.
Our facilitators are selected for their strength in group skills, first- hand experience in contemplative practice, cultural humility and compassion.
Your small group of 8-12 participants will log in from across the globe to share reflections, ask questions, celebrate successes and explore challenges.
Over the eight weeks, a safe container is created, facilitating deep group dialogue and integration of the experience, enabling you to achieve more lasting results.
Join The Portable Calm Course
The biggest change in the eight weeks was a new, reliable and deeper sense of calm in their lives. Together we can re-imagine self-care and make profound changes in our lives. Join us!
Find Registration Information Below
In our preliminary pilot study in 2017, we collected pre/post program data to test the efficacy of The Portable Calm protocol with 60 participants. Our participants spanned 17 time zones, five continents and represented diverse culture and gender orientations. They were divided into four small online groups. We used the World Health Organization's Wellbeing Assessment Survey (WHO-5) to quantify potential qualitative increases in well-being and resilience. The participants who completed the full 8 weeks realized statistically significant increases in their scores, corresponding to powerful and positive changes in the five areas listed above.
The International Center for Mental Health and Human Rights offers Fellowship and Distinguished Fellowship scholarship opportunities to exceptional caregivers on the front-lines of trauma working in underserved communities and to those working in underfunded organizations with minimal to no training budget.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the application process and for information about pricing and fellowship options.
The Portable Calm helps cultivate a more self-regulated, mindful, grounded and compassionate way of engaging with yourself and your world. Each week you will strengthen your capacity for attention, emotional regulation and self-awareness through successive instruction in the areas of breath-work, grounding, sanctuary, intention setting, embodied mindful awareness and compassion.
Overview of the Portable Calm Basics
The Self Awareness Scale. Meeting your cohort
"On the Cushion" and "Off the Cushion" practicesBreathing in, breathing out
The foundation of self-compassion
Putting our own oxygen mask on first
Bringing awareness to our physical experience
Imagining an internal relational landscape
Sending and receiving compassion
Noticing choice points in interaction
Moment-to-moment sensory awareness
Expanding the container
The role of the ally
Cultivating altruism, strengthening joy
Deepening internal quiet
Compassion in the relational field
Safety as an internal insulation barrier
The language of sensation
The power of compassionate intention
Honoring the generosity of others
Growing the muscle of compassion
Presence in moment-to-moment interactions
Bringing your Portable Calm with you
Expanding intentional acts of compassion
For those that feel inspired to support the global outreach work of the International Center for Mental Health and Human Rights, we would love to explore how you could be involved. Please consider becoming a sustaining patron, including us in your annual planned charitable giving. Every donation, no matter the size enables us to do our work! 100% of all donations are tax exempt under 501c(3) regulations.
For more information on planned charitable giving reach us at email@example.com
Gaea Logan, LPC-S, CGP, FAGPA
Gaea is a seasoned clinician who has offered contemporary psychoanalytic psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and groups as well as clinical consultation and supervision for almost forty years. She concurrently holds an LPC license in the State of Colorado and is an approved clinical supervisor LPC-S in the State of Texas. She is a Certified Group Psychotherapist, a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and an alumna of the Harvard Refugee Trauma Global Mental Health Program.She is certified by the Denver Psychoanalytic Society in the area of Adult Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and is a candidate at The Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. Along with Dr Patricia Tollison, she co-developed the evidence-based trauma protocol, Contemplative Based Trauma and Resiliency Training which has been adapted for utilization throughout the Middle East and Africa, UNICEF, UNRWA, WHO, Save the Children, and most recently Boulder Valley Care Network. In recognition of clinical excellence, social justice and international humanitarian outreach, Gaea was awarded by the Four Corners Regional Group Psychotherapy Society for Visionary Leadership and Group Innovation in 2019. She is also the 2015 recipient of the Social Responsibility Award of the American Group Psychotherapy Association.
Patricia Tollison, PhD, CGP
A psychologist and writer in Austin, Texas. Dr. Tollison is a clinical consultant and educator in the area of group psychotherapy and is a member of the Affiliate Faculty, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Dell Medical School, UT Austin. A national trainer in the areas of group psychotherapy and trauma informed crisis intervention, she specializes in group models for trauma prevention and trauma informed intervention. She has taught at the preschool, middle school, and university levels and has over forty years of experience in the field of group psychotherapy. Her extensive background in clinical work and her developmental focus on working with children and adolescents forms the foundation for her co-authored book, SOS! A Practical Guide for Leading Solution-Focused Groups with Kids K-12. The SOS! intervention model is widely implemented in school districts across the United States and is recognized as a curriculum resource by the American Group Psychotherapy Association. Dr. Tollison also co-authored Self-Regulation for Kids K-!2 Calming Minds and Behavior, a trauma prevention and intervention model emphasizing the use of embodied mindful awareness to increase self-regulation and resilience. She is the co-developer of the contemplative based curriculum The Portable Calm, the adaptation for children Calming Minds, and Contemplative-Based Trauma and Resiliency Training Level 2.
Jackie is an experienced clinician offering somatic mindfulness-based psychotherapy for individuals and groups across the lifespan, as well as clinical consultation and supervision. As a dance/movement therapist, trained in Somatic Experiencing, she believes in our innate resiliency to heal from unresolved trauma which often results in anxiety, depression, or attachment disruption. She is a senior adjunct faculty in the Graduate School of Psychology at Naropa University. Jackie integrates somatic awareness, contemplative practice, equine therapy and analytic psychotherapy to help clients integrate the emotional, physical, and spiritual experience.
Elizabeth Driscoll, LPC
Elizabeth offers individual and group psychotherapy to adult and adolescent populations. She received her master's degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University and now serves as faculty in the graduate program in Contemplative Psychology. As faculty of the International Center for Mental Health & Human Rights she has facilitated the Contemplative Based Trauma & Resiliency curriculum through Boulder Valley Care Network and online internationally. Committed to excellence in the field of group facilitation, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Four Corners Group Psychotherapy Society.
Eva Jahn LPC, Dipl. SW
Eva offers individual and group psychotherapy to adults and adolescents. Her clinical work has been focused on survivors of traumatic experience with an emphasis on exploring themes of shame, self-esteem, and racial and multicultural identities. She graduated from the California Institute for Integral Studies with a master's degree in Integral Counseling Psychology and holds a Social Work degree from the University of Applied Science in Germany.As a trauma-informed psychotherapist, she takes an integrative approach that includes psychodynamic psychotherapy, neuroscience, and contemplative-based trauma and resiliency training. Eva's clinical work is rooted in social justice and anti-racism celebrating both personal and collective liberation.
Cathelen Trejos Valverde, MSW
Cathy is a licensed psychologist in Costa Rica and completed a master’s degree in social work in the US. Her work focus has been the humanitarian sector for grassroots’ organizations, INGOs, and the UN, working in Costa Rica, the US, the UK, Libya, and Mexico, among others. She has worked directly with migrants and refugees who have survived violence and other traumatic experiences.
She is certified as a yoga teacher (500-RYT) in India, through the Yoga Alliance and has complementary certifications in Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy (TIYT). She completed both the Contemplative-Based Trauma and Resiliency Training Level I The Portable Calm and Level II. Cathy translated The Portable Calm to make it available for people who speak Spanish, Calma Portable.
Cathy’s practice is informed by social justice, yoga asanas, and trauma informed approaches, facilitating the draw towards wholeness that she has encountered as a common thread in the people she has served across continents and cultures. On her path, she has formed a deep awareness of the spectrum of human experience from suffering to love.
In our facility at Uyudell Rehabilitation Centre we use The Portable Calm as a resiliency practice to deal with trauma, depression and anxiety with young people experiencing difficulty. Although we employ other psychotherapies such as cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy and client centered therapy, we find that The Portable Calm is a very practical and more immediate form of treatment. The young people say that it makes them feel calm despite their difficulties. Their attention is more focused and their minds are more relaxed. Ever since we introduced the intervention, we have received less complaints about sickness. I highly recommend the program!
Uyudell Rehabilitation Centre, Kampala, Uganda
The Portable Calm practice offered me a consistent daily ritual that supported me in many ways. I noticed, after only a short time, that the practice influenced my sense of overall calm, the capacity to meet challenging circumstances with greater grace and clarity, a deepened connection to my calm despite unforeseen life events, and even allowed for more compassion and connection when relating to difficult others. I found the online platform fun and easy to use. One of my favorite features of the Portable Calm was connecting with people from all over the country. I highly recommend this program to anyone who is looking for additional support, daily practice, and a deepened sense of community!
In my current work with refugees, as well as in my previous work in primary care, I noticed how my colleagues struggled to manage our stress levels. Our patients have trauma histories, severe illness and difficult social situations. I noticed my own struggle to meet this suffering. The Portable Calm is a challenging but necessary resource for caregivers. It has changed how I take care of myself, my loved ones and others, including my patients. To be able to self-regulate, to listen to my body, to learn to be self-compassionate and to be compassionate to others has been a great learning experience. I learned how to increase my own capacity to meet patients with different kinds of suffering. The Portable Calm training is incredibly valuable.