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Letter from SE™ Board Chair, Michele Solloway, PhD, LMT, MPA, SEP

by | Oct 3, 2022 | POINT OF VIEW

Dear Global SE Community,   

We are passing through the fall equinox here in the northern hemisphere, a time where there is equal light at the north and south poles. It is also a time of tension between dark and light forces. I know for myself, and guess it might also be true of many in our SE community, there are numerous “dark” elements (challenges, difficult questions, fears, and lack of clarity about the path ahead) we are confronted with personally, professionally, and/or at SEI.  

Due to the impact of global geopolitical and economic issues arising this spring after the start of the war in Ukraine, our training program revenues and hoped for fundraising revenues have suffered setbacks this spring and summer.  We also have an ongoing struggle for external legitimacy with the role of the body in psychotherapy and other activities that are stalled when we wish they were moving forward more quickly. We are fortunate that we have the SE skills and practice to notice what is happening in our bodies, slow down, breathe, co/regulate, and ask what wants to emerge next – within ourselves and with each other.   

On the side of the light – the positive, the things that inspire, delight, and fill us with gratitude – there are many things to offer:  

  • We convened a global visioning call with our EASE and ABT partners to discuss if, how, and why we might create a more cohesive international organization; 
  • We heard from you about accessibility issues and responded by convening a Community Forum on Accessibility which 150 of you registered and joined us for in rich, honest conversation; 
  • We convened the first meeting of the Assistant Advisory Council and look forward to their on-going input to SEI to advocate for and recognize all that assistants do; 
  • We are holding an SE Research Summit on October 20 that will focus on SE for frontline providers and survivors of war and disasters; 
  • We are in the final stages of vetting the new Crisis Stabilization & Safety (CSS) training program which will bring SE to more non-clinical and new populations (watch for more info about the launch in October or November); and, 
  • We are completing Phase I of our technology upgrade and migration to a new and much improved system that will be much more user friendly for our students and staff; Phase 2 will begin later this year.  

In particular, I would like to highlight the work of the SE Ukrainian Task Force (SEUTF). This group came together in the early part of this year and has grown to be a truly incredible collective that functions across dozens of languages, borders, and cultures. In addition to the 30 different languages they’ve translated the SCOPE tool into, two events were indicative of the profound success and reach that our collaboration with EASE has engendered. First, Ariel Giarretto and Lucia Roncalli recently offered a webinar entitled A Somatic Approach to Healing Conflict Related Sexual Violence which drew 519 registrants from 61 countries. The presentation of gentle and effective interventions for working with survivors followed by Q&A with participants offered tangible resources as well as a sense of connectedness for participants. Live interpretation was provided into Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and Spanish. Second, SEUTF hosted an information session with Telehelp Ukraine to support their efforts to recruit additional volunteers to provide remote mental health services to Ukrainians in Ukraine and Poland. Any SEPs in our community licensed as a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker are encouraged to explore this opportunity. Recordings of both events will be available soon on the SEUTF YouTube channel, among many other resources and recordings they’ve developed. 

These events definitively show that when we come together and work collaboratively across distance and cultures, we can achieve miraculous outcomes. Shout outs and gratitude for Melissa Sinclair, SEI's Crisis Response Coordinator, SEUTF Co-Chairs Zlata Koštejnova and Rebecca Stahl, Rebecca Schwartz (for getting the word out in multiple languages and responding to SOS messages for technical assistance), Katie Kroll (for interpretation support and so much more), and our EASE partners for all they are doing to help distressed people in war-torn Ukraine and around the world. In the words of President Biden, there is nothing we can’t accomplish if we do it together.  I look forward to seeing what more comes from our international collaboration on all fronts. 

Until then, please know my door is always open: msolloway@traumahealing.org 

 

With warmth, gratitude, and hope, 

Michele Solloway 

Chair, SEI Board of Directors