Trauma, Trust & Sex

The Trauma Trust & Sex workshops invite us to the deepest places in ourselves and our intimate relationships. By shining a light of compassionate love and understanding into these depths, where the shadows of shame, unconscious blockages, fear and mistrust dwell, we open into healing, expanding and improving our relationships at a fundamental level. These workshops are safe and nurturing experiences for everyone.

Joyful, fulfilling and harmonious relationships are essential to our happiness and success. Let’s go beyond addressing the usual aspects of relationships such as conscious communication, techniques for sexual intimacy, managing anger, understanding differences between the masculine and feminine.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: healing from trauma. As renowned psychologist Gabor Mate writes, “the essence of trauma is disconnection from ourselves….separation from the body and emotions. So, the real question is, ‘How did we get separated and how do we reconnect?'”

The answers may lie in our personal or family experiences. They are also found in our cultures which are interwoven with thousands of years of patriarchy which has left deep wounds in both women and men.

Family shadows

Shadows from our families of origin can show up in our relationship with sex

Some people are dealing with the effects of trauma in their own life and many are dealing with the effects of inter-generational or family trauma. Kinds of trauma which can affect relationships include physical injury, family and domestic violence, sexual assault, incest and other sexual trauma, exposure to war, the loss of a loved one, living with addicts or people with mental health problems. Some recent research indicates that for children, growing up with care-givers who were emotionally absent can have impacts similar to severe trauma.

Many people are dealing with the legacy of being born to parents who were traumatised. Trauma affects and gets passed on in our genes, so that a person can be living with the symptoms of trauma even when their own life has been free of traumatic events.

Trauma undermines the feeling and sense of safety. It means that all experiences tend to get filtered through a lens of fear. Over time this can damage relationships and it is a major barrier to physical and emotional intimacy. While it is possible for both women and men to orgasm when they are not feeling safe, there are heights of sexual connection involving mind, body and spirit which can only be achieved when there is a deep surrender into trust: trust of self, trust of the other and trust in the dance of intimacy that is co-created.

The Trauma, Trust and Sex Workshop works at a deep level, creating a sacred, safe space in which healing can occur. It draws on ancient shamanic and indigenous practices, as well as cutting-edge scientific understanding of trauma, trust and sexuality.

Safety is at the core of what we do. The workshops are fully clothed at all times and there is no sexual touch involved – though guidance may be given on possible lines for exploration involving sexual touch with partners after the workshop.

During the workshop you will have the opportunity to:

  • identify, heal and release old patterns which do not serve you
  • deepen connection to yourself and others
  • reclaim your personal power and presence as a feeling, loving being
  • experience deeper safety in relationship
  • heal the shame that binds you
  • move from fear to love
  • understand how trauma can be held in the sexual organs and how it can be released
  • explore archetypal patterns of masculine and feminine in relationships
  • learn what issues are yours, what issues are your partner’s and what belongs to previous generations.

The workshop is suitable for both couples and singles. If you suspect that your relationships are being adversely affected by trauma, or if you think there is room for improvement, then this is the workshop for you.

What others experienced:


The Trauma, Trust and Sex workshop was a powerful experience for me. I felt I was stepping further into reclaiming my power and my presence as a feeling, loving being. The processes you led us through were each doorways into healing, deeper experiencing and relating, and there was a beautiful balance between heart, body and mind in them. I want to thank Phoenix and Mike deeply for sharing this work with us, and for holding the space for our personal and collective processes to unfold. You both have deep integrity and a passionate commitment to the work, and were always willing to show up to work with whatever was happening for us and gently guide us towards our growth point. I was frequently conscious of your patience and caring as we stumbled, resisted and struggled with our contradictions on the journey toward healing, and of the skill involved in what you do. This work has made me feel stronger in myself and more alive, and I also am aware that the journey is an ongoing one and there are indeed ‘many rivers to cross’. But I now feel a sense of excitement and momentum that I am on that journey, and I feel that working with you both is, and will be an important part of that journey for me.   Keppel Cassidy

“I have been waiting for years for something like this [Trauma Trust and Sex workshop]. Two decades of intense internal dialogue, working through anxiety, addiction, depression, dissociation, isolation, all neatly covered over with a light hearted workaholic got-it-all-together mask to hide the black hole inside. And in perfect timing I was invited to the Trauma Trust and Sex workshop last weekend. I had a feeling it would be profound, and it was, so much so that I have committed myself to the upcoming fortnight retreat in the busiest time of the year, because my belly and my heart know it’s the work I need to do right now.

“I realised how much had shifted when I was at a social event last night, surrounded by a tribe I have known for years and have loved but never felt I belonged to due to severe social anxiety and a myriad of other psychosomatic illnesses. Half way through the evening I realised I was in each moment so wholly that I had forgotten to feel self-conscious, had forgotten I didn’t belong, had forgotten how to be insecure, had forgotten to be exhausted, had forgotten to put up boundaries. I had remembered to embrace and be embraced by many beautiful souls, embraced by their arms, embraced by their open smiling faces, embraced by the warmth of their hearts.

“I remembered how to be ok in the presence of others, and a huge part of that is because of the incredibly supportive and transformative space Phoenix and Mike hold together. They have a gift of witnessing unflinching each person in their whole messy chaotic perfect humanness without judgement. An unconditional acceptance of every participant teases their pure light to surface with a gentle invitation to explore inner landscapes in the safety of community. It’s the kind of space that allows you to shred all that holds you back, the kind of space I would love all I hold dear to experience, the kind of space that makes you feel at home in yourself.
How truly valuable. Thank you Phoenix Arrien and Mike Lowe, I look forward to unraveling and unfolding with you again.”  Tjoni Johansen