Calatonia International Training

The CIT is a project developed by a group of alumni from the Instituto Sedes Sapientiae, where Pethö Sándor taught his method. Having studied with Sándor for many years, in several of his courses, this group aligns itself with the purpose of promoting his work within the standards in which he structured it. We belong to a larger community of professionals who have adopted his method, a community gathered at the Calatonia.Org.

We invite you to join us for some exciting training!

The Faculty

Calatonia & Subtle Touch Training

Expand your somatic therapy repertoire and enhance your professional skills by learning new somatic techniques that facilitate well-being and gradually decrease your patient’s symptomatology. At the same time, these techniques take patients safely into contemplative states. These mental states allow nonjudgmental observation of sensations, thoughts, images, and emotions that are difficult to access through verbal therapy alone.

Who can attend?

Psychotherapists, psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists, health and education professionals, child development workers, psychomotor practitioners, speech and occupational therapists, physiotherapists, certified body workers, massage therapists, coaches, and health practitioners and pre-licensed students, who may benefit from integrating structured touch protocols into their practice, to heal trauma and attachment, and to enhance their patients’ global functioning.

If you are new to mind-body integration, or feel ambivalent about integrating touch into your practice, attending training for personal and professional growth may be the best step to ascertain its validity, depth and usefulness as a tool for your practice.

Read More


Calatonia was developed by Pethö Sándor, a Hungarian doctor who worked (1960-1992) as a Jungian psychologist in São Paulo after treating war survivors and refugees during and after World War II, in Germany. He created a set of techniques grouped under the name “Subtle Touch”.

Calatonia was probably the first somatic-psychological technique created to treat trauma (1945). Presently, based on recent discoveries from neuroscience about self-organizing systems, and the neuroscience of touch and skin, this pioneering technique can be considered at the cutting edge of psychophysical integration.
Training Overview

Participants will have access to safe, well-established, powerful yet gentle techniques that have no counter-indications, they just require clinical skills to identify their proper use in the context of therapy. Subtle Touch techniques lead the patient to a deeper therapeutic dynamic of four experiential dimensions: somatic, emotional, cognitive and spiritual. With regular applications of Calatonia and Subtle Touch, new neural connectivity related to well-being and regulated states will be consistently strengthened. Well-being has been identified as the most basic form of body awareness and of empowerment (Damasio, 2003) and it is an important aspect of best practices for treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Damasio, A. (2003). Mental self: the person within. Nature, 423(227).

Training Objectives

On completion of each training module, participants will be able to put the skills and knowledge they’ve learned into practice. During each training, along with the experiential segment performed in the ‘patient-therapist dyad’ format (75% of the time spent on hands-on learning, see training details), participants will learn the ethics and guidelines of this approach, and how Calatonia and Subtle Touch may:

  • trigger orienting reflexes that potentially activate and reset motivational, appetitive and attentional systems, thereby increasing the patient’s motivation, interest, and positive engagement;
  • promote regulation of the brain itself, supported by resting-state functional connectivity in conjunction with passive, long duration, subtle sensory stimuli;
  • promote self-regulation of the entire organism through the skin’s local HPA axis and the skin’s connection to the hypothalamus for coordinated regulation of body temperature and hormone levels;
  • produce relevant psychological material, such as mind wandering, spontaneous self-reflective and autobiographical recollection, images, fantasies, daydreaming, etc., which can be worked on in verbal therapy or in the context of art therapy, if appropriate.

In addition, participants will be encouraged to apply or develop a symbolic perspective (Jungian conceptualization or other theoretical approach) to understand and integrate those complex mental states produced during this type of somatic work.

Lastly, by learning about new insights from neuroscience that provide support for Calatonia’s successful results, participants will access information that is central to current clinical practice and various educational and health contexts.

Training Prerequisite

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in areas of health, education, humanities, etc., plus any other specific prerequisites for each training module.


The Calatonia International Training enterprise is neither a regulatory nor licensing organization and therefore cannot certify, license, or otherwise bestow the legal authorization to practice as a mental health or bodywork professional. Each participant is responsible for complying with the rules, regulations and licensing requirements that apply to their profession, in order to include these modalities in their practice. Please contact your federal, state, or local agencies and/or licensing boards that govern mental health or bodywork professionals in your geographical region for more information.


Calatonia & Subtle Touch

“…the skin is a site of the events and processes crucial to the way we think about, feel about, and interact with one another…” – McGlone, Wessberg, & Olausson (2014)

The Calatonia method has been used in psychotherapy for over fifty years with both children and adults, in trauma work, rehabilitation, education, speech therapy, and many other areas. In the last twenty years, as the cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology of touch evolved, Sándor’s work has received endorsement not only from its five decades of clinical application but also from viable hypotheses on the neural connectivity it activates, introduced briefly in the book, Calatonia: A therapeutic approach that promotes soma-psyche regulation and discussed at length in the new book (Portuguese), Calatonia e Toques Sutis: Enfoque Neuroscientifico (Calatonia and Subtle Touches: a neuroscientific review). Calatonia is usually experienced as a state of profound contemplation and relaxation that takes a person from distress to well-being, and with regular repetitions, to a stable state of optimal balance of emotions, thoughts and behaviours.

Pethö Sándor & a Brief History of Calatonia

Calatonia arose out of necessity during WWII, and it was probably the first somatic therapy developed from, and initially for, those suffering from war trauma. After the war, Calatonia became a psychotherapy method. Sándor’s method was ahead of its time in relation to the recent findings from interpersonal neurobiology and social-affective neuroscience as even back in the 1950s, it proposed that patients could experience regulated states in dyadic regulation with the therapist, within a safe, empathic and attuned relationship. Sándor noticed that with regular applications of Calatonia, its positive effects became cumulative and stable, and consequently the traumatic impact slowly weakened. By strengthening new neural connectivity linked to well-being and to interpersonal regulation, Calatonia helped to reinstate trust in others and self, and allowed patients of the post-war to lead more adaptive lives after trauma.

Beyond Trauma: Calatonia in Healing, Development and Self-Actualisation

Calatonia was created during World War II as an effective trauma therapy; however, it later became widely used in the practice of psychotherapy and other healing arts.

Many patients come for psychotherapy because they are experiencing social disconnection, political and financial uncertainty, stress and anxiety, or they are unhappy about the impermanence of their relationships, the outcome of a particular life-event, or because they are facing a crisis of meaning and purpose. Moreover, our fast-paced, technologically-saturated societies sometimes generate a major physical alienation from oneself and others – from our physical, instinctual nature. However, these patients don’t necessarily present behaviours that would suggest any specific mental health problems.

Thus, some patients come to therapy in search of connectedness, to learn about themselves, to integrate forgotten aspects or to uncover new aspects of their lives, and to build a meaningful life-narrative that makes sense of their experiences, their past and their future. In these cases, Calatonia and Subtle Touch may provide a gentle and profound therapeutic path for self-knowledge.

Read More

Sándor created a series of techniques that facilitate the identification with one’s core being, as patients learn to be attentive to their inner experiences during co-regulation with a therapist who is genuinely present. Most of the techniques Sándor created do not require active engagement or learning from the patient; they require sensing, feeling, noticing and non-judgmental observation – and the same from the therapist.

In such encounters, through Calatonia and Subtle Touch techniques, both patient and therapist share a state of “being”, in which the therapist is in non-verbal, empathic attunement with the patient, instead of remaining exclusively in their habitual “analytical” mind or actively coaching bodywork techniques. This therapeutic experience often creates the appropriate environment for patients’ inner contemplation, which can lead to knowledge of self and others, as well as feelings of well-being.

For those who do not have a discipline of meditation, Subtle Touch opens up a route for experiencing similar presence-centred states and for resting in one’s true nature. For those who do have a discipline of meditation, Calatonia brings one “home”.

Like Jung, Sándor believed that personal development naturally encouraged a deeper social commitment and ethos, according to each individual’s capacity for contributing to the greater good.



The 2-day intermediate training presents several Subtle Touch techniques that rely on the affective-affiliative touch system, known as C-tactile. It focusses on reorganising the patient’s emotional and behavioural patterns, from an experiential basis, in dyadic support with the therapist.

Click on a date to read more about this module:



The 2-day training revises the previous two modules and introduces sequences of touches on the spine, passive movements of small and large joints, among other techniques.

Click on a date to read more about this module:

Date to be announced in 2024


This 2½-day training offers hands-on experience in learning, applying, and receiving somatic techniques to use individually with child patient. The theoretical part includes the developmental basis of this practice, its application and the ethos of working with children.

Click on a date to read more about this module:

Date to be announced in 2024



Junho 21 – Junho 23, 2024
Centro Holístico do Porto – CHDP
Porto – Portugal

This training will be held in Portuguese
Formação oferecida em Português

“Há uma distância extraordinária da cabeça ao coração, uma distância de dez, vinte, trinta anos ou uma vida inteira” (Carl Jung)

Essa distância só pode ser percorrida experimentando a verdade do coração, e o caminho mais curto para o coração é percorrido através do toque que cuida.

Usando uma sequência de toques sutis, a Calatonia promove uma experiência terapêutica que cria a atmosfera certa para a contemplação interior, conhecimento de si e dos outros, bem como sentimentos de bem-estar e paz. Você experimentará a integração de muitos aspectos da vida: corpo, emoções, pensamentos, sonhos, símbolos e alma, e aprenderá como fazer o mesmo pelos outros.

Esta formação introdutória de 2 ½ dias oferece experiência prática em aprender, aplicar e receber a Calatonia e as informações sobre a base teórica deste método. Esta formação corresponde ao nível básico Calatonia I, habilitando o participante a praticar a técnica.



Calatonia is a gentle work, but very deep. The workshop I took to learn the technique validated my intentions of utilising it with my clients, as a psychotherapist. I felt confident that it could do something substantial for my clients, as it did for me. During the five-day training at Esalen, I went through a restructuring of my way of seeing and being in the world, which was substantiated in a series of dreams.
Priscila Diotto, Psychotherapist, Miami, US

Read More

In the first dream of the sequence, right after the first day of the workshop, I dreamt that I was in a house where I had been living for a long time but had just realised that the walls were old, decaying, with cracks and holes. In the next evening, I dreamt that I started to work on cleaning a house by dusting and sweeping and reorganizing and re-arranging the furniture. In my third dream I saw myself living in a simple white house which seemed pretty nice but as I looked at it from the outside I felt it needed a garden, so I hired landscapers to bring in trees, shrubs and flowers to make it beautiful.

And finally, in my fourth and last dream I had moved into a new house with my son and we felt comfortable in our new place. However, when night came, I needed to go lock up doors and windows but discovered that I did not have enough locks to put everywhere. These dreams were very meaningful to me. I realised I needed to clear the old, surround my life with beauty and bring my own nature to flourish, and let go of old defences. To me, the subtle touches allowed the numinous to enter my life, and since the workshop (2005), I have been using Calatonia as an integral part of my practice.
Priscila Diotto, Psychotherapist, Miami, US

I find Calatonia a very helpful medium to promote a safe sense of self. People affected by early developmental trauma have not been able to develop a safe sense of self and have no experience of feeling safe when surrendering to the caring touch of another person. The non-intrusive nature of Calatonia helps to achieve this: to feel safe in one’s own body and to surrender to that safety, thus promoting self-trust, as well as trust in the therapeutic relationship.
Marianne Henderson, Psychotherapist, Suffolk, UK

Read More

I would recommend that practitioners receive Calatonia regularly, as a means of self-care and of safeguarding from burnout. I was not able to organise this for myself, as I did not have a fellow practitioner living in my area to make such arrangements. So, attending training with a peer would be recommended, to further one’s awareness through both professional and personal development.

Marianne Henderson, Psychotherapist, Suffolk, UK

Anita offered our therapeutic team two Calatonia training workshops, each bespoke to the needs of our specialist psychological treatment service. The first involved teaching us the principles of Calatonia and the basic sequence and application of Calatonia. This enabled our team of psychotherapists and clinical psychologists to incorporate Calatonia into their therapeutic work with clients, which specialises in trauma healing. The second workshop two years later was more advanced. Anita helped deepen our understanding of the neurophysiological processes underlying Calatonia and taught us the practical application of more advanced subtle touch healing techniques, which we practised on each other. This further enhanced our team’s confidence in incorporating both Calatonia and Subtle Work into their psychotherapeutic work.
Claudia Herbert, Clinical Psychologist, Witney, UK

Read More

Anita’s style of teaching is very collaborative, interactive and deep. She tailored her input to our individual therapists’ needs, was able to astutely assess the level of each of their understanding, proficiency and needs in order to advance their knowledge further. Anita’s knowledge both intellectually as well as experientially of Calatonia and Subtle Touch work is profound. Her deep passion and commitment to this work interlaced with her loving sense of humour make her workshops a very engaging and deeply nourishing experience.

Claudia Herbert, Clinical Psychologist, Witney, UK

A very worthwhile and useful workshop, professionally and personally, a wonderful approach that has many applications. It had a real impact on me and was very thought provoking in terms on my own practice and how I can develop that. Learnt a lot from Anita and it has left me with many ideas for the future. Many thanks.
Ben Clayton-Jolly, Psychological Coach, Austria

Calatonia is a deep and healing modality. Anita is skilled in her teaching making it so easy to learn this subtle method and understand both the scientific background and the intuitive healing involved.
Philippa Vick, Psychotherapist, Bath, UK

I learned about Calatonia in 2002 and took a course in 2003 with Joyce Bittencourt, a former student of Sándor, who taught Calatonia in El Cerrito, California. It was there that I had my first contact and I began to read about this technique, without realizing how Calatonia would become the most necessary “subtle touch” in my husband’s (and my) life, individually and as a couple, many years later.

My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012. Since his diagnosis, we have researched in depth about available treatments and complementary therapies. One day, not knowing what else to do, in one of those moments when words or any other therapy could not help my husband feel better, Calatonia came to mind. I thought about it because of its subtle and non-invasive nature and decided to take a refresher training when the opportunity presented in 2016 to use it with my husband.

Since then, Calatonia has worked as a therapeutic tool for my husband’s condition. For him, it offers an opportunity to “go within” away from stresses or anxieties, or the pressure to learn a new modality of treatment. For me, it offers an invitation for inner contemplation – together.

Maria Eugenia Potkin, BA, Calatonia Practitioner, Malibu, US

Read More

After the refresher course, I gave daily sessions of Calatonia to my husband for a month. Since that initial month, he has had consistent sessions at least once a week.

After we started, I’ve noticed that a deeper line of communication took place between us. Calmy, my husband started to share feelings, personal observations and insights about his life situation as well as about our relationship, which he did not know how to share before. At the same time, I felt I could understand him in a clearer and more peaceful way. The words flowed more naturally between us without having to work them out as before.

Over time, I noticed changes in my husband’s daily life, his constant nausea disappeared, his appetite increased, he regained a restful sleep, a greater disposition for physical and social activities and also regained his good mood.

Calatonia continues to be part of our wellness regime and has become a two-way path, where the suggestion for a session may come from my husband or me, and regardless of that, it always benefits both of us, although I am always the therapist, not the recipient.
Maria Eugenia Potkin, BA, Calatonia Practitioner, Malibu, US