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Best Somatic Coaching Certification Programs of 2021

by | May 18, 2021 | Best Ofs, Somatic Coaching

Somatic coaching (coaching work that focuses on using the body to shift patterns, and create change in one’s life) is a growing industry. Many traditional life coaching and executive coaching courses include some amount of body focus–this review is for certification programs that fully focus on somatic work.

Somatic coaching or “Embodied Leadership” is a powerful approach to creating transformation in clients.

We recommend that you pair your somatic training with a more traditional coaching certification or supplemental courses, so that you can work with clients from both perspectives.

To begin, here are our top picks by category, followed by in-depth reviews of each program:


  • Best Somatic Coaching Program: The Strozzi Institute
  • Best All-Around Somatic Coaching Program: 
  • Best New Coaching Program: 

 1. The Strozzi Institute


Strozzi Institute is the original architect of embodied leadership. Our somatic methodology, embodied learning, offers a concrete way for leaders, coaches, and teams to actualize their intentions. It has been fine tuned over more than four decades of training leaders to produce reliable, sustained change. 


Standard Tuition, $11,950; Early-Bird, $10,950.

-Optional ICF Accreditation: $2,500

Program Length:

4 Coaching Intensives, 4 days each, over an 8-month period.


 Petaluma, CA, 2-hours north of San Francisco.

Pros and Cons:


-Led by Richard Strozzi-Heckler, the Strozzi Insititute is one of the founders of Embodied Leadership, and has worked with corporate clients including HP, Visa, NASA, UnitedWay, and more. 

-The Strozzi Institute includes a range of master coaches and body movement experts to help you see different approaches and perspectives to embodied coaching.


-The Strozzi Institute is primarily run at the Strozzi Institute “dojo” in Petaluma, CA, and not currently offered at other locations.

Watch this video to learn more:

Strozzi Institute overview

Virtual Offering?

Strozzi Institute’s core certification program remains in-person, that said they offer a variety of intensives and smaller online workshops that are online which you can find here.

2. Somatic Experiencing International


Somatic Experiencing is a methodology developed by Peter Levine a Body Psychotherapist, International Teacher, and author of “Waking the Tiger.” Somatic Experiencing focuses on healing trauma through the body and is primarily used in psychotherapy, and is used as a powerful, supplemental tool, by some coaches.



Program Length:

Certification takes place in 8-modules (36 days total) that are completed over the course of 3-years.

Pros and Cons:


-Somatic Experiencing was founded in 1994, and now touts over 120,000 trained practitioners in over 30 countries. The organization includes a staff of over 1,200 facilitators, researchers, administrators and more. SE is a well-run, global organization.

-SE training is offered in over 30 countries. Learn more here

-SE’s 3-year training program reflects the depth of what SE offers. 


-The three timeline to certification may not be appealing to new coaches, who want to get certified as part of building out your coaching practice.

Virtual Offerings?

Principles of SE (the introductory course) is delivered online, while the full certification requires being in a city where SE is taught for the 8-modules that you wish to complete.

3. The Trauma Research Foundation


Led by Dr. Bassel van der Kolk, author of “The Body Keeps the Score,” the Trauma Research Foundation offers an in-depth, 7-month, online course, taught by leading neuroscience and body-based trauma experts, to teach cutting edge approaches for using the body to treat PTSD and trauma, all of which can also be used by coaches, to help clients heal.




Program Length:

-7-month online course, with weekly content



-Both a pro and a con, this course is the most academic program on this list. It is taught in a manner similar to an online university, with weekly lectures, readings, and assignments. The positive is the academic rigor and depth of the materials.

-The program is fully online and relatively inexpensive compared to certification programs.

-Taught by some of the premier experts, professors, and researchers in this field.


-This is a certificate program not a certification program. It focuses on teaching an academic understanding of the research and neuroscience behind body-based approaches to trauma therapy.

-Designed for therapists who work in trauma and PTSD, not coaches. As a coach you will need to cater this knowledge to your own practice/work.

Virtual Offerings:

Yes, entirely.

Other Somatic Coaching Programs and Tools:

Somatic therapy has grown in its research, understanding and acceptance over the last two years. While coaches have always known that the body is a critical part of connecting with clients and supporting them through a myriad of challenges, dedicated somatic coaching and embodied leadership programs are still relatively new. Below are some additional recommendations that will help you on your somatic coaching exploration.


  • Embright Coaching is run by Amanda Blake, author of the Body=Brain book, and runs a 6-month coach training that bridges the gap between a shorter online course and full certification program. 
  • Read our “Best Mindfulness Certification Courses” to look into courses that focus on breath work, a key component of embodied leadership.

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