In the early 1970s, while working as a technician and yoga/dance teacher at a short-term psychiatric hospital, Pat Ogden became interested in the correlation between her clients' disconnection from their bodies, their physical patterns and their psychological issues. Before the Diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Dr. Ogden recognized first-hand the way in which many of her patients were at the mercy of reliving the past, and that current treatment methods only seemed to trigger traumatic reminders. Recognizing the link between the body and psychological issues, she began to form the foundations of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® by joining somatic therapy and psychotherapy into a comprehensive method for healing this disconnection between body and mind. In 1981, after co-founding the Hakomi Institute, pioneered by Ron Kurtz, Dr. Ogden founded her own school, a branch of the Hakomi Institute, which is known today as the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute (SPI).
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® draws from somatic therapies, neuroscience, attachment theory, and cognitive approaches, as well as from the Hakomi Method. Since the first course in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® was offered in the early 1980’s, it has gained international acclaim. The first book on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy®, Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy, published in the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology in 2006 gained international acclaim. The sequel to the first book, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment was published in spring of 2015.