FULL LIST OF SPEAKERS
Dave Berger, MFT, LCMHC, PT, MA, SEP
Dave Berger is a psychotherapist, physical therapist, integrative bodyworker, and developer of bodywork and somatic education for trauma therapists (BASE™). Dave has been in the field of somatics for almost 40 years. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, and graduate degrees in physical therapy from Stanford University and somatic psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies.
Lourdes Billingsley has been a distance healing and counseling practitioner for 30 years. She has a master’s degree in counseling psychology, and extensive training in several energetic healing modalities. As an intermediate level SE practitioner, she is working to develop a system of healing that combines nervous system healing with energetics. She has a wealth of knowledge and direct experience with the practical applications and challenges of using long distance “touch” to heal the body’s energetic and nervous system.
Abi Blakeslee, PhD, MFT, CMT, SEP
Dr. Abi Blakeslee holds a MA in counseling and depth psychology and a PhD in clinical and somatic psychology. She is focused on the intersection between neuroscience, current trauma research, and the psychobiological principles of Somatic Experiencing. She integrates SE with clinical research, the principles of attachment, psychodynamic therapy, and somatic bodywork in her practice and teaching and has conducted original research on the role of implicit memory in SE.
Paul Briggs, MSW, SEP
Paul Briggs is a licensed clinical social worker, licensed massage therapist, and a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner. He is a seasoned clinician in emergency and wellness healthcare, working in agency, hospital, clinic, and private practice settings. A long-time activist, advocate, and therapist, Paul takes interest in finding innovative ways for bringing body-based healing opportunities to disenfranchised and marginalized people.
Amy Shoko Brown, ISP, RCST ®, SEP
Amy Shoko Brown has a MS in art therapy and trained intensively at a Zen Monastery for several decades. She is a QiGong instructor, SEP, and registered craniosacral therapist. Amy has worked with diverse populations including developmentally delayed adults, adolescent boys, hospice families, and prisoners. She specializes in helping people who have suffered from bullying, abuse, accidents, and the anxiety of climate crisis.
Michael Changaris, PsyD, SEP
Dr. Michael Changaris is chief training officer, adjunct faculty, health psychology groups lead, and clinical supervisor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, Calif. He is the author of dozens of published articles and is the past chair of the SEI Board of Directors. Dr. Changaris also leads the SEI Research Committee. He has BA and MA degrees in psychology and a PsyD in multicultural psychology.
Katherine Czyzewski, LCSW, SEP
Katherine Czyzewski holds a MSW with a concentration in occupational social work. She has 25 years of experience consulting with individuals, teams, and organizations. She is an educator and the only social worker in an all-nursing professional development department at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage and Delnor Hospitals. Her role is dedicated solely to supporting the emotional well-being of the professional caregiver.
Barbara Daniel Leppich, SEP
An aromatherapist for more than 30 years, Barbara Daniel Leppich has a particular interest in psycho-aromatherapy. She holds several qualifications in psychotherapy, is a certified grief counsellor, is specialized in trauma work, and is an SEP. Barbara has a private psychotherapy practice in Germany with a focus on trauma therapy and grief counselling, where she uses scent as a diagnostic tool as well as a supportive instrument for empowering the client.
Mina Do, based in Tkaronto (aka Toronto Canada) is available for talks and workshops that are as entertaining as they are informative. She has a decade of experience as a pleasure based sex educator, is a certified yoga instructor and works with Butterfly, the Asian Migrant Sex Worker Support Network. She is passionate about facilitating pleasure based consent and sex education training that is trauma informed and counters stigma against sex workers.
Ana do Valle, OTR, SEP
Ana do Valle is the clinical director and supervisor for the Soma Healing Center in Boulder, Co. She specializes in working with the social nervous system, with a focus on addressing the art of integrating sensory information to create embodiment, empowerment, and coherence in our capacity to “experience” the other and ourselves. Ana works with birth and medical trauma, emotional regulation, and trauma resulting from cultural fragmentation. She teaches clinicians trauma and healing in and outside the U.S.
Edith “Edie” Eger, PhD
Dr. Edie Eger is a clinical psychologist, lecturer, Holocaust survivor, and prolific author. She holds a faculty appointment at UCSD and has a clinical practice in LaJolla, Calif. She has appeared on numerous television programs, including CNN and the Oprah Winfrey Show, and was the primary subject of a holocaust documentary that appeared on Dutch National Television.
Dr. Derya Eryiğit has a master’s and PhD in counselor education. Her research and dissertation focused on the family’s influence on the formation of delusional beliefs. She is a research assistant at Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey in the department of guidance and psychological counseling. Her research interests include family therapy, transgenerational trauma, delusions, and delusional beliefs in the general population.
Boaz Feldman is an experienced clinical therapist, trainer, and researcher with expertise in mindfulness, compassion, and integrative care for improving mental resilience. She is currently a community-centered resiliency and empowerment trainer with Sanchild, a Geneva-based nonprofit working in Bosnia and Serbia. Boaz has a BS in psychology from the University of Derby, UK, and a MS in integrated clinical psychology from the University of Geneva.
Info coming soon
Having accumulated more than 30 years of work in the field of Clinical Psychology/Body Orientation Sonia Gômes has a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She has additional degrees in Structural Rolfing® and Rolfing Movement.
Sonia is an SE International Faculty Member teaching the SE Professional Training in Brazil, Europe, the US and Asia. She has also designed and currently teaches training programs that are complementary to the SE training. Sonia is the Director of the European Educational Committee for candidate SE trainers, and is also Director for International and National Affairs and a founder member of the Brazilian SE Association (ABT – Associação Brasileira do Trauma).
Laurence Heller, PhD, SEP
Dr. Laurence Heller has a PhD in psychology and has more than 30 years of experience as a teacher and clinician in the field of somatic psychotherapy. He co-founded the Gestalt Institute of Denver and the Rocky Mountain Psychotherapy Institute, where he trained hundreds of mental health professionals. He speaks several languages and for the past 15 years has conducted SE trainings in 12 countries and throughout the United States.
Lekha Kanchinadam is an educator and organizer based in Plainsboro, New Jersey. She has 5 years of experience teaching in public schools at a variety of grade levels and has a Masters in Special Education. While teaching, she also served as a union representative for her union. Lekha is currently co-organizing a mutual aid group that is redistributing resources from her family and friends to other community members in need.
Nirdosh Kohra, MD
A native of Mexico City, Dr. Nirdosh Kohra graduated from Anahuac University of Mexico. He is also the founder of the Bodhi Medicine School. Dr. Kohra runs a holistic medical practice in Mexico, Greece, and Brazil and offers awareness-intensive and primal retreats, meditation retreats, and Osho meditative therapies.
Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. After graduating from Dartmouth College in Asian Studies in 1967 he joined the Peace Corps and worked on tropical medicine teams in the Mekong River valley. He met and studied as a monk under the Buddhist master Ven. Returning to the United States, Jack co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with fellow meditation teachers Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein and the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. Over the years, Jack has taught in centers and universities worldwide, led International Buddhist Teacher meetings, and worked with many of the great teachers of our time. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a father, husband and activist.
Info coming soon.
Donald (Del) Laverdure
Del Laverdure is an enrolled citizen of the Crow Nation, a member of the Ties the Bundle Clan, and a descendant of the Little Shell Band of Chippewa Indians. Del is an active participant in indigenous and intergenerational ceremonies including sweat lodge, vision quest, smudging, giveaways, spiritual naming, public speaking, tobacco pipe, animal and plant medicine, honoring sacred sites, medicine wheel, spiritual offerings, four elements and four directions. As an indigenous person, Del’s experience and work is born out of his lifelong relationships with indigenous families and communities and healing from intergenerational trauma.
Over his professional career, Del has served many tribal nations in a wide variety of capacities including testifying and advocating for tribal legislation in Congress, guiding indigenous communities through federal agencies to obtain much needed resources, and navigating intergovernmental relations at all levels on a wide spectrum of indigenous issues. Del has served as legal counsel for over two decades, held a U.S. presidential appointment from 2009-2012, held numerous tribal judgeships, and was an assistant professor of law. Del earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1995 and his Juris Doctor in 1999.
Amie Leigh, MBA
Amie's work deals with public advocacy and program design with a strong emphasis on creating resources and partnerships for dealing with community-wide crises including disaster and social unrest. For 10+ years prior to joining SEI, Amie conducted workshops, seminars, trainings, and retreats with a passion for any and all subject matter that causes humans to thrive. Her academic training and professional background in large-scale public conflict mediation morphed into disaster crisis intervention when she moved to a region frequently beset by disasters and couldn’t help but feel the social costs of long term community wide distress. She experienced, first hand, the impact and undressed concerns that occur in those incidents and began to integrate modalities and wellness interventions to create resiliency resources, founding a disaster relief training organization prior to going to SEI to curate programs that serve public health concerns, such as Crisis Stabilization.
Dafna Lender, LCSW, SEP
Dafna Lender is an international trainer and supervisor for practitioners who work with children and families. She is a certified trainer and supervisor/consultant in both Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). Dafna’s expertise is drawn from 25 years of working with families in many settings: at-risk after school programs, therapeutic foster care, in-home crisis stabilization, residential care, and private practice.
Peter A. Levine, PhD
Dr. Peter A. Levine is the founder and developer of Somatic Experiencing®. He holds doctorate degrees in medical biophysics and in psychology. During his thirty five-year study of stress and trauma, Dr. Levine has contributed to a variety of scientific and popular publications. He is the author of the bestselling book “Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma,” “In an Unspoken Voice,” and “Trauma and Memory: Brain and Body in a Search for the Living Past.”
Ian MacNaughton, PhD, SEP
Dr. Ian MacNaughton has been a teacher and practitioner of trauma resolution, mind-body, and family systems psychotherapy for 50 years and is a Bodynamic Analyst and trainer. He has worked with SE since the early 1970s and is Levine Legacy faculty with the Ergos Institute of Somatic Education. His practice includes a high percentage of executives, medical practitioners, therapists, and others in the helping professions, both for psychotherapy and supervision.
Resmaa Menakem, SEP
Resmaa Menakem, New York Times bestselling author of My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, is a visionary Justice Leadership coach, organizational strategist, and master trainer. Resmaa is a leading voice in today's conversation on racialized trauma.
Resmaa successfully coaches, trains, and speaks to a diversified array of Justice Leaders, community activists, police leaders, non-profit executives, CEOs, collegiate and professional athletic directors/managers, healthcare professionals, educators, government and judicial leaders, and the list goes on. Resmaa helps leaders examine and begin to heal the trauma of racialization that thwarts emergence. He coaches leaders on how to do the embodied work to gain the cultural maturity to lead and build community within themselves, their groups, organizations, and movements.
Rachel Melvald, LCSW, SEP
Rachel Melvald’s private practice, Psychitecture, provides individual, couples, and family therapy using an eclectic orientation of cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and body/sensory treatments. She has also been a psychiatric social worker for the County of Los Angeles, Department of Mental Health. Rachel has both a BA in psychology and MSW from the University of Michigan.
Cara Miller, PhD, SEP
Dr. Cara Miller is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Maryland and Washington, D.C. She has worked with young adults and adults across the lifespan in higher education, counseling centers, and inpatient settings. She is bilingual in American Sign Language and English. Her training, research, and clinical experience includes the study, teaching, and application of evidence-based psychotherapy practices, including SE.
Alanis Morissette is an internationally known recording artist, wife, mother, and mental health advocate. She is an ardent supporter of SE and has known Dr. Peter Levine for a decade, advocating for SE’s benefits on her podcasts and website.
Glyndie Nickerson, PhD, SEP
Dr. Glyndie Nickerson is a faculty member at SEI and teaches the beginning and intermediate years of the SE training, as well as supporting SE students and graduates through group and individual consultations. Dr. Nickerson also teaches workshops on SE and spiritual practice, co-regulation, and grief. She supports awareness of collective and personal trauma due to cultural, racial, political, class, sexual orientation, and gender difference as part of the healing process.
Efu Nyaki, MEd, SEP
Sister Euphrasia “Efu” Nyaki is a body-oriented therapist, trainer, family constellation facilitator, and an international speaker on holistic healing. Originally from Tanzania, Efu lives and works in Brazil. She is a founder of two NGOs, including the Afya Holistic Healing Center for Women, where she is currently the coordinator training women in holistic healing methods. Efu teaches the SE training in Brazil.
Sergio de Oliveira, SEP
Sergio is an SE Faculty member and teaches Beginning and Intermediate levels of the SE Professional Training in Brazil.
Neslihan Arici Ozcan, PhD
Dr. Neslihan Ozcan received a PhD from Sakarya University in Turkey. She has extensively studied PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression, personality disorders, and using an integral somatic approach. Dr Ozcan worked as a clinical psychologist for nine years at Medipol Hospital in Istanbul and currently is an associate professor in the department of social work at Medeniyet University in Istanbul. She speaks frequently on resilience, effective family communications, stress, and conflict management.
Zhayra Palma, SEP
Zhayra Palma has a BA in expressive arts and integral learning from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She has worked extensively in the areas of sexual violence, violence towards women of color in the sex industry, and the intersection of racism, stigma, and isolation as trauma for sex workers. She is also a certified massage practitioner and sexual health educator.
Elisa Peterson bio
Laura Piche, LPC, SEP
Laura Piche is a member of the therapeutic team at the Soma Healing Center in Boulder, Co. She assists with the Mosaic of Healing workshop, provides online and group supervision to SSP practitioners, and mentors professionals integrating the SEGAN model into their practice. She is also a staff member at the Spanish Clinic in Denver. She has a MA in counseling psychology. Her academic studies emphasized play therapy and child and adolescent counseling.
Liane Santos Pereira Pinto, MS, SEP
Liane Pinto has been working as a clinical psychologist since 1990. She works with a diverse array of traditional and complementary healing practices, integrating psychotherapy and focal psychotherapy as well as psycho-traumatology. Liane also specialize in working with kidnapping and armed robbery victims and psycho-pedagogy. She holds a masters degree in public health, has been an neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) instructor since 2001, and is a personal and professional coach. Liane teaches a post-graduate course in Psycho-traumatology at the Jungian Institute of Bahia, Brazil where she also teaches the Beginning level of the SE Professional Training. She has presented at conferences and taught workshops and classes in Brazil and Argentina.
Betsy Polatin, MFA, SEP
Betsy Polatin, MFA, SEP, has been teaching for more than 40 years and is currently a master lecturer at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts. Her background includes movement education and performance, as well as music, dance, yoga, meditation, trauma resolution, and the broader healing arts. She is an internationally recognized breathing/movement specialist and best-selling author.
Diane Poole Heller, PhD, SEP
Dr. Diane Poole Heller is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and expert in the field of child and adult attachment theory, as well as trauma resolution. Her expertise in trauma healing has benefitted survivors and families of 9/11 and the Columbine shootings, making her a highly sought-after consultant, speaker, and presenter for organizations worldwide. As senior faculty for SEI, she taught SE training internationally for more than 25 years.
Stephen Porges, PhD
Dr. Stephen Porges is distinguished university scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium in the Kinsey Institute. He is professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and professor emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He is the originator of the Polyvagal Theory, which emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral, mental, and health problems related to traumatic experiences. Dr. Porges has published 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers in numerus disciplines.
Sarit Rogers, SEP, RYT
Info coming soon
Gina Ross, MFCC, SEP
Gina Ross is founder and president of the International Trauma-Healing Institutes in the U.S. and in Israel and the co-founder of the Israeli Psycho-trauma Treatment Center at Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem. She is an internationally recognized senior faculty member/trainer in SE. Gina introduced SE to Israel and the Middle East. A pioneer in understanding collective trauma, Gina is an expert on the impact of trauma on conflict between groups or nations.
Richard Schwartz, PhD
Dr. Richard Schwartz began his career as a family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. From his work with his patients there, he developed the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model in the early 1980s. IFS is now evidence-based and has become a widely used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. Dr. Schwartz is on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry.
Info coming soon
Michele Solloway, PhD, SEP
Dr. Michele Solloway is an accomplished researcher, grant writer, program developer, and policy analyst with expertise in child and family health, vulnerable populations, and ACEs/trauma informed systems. Dr. Solloway has been senior scientist/researcher at numerous organizations and universities. She has BA, MPA, MA, and PhD degrees and currently has a private practice in Baltimore, MD.
Joshua Sylvae has been involved in Somatic Experiencing since 2004. His study of nervous system regulation has incorporated inquiry into many disparate fields including ecology, philosophy, and neurobiology. He holds an M.A. in clinical psychology (with an emphasis in somatic psychology), a PhD in Higher Learning and Social Change, and is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist. Joshua’s clinical practice is grounded in SE, and he also integrates psychodynamic perspectives, mindfulness approaches, a systemic orientation, and a good deal of humor in his work
Atira Tan, SEP
Atira Tan is a senior yoga and meditation teacher, expressive art therapist, trauma specialist in sexual abuse recovery, women’s health therapist, author, and public speaker. She has worked for over a decade internationally in community organizations and international development as a consultant, clinician, and supervisor, as well as an educator in community settings. Atira has run numerous women’s health and trauma program in the rural communities, brothels, and slums of Asia.
Jenifer Trivelli, MS, RYT
Jenifer Trivelli has more than a decade of experience working with families and teaching tools for resilience to young people. She is the author of two books for kids and teens, and teaches her blend of neuroscience, attachment theory, and somatic practices for trauma resolution to educators and organizations that serve children. She has a BS in human development and family science and MS in counseling, both from Oregon State University.
Bessel Van der Kolk, MD
Bessel A. van der Kolk M.D. is a pioneering clinician, researcher, and teacher in the area of posttraumatic stress. His work uniquely integrates developmental, neurobiological, psychodynamic, somatic, and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment.
He is the founder of the Trauma Center (now the Trauma Research Foundation) in Boston, MA; past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. He regularly teaches at universities and hospitals around the world. Visit besselvanderkolk.com for more information.
Chris Walling, PsyD, C-IAYT, SEP
Dr. Chris Walling is a licensed clinical psychologist, researcher, and an active leader in the biobehavioral sciences. His work in academic medicine has included the administration of multidisciplinary leadership teams in hematology-oncology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and geriatric psychiatry at some of the top academic medical centers in the United States. He is a clinical supervisor at the Wright Institute of Los Angeles, a clinical associate at the New Center for Psychoanalysis, and is a clinical research fellow at the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium located at Indiana University.
Kate White, SEP
Kate White has more than 25 years working with maternity, prenatal, and perinatal health. She has been lead developer and instructor for online and live prenatal and perinatal education and somatic healing programs. She has a private practice supporting families with education and therapy for prenatal difficulty, birth, and postpartum attachment. Kate has a BA in speech communication from UNC Chapel Hill and a MA in performance studies from Northwestern University.
Alexandra Whitney, PhD, SEP
Dr. Alexandra Whitney is the retreat director for Returning Home, an intensive SE trauma healing retreat for veterans displaying PTSD symptoms. She also has a private psychotherapy practice in Boulder, Co., for PTSD, substance abuse treatment, chronic pain and stress management, nervous system regulation, and life transitions. She has a BA from Antioch University, MA in clinical psychology, and PhD in east-west psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies.