ISSUES, QUESTIONS, AND ANSWERS
SEI is committed to listening to our community and addressing your concerns and questions about our organization. We believe in transparency and two-way communication.
You asked – we answered.
In June 2020, SEI held our first Town Hall to discuss issues our community was focused on and had questions or concerns about – our leadership, curriculum, lack of diversity, sensitivity to cultural issues, and the origins of Somatic Experiencing®. More than 200 people participated on Zoom and many more joined on Facebook Live. We received more than 125 questions and comments during the Town Hall and afterwards on our firstname.lastname@example.org email inbox. We were able to answer some of those questions during the Town Hall. We’ve highlighted, on a separate page, questions and answers around common themes and issues at that time.
Since then, SEI has held four more Town Halls to continue our conversation among the SE community. We appreciate the participation of all of you who have joined on our Town Halls. We hope you will review the information below, which we addressed on our June 2020 Town Hall. We continue to focus on your concerns, issues, and interests in our Town Halls. If you have additional questions or comments, please email: email@example.com
We are listening.
We heard you on underrepresented voices, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities. We began our response by adding a new section to our website with Diversity and Anti-Oppression Resources and add to it as new and helpful resources are discovered. Most importantly, we are working hard to address your questions on the topics at the Town Hall. We will continue to add questions and answers in the future.
We are planning.
We began new initiatives and established new advisory boards to better inform the organization. We had a Board election and have a new chair and a new director. We finalized a new Code of Ethics and established an independent Ethics Committee. And we have begun a significant update of our SE curriculum with the guidance and leadership of our Curriculum Committee. We had our financials independently audited and released a report in late 2020. We also plan to work with Dr. Peter Levine on a “mini-history” project that delves into the origins of SE and his development of it. Please review our timeline below for a status update on the many things underway.
We are acting.
Because we don't intend to lose the moment.
Moving Ahead and Forward.
Updates to SE Community on Organizational Process and Decisions
Town Hall Meetings: Ongoing
Town Halls are generally held bimonthly to provide updates and to continue conversations with the Community. Our Community Conversations webpage will be updated on a regular basis. In addition, our SE Today newsletter and other special communications support this effort. Watch the replay of the latest Town Hall here.
BIPOC Scholarship Fund
Established July 1, 2020
The SEI Board of Directors authorized the allocation of $25,000 from the organization’s operating budget into a special BIPOC Scholarship Fund. Additional fundraising efforts will seek an additional $25,000 commitment from members of the SE Community and other sources, to be additionally matched by SEI, for a starting fund of $75,000.
Grow the Size and Diversity of the SE Board of Directors
Completed July 2020 and Ongoing
The SEI Board of Directors held elections to elect new directors. Sabia Wade and Sergio Ocampo were approved as new directors with three-year terms starting July 1, 2020. Sabia had to resign her position in March 2021 and was replaced by Carmen Casado. Additional Board members are elected annually. There are now seven (7) members on the SEI Board of Directors. Read about the Board.
Expand Faculty Track and Assistant Participation
Conversations Under Way
The SEI Board of Directors, Global Faculty, and Staff are involved in conversations to create and issue clearer process, guidelines, and requirements for individuals who wish to apply for consideration onto Faculty Track in North America and in countries abroad not overseen by EASE (Europe) or ABT (Brazil). We wish to expand opportunities for BIPOC and other underrepresented populations to serve as Faculty and on our Assistant training teams.
Review and Upgrade SE Curriculum
Started August 2020
The SEI Board of Directors has commissioned the start of a sustained SE Curriculum review and modernization project. This will be an inclusive, collaborative effort overseen by the organization’s Curriculum Committee. The Curriculum will be updated to include additional content to address other forms of trauma not currently addressed in the curriculum’s training manuals, as well as new advancements and developments in the world of Somatic Experiencing.
Establish New Code of Ethics, Grievance Procedure and Ethics Committee
Completed April 2021
The SEI Board of Directors approved a new organizational Code of Ethics and Grievance Procedure to be supported by an independent Ethics Committee. The Code of Ethics and Grievance Procedure documents can be found here.
Create New Committees and Workgroups to Support Inclusive, Collaborative Governance
Started September 2020
The SEI Board of Directors issued a Call for Applications in August 2020 to seek participation from interested members of the SE Community in new committees and work groups to create a greater organizational discussion and feedback loop to support the Board’s ongoing work and implementation of a new strategic plan, approved in early 2020. The committees and workgroups established are:
Annual Conference Committee
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee
Read about the members of the committees and work groups here.
Issue 2020 Organizational Report
Completed December 2020
You can find the Report, including our 2020 financials, here.
Report to Community on Personal Sessions in SE Trainings
Started October 2020
A position paper is being developed by the organization’s Personal Sessions Workgroup to address the current concerns and issues surrounding the use of and participation in personal sessions at SE trainings by SE assistants. The Personal Sessions Workgroup was formed in late 2019 to review complaints from the SE community about the potential liability/risks associated with the delivery of personal sessions by assistants at SE trainings. The workgroup has called on outside general and specialized mental health legal counsel for advice and guidance on current and future platforms for personal sessions.
Commitment to Ongoing Training by Board, Faculty, and Staff on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The SEI Board, Faculty and Staff sought greater training and education – individually and collectively – on issues focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We began with participation in a variety of diversity and anti-racism trainings. Board, Faculty, Staff, Assistants, and Coordinators have been provided with opportunities and the resources to support individual and group training efforts.