AcademicsGraduate AcademicsClinical Mental Health CounselingSomatic CounselingSomatic Counseling: Body Psychotherapy

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 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. 

Discover Career Pathways for Body Psychotherapy Graduates

Quick Facts


Credit Hours




Internship Hours
Jeffrey Neering head shot


with your counselor

Jeffrey Neering

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Body Psychotherapy Courses

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

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.

Nature’s power to improve our mental health is profound. Gain counseling skills, leadership capabilities, and experience in a number of nature-based therapeutic modalities.

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.

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.

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.

Professional Certification

Graduate students who successfully complete coursework to earn a master’s degree in somatic counseling fulfill the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA) requirements for professional certification as a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) and/or Registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME).

Program Faculty

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

Students Transformed

Student Transformed

What to Expect

Develop your awareness through sensations, emotions, movements, and thoughts.
Recognize and point to moments of brilliant sanity in yourself and others.
Demonstrate critical thinking, scholarship, theory, and clinical practice.
Apply techniques, skills, and interventions to help the body heal the mind.
Recognize and appreciate others’ experiences of their bodies and movement.
Pluralism and

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields


This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields