Addressing the New York Times Article: A Message from the Interim Executive Director

by | Jun 4, 2023 | NEWS

Dear Global Somatic Experiencing Community,


As many of you have seen, there was a recent article in the NY Times magazine regarding Somatic Experiencing entitled, “Want to Fix Your Mind, Let Your Body Talk.” I have spoken to many of you in the SE community about this article, and I wanted to write to share my thoughts about how it can impact SE generally and Somatic Experiencing International.


Not surprisingly, in a community this large, there has been a varied response to the article. Some folks have found it to be a wonderful way to bring SE to more people, while others feel that it misrepresented us and who we are and what SE is. Like so much in media, someone had a story they wanted to tell, and that story missed big pieces and shared some others. But, without a doubt, more people know about SE today than they did two weeks ago, and that is important.


From that place of new recognition, we can also tell our story. Never before have there been as many people interested in SE and other embodied modalities. Thus, more people are going to be listening when we talk about the benefits of SE. What we know from our decades of experience as an organization and as an international community made up of tens of thousands of people is that SE works for a lot of people. Not only do we all very likely have our own stories about how SE has helped us or changed us, we likely have friends, family, and clients with similar stories. This is why so many people talk about SE as though it can solve everything. It is not, however, a panacea. Nothing is. But the fact it is not a panacea does not mean that SE and the people who use it cannot make a difference in the world.


Many times during the past 5 years I have thought about what it means to be part of a global community dedicated to healing trauma in all the various ways it arises. I always come back to us doing it together. No single person, no single organization, no single modality even, is going to be able to do anything alone. But together, we can make an impact. Thus, from my perspective, what this recent media exposure allows us to do is to come together to tell the story we want to tell, and we can tell it with the depth and nuance and care that it deserves.


So, let’s tell our stories. Share them with us at SEI so we can share them with the world. Let us lift up your voices. Specific testimonials about why SE, about why this community, about why healing happens in the body can change lives. SEI is also going to continue to provide resources to the public through webinars, resources, and toolkits. SEI is going to continue to provide scholarships. SEI is going to continue to support research. As a nonprofit, our vision is to transform lives by healing trauma. We do this by coming together and sharing our mission with the world.


Since the day I started my SE training in 2017, I have heard the same story – everyone has the potential to benefit from SE. And how people benefit is going to look different. But the more we keep talking about the power of this work, while acknowledging it cannot solve everything, the better able we are to continue to make a difference one nervous system at a time.


I know there are lots of varied responses to this exposure, and in a community this large, they are all welcome. Together, we can continue to share what makes SE and our global community so strong and able to do good work. I am honored to share this journey with you, and I am honored that we can continue to do this good work together.


With deep gratitude,


Rebecca Stahl