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

by | Apr 3, 2023 | POINT OF VIEW

Dear Global SE Community,

Here in the northern hemisphere, the spring equinox has just passed and, we’re passing out of the darkness and into the light. We may feel the renewal and rejuvenation that comes after winter, as the days become longer, new growth on trees appears, and the first spring flowers emerge. Personally, it fills me with a sense of hope that better days are ahead. We’re working hard to improve our financial stability and have made important changes to support that. Interest in learning SE continues to grow, with applications to the SE training program at an all-time high, and we’re adding new courses regularly. We have three new faculty Theresa Hanaoka, Shideh Lennon, and Sean Frankino, and others on the faculty track, which means we can offer more courses.

In the past several years, we have witnessed a tremendous growth in interest in the field of somatic therapy. We’ve felt it, but there’s also data to show it. Based on Google Trends search data, which tracks relative interest and normalizes the data to graph the interest over time, interest was relatively stable until 2020, then in the last few years it nearly tripled!

Graph of search results for

Our board and faculty are contributing to that growth and are promoting SE through a variety of ways to become more known outside the SE community. Some of those efforts are featured in this issue of SE Today.

Among the many ways in which Abi Blakeslee is spreading SE far and wide, she, along with Sonia Gomes and Amar Huang, conducted a webinar series on relieving stress, burnout, and the effects of quarantine, COVID, and long hauler symptoms, which was translated into Mandarin by an organization in Beijing that will be hosting Beginning I training in July. She and Dave Berger also conducted a podcast last month – “Trauma to Triumph” with Wade Robson and James Safechuck on healing from trauma and abuse. Abi also recently presented at the 46th Annual Psychotherapy Networker Symposium on “Anger in the Therapy Room” from an SE perspective.

Maureen Gallagher has conducted several interviews about SE including an interview with Monique Kosen on her Healing Trauma podcast. This interview was focused on using SE with complex PTSD, and how early trauma leaves us vulnerable to experiencing later trauma. She also conducted three interviews with Luis Mojica on his Holistic Life Navigation podcast about relating to body sensations and combining SE with IRF.

The Therapist, a magazine published by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), devoted their Jan-Feb 2023 issue to Somatic Experiencing. This issue contains a feature article by Sergio Ocampo, SEI board member and assistant, “Alive in the Body: Healing Trauma and Emotional Overwhelm with Somatic Experiencing,” and I am an invited speaker for CAMFT’s annual conference in May.

In March, Efu Nyaki will present Creating a Safe Place in The Body After Trauma Through Somatic Experiencing” as part of a summit on Healing Trauma and PTSD which will potentially reach over 4,000 people. Berns Galloway will be a keynote speaker at the Prince George District Teachers’ Association 2023 conference on April 28.

The SE Ukrainian Task Force, which is now continuing work as the SE Humanitarian Committee, has also engaged many international faculty in developing and providing trainings, translations, sessions, and resources to the frontline helpers and survivors, including Abi Blakeslee, Sonia Gomes, Ariel Giarretto, Kavi Gemin, Maggie Kline, Liane Pinto, and Rachporn Sangkasaad. Ariel provided a Help for the Helpers training and Maggie developed a Healing Trauma in Children picture book. It is also important to mention that in addition to faculty, many people have contributed to the incredible success of the SEUTF and getting help to the frontlines.

These are just a few examples of the breadth of work being done to spread SE globally! We would love to know everything that SE faculty, trainers outside the US, assistants, coordinators, associations (EASE, ABT and other countries), and SEPs in our community are doing to promote SE! If you have something you would like to share, please drop me a message to tell me about it! You can reach me at msolloway@traumahealing.org.

As always, my door is open. Please feel free to contact me directly at msolloway@traumahealing.org if you have questions, concerns, a good story, or just want to introduce yourself!

With gratitude,

Michele Solloway, SEP, LMT, MPA, PhD

Chair, SEI Board of Directors