About The Center for Body Up! Co-Regulation

Founded by Beth Dennison in 2012, The Center for Body Up! Co-Regulation develops and shares Body Up! Co-Regulation skills, skills designed to regulate our nervous systems, combat loneliness, dissolve shame, build sturdy relationships and cultivate a culture of intelligence and cooperation. The center is devoted to co-regulation in relational space, both online and in person. 

Twenty years ago, Beth saw that shame is the blade that splits our wholeness into a presented self and a hidden, held back, shadow self. It splits us off from our bodies, our souls, our mother earth and each other. It keeps us isolated, frozen in depression, numb with hopelessness and unable to heal or regulate ourselves. Starting to write a book on shame, she realized that her perspective was too depressing to be helpful.

So, she went on a quest in search of antidotes to shame. Years of rich immersion in interpersonal neurobiology, Somatic Experiencing®, contact improvisation, yoga, breath work, and countless informative client hours yielded potent results!

She found powerful antidotes to shame and built the system of Body Up! Co-Regulation. These practices demonstrate that we can connect and cooperate better, and build our capacity to handle more complexity and intensity without getting stressed out or overwhelmed.

The Center for Body Up! Co-Regulation champions the possibility of humans being intelligent and cooperative enough to build a culture of collaboration that allows us to survive and thrive on planet earth.

Beth Dennison


About The Founder

Beth Dennison brings 50 years of teaching, psychotherapy and study of neuroscience to designing learning experiences that rewire our brains for connection and co-regulation. She is a pioneer whose professional and personal life has positioned her to make a much needed contribution to remedy the loneliness, isolation, dysregulation and failure to cooperate that plague modern western culture. Beth’s handbook, Body Up!: Nourish Your Nervous System and Your Relationships with Body to Body Co-Regulation, is a seminal work in the fields of embodiment and applied interpersonal neurobiology.

Her background and education include Somatic Experiencing, Marriage and Family Therapy, Bodywork and Peer Counseling.  Beth earned her masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at Antioch New England, and an M.Ed  in Counseling at Antioch Graduate School of Education. She completed her Somatic Experiencing Practitioner training (SEP) with Peter Levine at the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, where she also serves as a long-term training assistant.  She trained in massage and Jin Shin Do at Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy. She has been a teacher, consultant, psychotherapist, supervisor and body worker in a range of environments: corporate, mental health, massage school and private practice.  

Beth has a lifelong history of cultivating embodiment and a high capacity for clear, organized thinking. She has applied this rare and useful combination to healing developmental trauma, finding efficient antidotes to shame, and creating effective strategies to rewire the brain for co-regulation and embodiment in therapy and in life.  While working with PTSD, Beth realized that we all need what trauma clients need, a sense that we belong and we matter. It is a basic human necessity. Parenting a non-verbal child for 30 years demanded that Beth develop high capacity for empathy and a profound understanding of how the human nervous system works. (Learn about Beth’s son, Ian, and view his photography here.)  As a result of these professional and personal circumstances, she champions embodiment in relational space as the foundation of effective therapeutic relationships and healthy human interaction. Beth puts new information from neuroscience to the test of embodied practice. Her workshops teach participants how to tune in to their own nervous system and connect generously and appropriately with others. She is a dedicated teacher who models the embodiment she teaches. She creates safe environments for people to reveal themselves and learn to co-regulate.  Currently, Beth manages The Center for Body! Co-Regulation, where she teaches and creates educational materials.  She maintains a small private practice and provides professional supervision for practitioners.    
Body Up! A Co-Regulation Handbook

Recognizing and Appreciating the Roots of Body Up! Co-Regulation

The peer structure is inspired by  Re-Evaluation Co-Counseling (RC). Thank you, Harvey Jackins.

The muscles we target to develop different skills come from Bodynamics. Thank you,  Lisbeth Marcher and Sonja Fich.  

Putting words to body up experience in TALK! comes from Somatic Experiencing. Thank you, Peter Levine.

The emphasis on safety for learning and connection, and the understanding of the conflict between social agendas and body up agendas comes from Polyvagal Theory. Thank you, Stephen Porges.

The emphasis on and the approach to minimizing shame arises from my personal experience as a contact improvisation dancer and my clinical work with trauma clients. 

Finding antidotes to shame became a two decade, personal quest that yielded powerful body up tools. 

Oppression theory, according to RC, recognizes that exploitation and denial are at the root of all oppression including sexism, racism, adultism, able-bodied-ism and classism. I have expanded that formulation to include oppression of the body and the planet. I see oppression in the mind/body relationship as the internal blueprint for social oppression. When we are in the habit of ignoring our body awareness and our bodily needs, it seems normal to ignore environmental degradation and (inconvenient) awareness of others and their needs.

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