BA PSYCH 2000x872SomaticBody Psych
mA PSYCH 828x738SomaticBodyPsy

Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with a concentration in

Somatic Counseling: Body Psychotherapy

Naropa offers one of only a few programs in the country with somatic psychotherapy degrees. The Body Psychotherapy track in the Somatic Counseling concentration focuses on synchronized and integrative psychotherapy through experience and expression on physical, emotional, cognitive, energetic, and spiritual levels.

Naropa’s holistic psychotherapy degree program combines clinical mental health theory and practice with mind-body therapy. As you explore the relationship between mind, body, and movement, you’ll learn to grow, develop, and support the wellness and sanity in yourself and your clients using powerful somatic psychotherapy techniques.

This three-year cohort program is based on the belief that a functional unity exists between the mind and body and that therapeutic change occurs through direct experience of the present moment. Our graduates are prepared with theoretical, clinical, and professional skills, as well as contemplative experience, necessary to begin a compassionate, clinical practice as informed, effective psychotherapy counselors.

Quick Facts















Internship Hours

Internship Hours


Courses You Could Take

in Somatic Counseling: Body Psychotherapy

Our integrative psychotherapy approach emphasizes mindfulness and moving meditation, as well as diversity and community engagement. You’ll explore the current understanding of multicultural competence, as well as the historical impact on the bodies that are present in counseling, through the critical lenses of cultural identities, power, and privilege. You’ll also learn how to use mindfulness training, breathwork, interceptive awareness, and other somatic psychotherapy techniques to ease suffering, support mental health, and sustain change in minds, bodies, and lives. The rich and rigorous curriculum will help transform you into a deeply aware somatic psychotherapist.


Courses within the Somatic Counseling: Body Psychotherapy concentration include:

Other Concentrations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Contemplative NeuroScience

Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling

Learn how to put mindfulness at the center of your future counseling practice in a master's degree program that extends your study of body and mind to an exploration of heart and soul.

Psychological Science

Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy

Prepare for practice as a psychotherapist in both clinical mental health settings and the great outdoors through a graduate degree program that explores the transformative power of nature.

Psychology of Health and Healing

Transpersonal Art Therapy

Build a life of service by channeling your artistic passion with this master’s degree that combines transpersonal counseling and studio art with a deep contemplative practice.

Somatic Psychology

Somatic Counseling: Dance/Movement Therapy

Develop clinical skills in using movement as a tool for healing in a master's degree program that allows you to design a career around your love for dance.

Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology

Learn to guide others with humility and compassion in a master's degree program grounded in the Buddhist contemplative wisdom tradition. 

The Naropa Difference

Based on the belief that understanding and working with others is ultimately based on understanding and working with one's own personal dynamic, we approach somatic psychotherapy as a system process involving self, environment, and the interaction between both.


Community-Based Learning

Naropa’s somatic psychotherapy degree program allows you to gain hands-on experience working in the community through practicum and internship placements. The 200-hour practicum involves a fieldwork placement. The 700-hour clinical internship incorporates meaningful service through observing and participating in the mental health community. Both experiences introduce you to different populations and help you become more comfortable with your community.

During your third year of graduate study, you may serve the Boulder community as a supervised intern at the Naropa Community Counseling Center. Offering contemplative and mindful healing services, the center makes cutting-edge mind-body psychotherapy affordable for low- and middle-income people.

Research Opportunities

Professional Certification

Learn from licensed and certified professional counselors with a variety of clinical, teaching, and research experience working with diverse populations.

“The Naropa experience offers an alternative approach to better connect with others’ — starting with ourselves. Contemplative education cultivates a particular kind of intelligence. An opportunity to metabolize the gaps — the difference between ’doing’ and ‘being’ — while infusing a practice that strengthens the present moment awareness muscles. The essence of the learning process at Naropa blends responsive communication with paring down to the basic goodness of being.” -Diane Bartko, Clinical Instructor, Core Faculty

Senior Year Synthesis

Program Faculty

Naropa's award-winning transpersonal art therapy faculty are published authors, accomplished artists, and community innovators with extensive clinical experience in transpersonal art therapy. The faculty approach to educating graduate students in transpersonal art therapy integrates the insights, attitudes, and practices of world wisdom traditions with modern psychological approaches.

In accordance with the tenets of the transpersonal art therapy concentration, each of the program’s faculty value mindfulness, creative communication, and civic engagement in their course development and interaction with graduate students.


Students Transformed

“I feel incredible! I have dreamed of working as a body psychotherapist with children for as long as I can remember. The richness of the material has astounded me, especially the focus on diversity and inclusion. I feel like I am shifting every day from the program and the school, and through my personal shifts I will have more ways to affect positive change in the world.”

Keira Cristobal

Somatic Counseling: Body Psychotherapy, 2017

“The coursework at Naropa provided cutting-edge academic theories about the neurobiology of the mind as both embodied and relational and led me to feel exceptionally prepared when I later pursued my doctorate in clinical psychology.”

Arielle Schwartz

Somatic Counseling: Body Psychotherapy, 1999

What to Expect