BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MICHELE SOLLOWAY, PHD, MPA, SEP, LMT/BCMBT
Michele Solloway, PhD, MPA, SEP, DBC, LMT/BCMBT, is a national expert in understanding how trauma impacts our lives, with a focus on how to prevent trauma and heal from it. She has integrated various areas of her research, practice, and community work to focus on child and family health, health care for marginal and vulnerable populations, and trauma reduction/resilience building She has over 30 years’ experience in neuroscience, health services, and policy research with a more recent focus on childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Dr. Solloway is also a nationally certified transformational life coach and healing arts practitioner with training in Somatic Experiencing™, polarity, craniosacral, and massage therapies, and energy medicine. In this capacity she maintains a private practice. She is also Chair of the SEI Board of Directors, an ACEs master trainer for the state of Maryland, a member of the Maryland State Trauma-Informed Care Commission, and a member of the Maryland Essentials for Childhood & State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect.
Michele's mission: My mission is to expand the reach of SE and SEI, improve knowledge about and accessibility to SE services around the world, build the scientific evidence for SE, and be an ambassador for SE and SEI to the public through leadership, research, education, direct services, and participation in public, non-profit, and governmental activities to create trauma-informed and responsive systems of care. I seek to continually grow and enhance my capacity for self-reflection, self-regulation, compassion, presence, and gratitude.
REBECCA STAHL JD, LLM, SEP
Past Board Chair
Rebecca M. Stahl is the Executive Director of the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Rebecca previously represented children in child welfare cases in Los Angeles, County California and in Tucson, Arizona. Rebecca was a Fulbright Scholar in New Zealand and earned a Master of Law degree from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand and studied the role of lawyers for children in family court cases. Rebecca has presented at a variety of international conferences focused on children’s rights and family law on topics ranging from the role of lawyers for children to trauma. Rebecca coauthored, Representing Children in Dependency and Family Law: Beyond the Law, a book focused on the psychological issues lawyers for children need to understand to represent their child clients and has published articles on the role of children’s representation, including a recent one on trauma, published in October 2020 in Family Court Review. Rebecca is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and came to Somatic Experiencing from a background in yoga and seeing trauma manifestations every day in court. Rebecca melds SE and law and teaches trainings around the world to help lawyers navigate trauma manifestations in themselves and in their clients. Rebecca is a non-cishet Jew who believes in the power of community as the focal point for growth and healing.
Rebecca's mission: To help grow a larger community that shares the language of Somatic Experiencing with each other and the world, my mission is to be present, to listen, and to hold a large container for the SEI community with wholeheartedness, openness, integrity, and inquisitiveness.
SANGEETA FERNANDES, PHD
Sangeeta Fernandes, PhD, is the director of the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives, serving a specialized group of 4,000 practice executives and physicians within the San Francisco-based international association of 30,000 ophthalmologists. In her previous work, Dr. Fernandes specifically studied mental health and sexual trauma among marginalized populations, including at risk for HIV. Her work focused on finding pathways to provide risk education and inspire health efficacy in populations challenged by socio-cultural and economic inequity. She has over 15 years of experience working in and with academic and research institutions in international public health. Sangeeta has begun Somatic Experiencing® training. She holds deep respect for the mission of the Foundation for Human Enrichment and the Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute and hopes to apply her experience in association management in service of furthering this mission.
Sangeeta's mission: To use my skills and experience in association management, membership growth and strategic planning to support the mission of SEI in service of a global and diverse community.
SERGIO OCAMPO, BEng., MA, LMFT, SEP
Sergio Ocampo, BEng., MA, LMFT, SEP, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Los Angeles, CA. He has served as an SE Assistant since 2017.
Prior to his involvement and completion of Somatic Experiencing training, Sergio worked and studied internationally for nearly 10 years. He received a scholarship to study and restore Renaissance art in Florence, Italy, and later moved into employment opportunities in the petroleum and automation industries, enabling him to travel and work in other parts of Europe as well as Africa. Sergio is fluent in Italian, Dutch, Spanish and English. Upon returning to America, Sergio joined the financial services industry in roles as a stockbroker and financial advisor. Later, he created his own business enterprise specializing in media and electronics for the sports and film industries.
CARMEN CASADO, JD, RYT, P-SEP
Carmen is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, wellness coach, and yoga therapist. She offers private integrative somatic therapy and wellness coaching sessions for stress disorders and trauma resolution, co-facilitates wellness retreats, and teaches group yoga classes. In addition to the SEI Board, Carmen has served on the Board of the Reciprocity Foundation, an organization that offers holistic support to marginalized communities, since 2012. She practiced law for more than 16 years and is a member of the California and New York State Bars. Carmen is an eco-enthusiast and is passionate about equitable and sustainable nutrition and lifestyle. She is fluent in Spanish, conversant in French, and has lived in four countries.
Carmen's mission: My mission is to show up with authenticity, curiosity, and kindness, to zealously support and strengthen this organization and all who are a part of it in moving forward and evolving in its invaluable mission to share SE globally.
YADIRA VELAZQUEZ, MD
Yadira Velazquez, MD is board-certified in neurology and clinical neurophysiology with expertise in neuromuscular medicine and functional neurological disorders (FND). Dr. Velazquez was born in Cuba and received her medical degree from the University of Barcelona, in Spain. She completed her neurology residency at Cooper University Hospital/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and her fellowship at Hershey Penn State Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Upon graduating, she became the director of the electromyography laboratory at Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Delaware, and later founded Science & Shamanism, an international movement that uses the philosophy of nature to promote healing and self-growth. Yadira is passionate about the mind-body-emotional-spiritual connection and about the intersection of scientific research with ancient and holistic methods of healing. Her research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals.
Yadira's mission: My mission is to utilize my skills and knowledge in the medical sciences, combined with my devotion to mother nature, to support SE as a therapeutic modality to heal trauma and associated conditions, and as a way of living and feeling, for the benefit of all beings, and while doing so, to assist my peers and colleagues, in their own journeys of healing, self-growth and self-discovery.
DEFNE ERDUR, MA, PHD
Defne Erdur is an artist, therapist, and researcher trained in contemporary dance, sociology, intermodel expressive art therapy, meditation, and Somatic Experiencing®. She is also a certified body therapist actively practicing a multitude of techniques towards a deeper understanding of the body as a bio-psycho-social whole. Defne has a BA and MA in sociology and a PhD in contemporary dance. She works with different populations, ranging from professional and amateur movers to therapists and the general public. In recent years she has prioritized working with LGBTQ communities, women, and migrant children and youth. Defne is an assistant for SE training in Turkey and Romania. She previously worked for WINPeace, Beyond Borders, and MENA Salam Fellowship towards peace building in the Mediterranean and Middle East regions.
Defne's mission: My mission is to “walk the talk” and make each constituent of the diverse SEI family feel included, heard and valued by listening, holding space and containing very different opinions as I work toward making SE available in distant parts of the world and in communities that need it the most.
R. SCOTT PALMER, PHD, SEP
Scott Palmer is a licensed psychologist practicing in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Scott has a doctorate in human services, for which he examined consensus decision-making in groups, and a doctorate in clinical psychology, for which he examined using transpersonal psychology to explore both spiritual experiences cross-culturally in schizophrenia, as well as the differences between psychotic experiences and spiritual emergent experiences. Scott previously spent more than 15 years managing county-wide mental health programs that served economically disadvantaged and culturally diverse youth and families. In this role, he provided program evaluation, grant writing and administration, grant application review; led a culture-based wraparound program; and served as clinical director a for a pre- and post-doctoral psychology internship program. Scott has also performed more than 600 court-ordered forensic psychological evaluations while serving as an expert witness in child dependency, juvenile justice, family, and conservatorship court matters. Prior to becoming a psychologist, Scott was a classical cellist and a massage therapist.
Scott's mission: As a Somatic Experiencing® International Board Member, my role is to help facilitate SEI and all its stakeholders flow together in a smooth and healing manner that brings SE to communities most in need. My path towards bringing this to fruition is by helping myself and all I come in contact with inquisitively discover, lovingly accept, and joyfully express our essences.