How Trauma-Sensitive Yoga fared better than CPT

Published on April 25, 2023

In 2021, a 5 year RCT found that Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) produced quicker symptom improvement, a higher retention of participants and yielded an equally sustained effect compared with cognitive processing therapy (CPT) with female veterans who had experienced military sexual trauma related PTSD. These results further validated an earlier RCT and several other studies, showing that the Trauma-Sensitive Yoga program, TCTSY, was an effective adjunct treatment for complex trauma and PTSD, that could also be used as a monotherapy.

Psychologists and mental health clinicians, as well as health providers and therapists can be trained to facilitate TCTSY without undertaking a separate yoga teacher training - 20 hour training workshops act as an introduction to TCTSY, enabling participants to utilise the principles, and some direct practices of the TCTSY program, for their client's immediate benefit. 20 hour training workshops also enable health professionals to meet one key prerequisite into further training via the 300hr TCTSY International Certification, if they so choose. 20 hour workshops are facilitated across Asia usually in June and July each year in person, and are offered to health professionals as well as to yoga and movement teachers and educators. 

We know that Yoga has been around for thousands of years, yet combining psychotherapy and yoga, placing yoga in clinical spaces is more of a recent practice. Not all yoga is helpful for psychological trauma, however TCTSY is one program designed for complex trauma and PTSD that has been successfully researched for over 20 years and is used in therapeutic spaces in over 40 countries. 

Based on the hatha yoga, participants practise postures and breathing in a trauma-informed way to maximise participant's experiences of empowerment, a positive relationship to their own body, noticing their internal experiences, and building interoceptive capacities, so that a sense of agency, a felt sense of your own body, as well as yourself, is developed.

Invitational and interoceptive language is used by the TCTSY facilitator, participant and facilitator practise yoga shapes and breathing together in a shared authentic experience, participant choice-making is emphasised as well as being in the present moment, and participants are not coerced in any way by the facilitator as the power resides in the participant, enabling them to restore their connection to their body and mind often comprised by their expereince of trauma. 

To find out more, connect with the author Kristen Pringle, TCTSY Trainer who will be delivering in-person and hybrid online/in-person 20hr TCTSY Foundation Workshops in Singapore and Hong Kong in June and July 2023, or go to 

Category(s):Abuse / Abuse Survivor Issues, Addictions, Career Development and Change, Health Psychology, Mental Health in Asia, Mental Health Professions, Mindfulness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD

Written by:

Kristen Pringle, Clinician, Mental Health Counsellor, OT, Yoga Therapist

Kristen Pringle is the Director of the Mindful Movement Centre and is an endorsed mental health clinician, occupational therapist, yoga therapist, sought after international organisational consultant, clinical supervisor and speaker, and a University Teaching Associate at Monash University.

The Mindful Movement Centre provides an integrated, holistic, trauma-informed and evidence-based service to support professionals and organisations working with complexity.


Kristen Pringle, Clinician, Mental Health Counsellor, OT, Yoga Therapist belongs to The Mindful Movement Centre in Australia