A Letter from SEI Director of Training and Faculty Relations Kristin Velazquez Kenefick

by | Feb 7, 2022 | POINT OF VIEW


Dear Global Somatic Experiencing Community,

From January 21-24, I had the pleasure of attending my first Faculty Forum since starting at SEI last year. A hybrid event, some of us were in-person together in California, while many others joined in on Zoom. I’m told it was our best attendance—by far!—to-date. With 41 members of the faculty, and several faculty mentees, we were able to dive deeply into important topics ranging from Transgenerational trauma to neuroscience, and the rich conversations that resulted will lay the foundation for future changes at SEI and in the SE curriculum. In a constantly evolving, global world, we recognize the importance of bringing these current issues into the curriculum.

It was so wonderful to have attendees joining us from North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, across many time zones and several languages. For the first time ever, the entire event was available live in both English and Portuguese for our Brazilian representatives. Thank you to Mariana Raymondo for her skilled and SE-informed interpretation! I hope we can add even more languages at future events.

The first day opened with a welcome and updates from Marv Tuttle, SEI's executive director, and Rebecca Stahl, SEP, SEI's board chair. They shared current strategic goals of SEI and emphasized how important our global partnerships are in achieving the vision we all share to bring SE to all corners of the globe. It was an inspiring way to start our event off.

The majority of the Faculty Forum focused on curriculum revision. In October, the faculty curriculum committee recruited global faculty to serve on one of five subcommittees: Transgenerational Trauma, Systemic Trauma, Developmental Trauma, Embodiment and Neuroscience. The Transgenerational Trauma Workgroup led a powerful conversation about the way that trauma is inherited and experienced–and can also be healed. Other presentations included developmental and complex trauma, systemic trauma, embodiment, and neuroscience. After each discussion, faculty went into breakout rooms for discussion and feedback with faculty peers around the globe, and now the curriculum committee will take their input and notes and develop recommendations for updates to the SE training curriculum. Our goal is to roll out revised curriculum for Beginning and Intermediate modules in 2023, and I look forward to sharing more about that with you as the work progresses.

Dr. Peter Levine joined the in-person participants for lunch one day, and then joined the Zoom call to take questions from attendees. His presence and participation are always a highlight of events! On the final day of the forum, Dr. Levine and Dr. Stephen Porges joined Dr. Chris Walling, SEP for a moderated discussion. Faculty submitted thought provoking questions for the discussion. Dr. Walling's research on Polyvagal Theory is due to be published in the coming months–stay tuned for information about his findings.

I heard so much great feedback from those who attended. They tell me this Faculty Forum felt more global, more connected, and more fruitful than ever. We are so grateful to all who joined us and extend extra gratitude to our workgroups for their work and preparation; to Sergio Luis Oliveira e Silva, SEP for reporting on ABT's impressive work in Brazil; to Urs Rentsch, MD, SEP for updating us on EASE's extensive work in Europe; to Magna Deva (Su-Chen) Tung, MA, SEP for joining from Taiwan (during the middle of the night!) to share the growing work there; to Gina Ross, MFCT, SEP for sharing information on SE in Israel; to Drs. Levine, Porges, and Walling for their contributions to our learning and discussion; and, of course, to our SEI team who made this event possible. We're already looking forward to next January's Faculty Forum in Cologne, Germany!

With gratitude,
Kristin Velazquez Kenefick, PsyD, P-SEP, TIYT