Letter from Past SE™ Board Chair, Rebecca Stahl, SEP

by | Aug 15, 2022 | POINT OF VIEW

Dear Global SE Community, 

You are invited to a Community Forum on September 14 from 11AM-1PM MT specifically to discuss issues of accessibility. 

As a modality, Somatic Experiencing is about meeting everyone’s nervous system where it is and working with what arises. This requires that we all understand the diversity of nervous systems and experiences. This Community Forum is an opportunity for anyone within the community to share experiences that have worked and those that have not worked as well within the Somatic Experiencing International experience, particularly around issues related to disability and accessibility.  

Accessibility can mean so many things to so many people. It is defined by law quite explicitly in the United States and in other countries. But accessibility cannot begin and end with what is legally required. For us at SEI, it can include how we talk about how we all have unique bodies and nervous systems that respond to the world in different ways. It can mean having different options for training and completion requirements. But most importantly, it means understanding that unique needs exist and creating options for training that attempt to meet those needs. 

This Community Forum is an opportunity for folks to share and listen and to offer feedback on what has worked and what has not. We also know that not everyone will be available at a specific time, so if you would like to specifically offer feedback about accessibility issues (or anything), you can always email us at listening@traumahealing.org. We can also set up one-on-one calls with staff, board, or faculty members who can bring issues back to the larger organization. We want everyone to have the opportunity to be heard in a meaningful and positive way. 

We also recognize that there can be a sense that stepping forward can result in retaliation of some variety. While we cannot promise that every change requested will be made or will be made immediately, we can promise that no one will be treated differently because they speak up. Our ethics document is clear that retaliation is not allowed, and we all hold that deeply in our hearts as a core value. These issues are important, and we only get better when we listen to each other and grow together.  

If you are available, please join us on September 14 to share your thoughts or to listen as others share theirs. If you would like to provide feedback by email or in a smaller conversation, please reach out to us.  

With gratitude,
Rebecca Stahl