SE™ Issues, Questions, and Answers

Conversation Bubbles

We don't intend to lose the moment.

On June 9, SE™ Institute Board of Directors held a Town Hall to discuss issues our community is focused on and has questions or concerns about – our leadership, curriculum, lack of diversity, sensitivity to cultural issues, and the origins of Somatic Experiencing®. Over 200 people participated on Zoom and many more joined on Facebook Live. We’ve received over 125 questions and comments during the Town Hall and afterwards on our listening@traumahealing.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. We appreciate the participation of all of you who were on this first Town Hall – more are to follow – and hope you will take the time to read our answers. If you have additional questions or comments, please email: listening@traumahealing.org

We are listening.

We have 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 will be adding 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. Please click here to go to the Q&A section.

We are planning.

We have new initiatives underway and we will be establishing new advisory boards to better inform the organization. We had a Board election and have a new chair and a new director. We’re finalizing a new Code of Ethics and establishing an independent Ethics Committee. And we have begun a significant update of our SE curriculum with the guidance and leadership of our Curriculum Committee. Our financials are in the final stages of an independent audit and we will be preparing an Annual Report soon. 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 expected completion 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 will be held every 4-6 weeks to provide updates and to continue conversations with the Community. Our Community Conversations webpage will be updated on a regular basis. In addition, our Somatic Experiencing Today newsletter and other special communications will support this effort.

Establish BIPOC Scholarship Fund

Established July 1, 2020

The SE Institute Board of Directors authorized the allocation of $25,000 from the organization’s operating budget into a special BIPOC Scholarship Fund. Upcoming fundraising efforts will seek an additional $25,000 commitment from members of the SE Community and other sources, to be additionally matched by the SE Institute, for a starting fund of $75,000.

Grow the Size and Diversity of the SE Institute Board of Directors

July 2020

The SE Institute Board of Directors recently held elections to elect new directors. Sabia Wade and Sergio Ocampo were approved as new directors with three-year terms starting July 1, 2020. There are now seven (7) members on the SE Institute Board of Directors.  

Expand Faculty Track and Assistant Participation

Conversations Under Way

The SE Institute 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

Starting August 2020

The SE Institute 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 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

Starting August 2020

The SE Institute Board of Directors has preliminarily approved a first draft of 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 will be circulated and be made available soon to the SE Community for an extended period of review and comment. The Board of Directors seeks to review comment and finalize approval of these new documents for an estimated January 1, 2021 implementation.

Create New Committees and Workgroups to Support Inclusive, Collaborative Governance

Starting September 2020

The SE Institute Board of Directors will be issuing a Call for Applications in August 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 following groups will be established in September 2020:  

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group
  • Scholarship Development and Review Committee
  • Training Evaluation Workgroup

Issue 2019 Organizational Annual Report

September 2020

Once audited financial statements for 2019 have been issued and reviewed, the SE Institute will issue an annual report in September. Audits on previous year financial records are generally not completed until midyear. The report will provide operational and financial highlights for 2019, including the publication of 2019 audited financial statements and supporting information to provide greater understanding of how SE Institute receives revenues and makes expenditures on behalf of the organization.

Report to Community on Personal Sessions in SE Trainings

October 2020

A position paper is being developed by the organization’s Personal Sessions Workgroup for release in October 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

Under Way

There is a commitment by the SE Institute Board, Faculty and Staff to seek greater training and education – individually and collectively – on issues focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. This has already started with participation in a variety of diversity and anti-racism trainings. Board, Faculty, Staff, Assistants, and Coordinators will be provided with opportunities and the resources to support individual and group training efforts.

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