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Letter from SE™ International Executive Director, Marv Tuttle – October 25, 2022

by | Oct 25, 2022 | POINT OF VIEW

Dear SE Global Community,

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate last week in SEI’s all-day virtual SE Research Summit, which was focused on building the evidence and research on SE for first responders and survivors of war and disasters. The Summit featured presentations by leading SE researchers, updates on current studies, panel discussions, and more. It was wonderful to have participants in attendance from around the world to witness and share the impact our global community is having in positively influencing and advancing the awareness of Somatic Experiencing as an accepted modality for resilience and healing. It was a shining example of what is possible and what is to come for Somatic Experiencing in the near future.

As highlighted by our keynote speaker Dr. Christopher Walling in his presentation, “SE Informed Trauma Research: The Evidence to Date,” researchers and practitioners have been steadily building the evidence through various studies to demonstrate Somatic Experiencing’s efficacy. The body of knowledge has expanded to the point that it may be possible, through more controlled research trials and subsequent publication of articles documenting the findings, for SE to achieve evidence-based status in the next few years. Listening to each of the other speakers share their research, from the development of a positive sensation scale to the design of qualitative research with acute care nurses to the preliminary findings of a study within a refugee resettlement agency, the momentum is palpable.

If you were unable to join us for the SE Research Summit last week, please stay tuned for more information about how you can access the presentations and other learnings. Thank you to all our speakers, moderators, sponsors, and attendees who contributed their time and good thinking! Finally, congratulations to our incredible Peter A. Levine Research Award winners, who embody the ideals we seek to foster in a robust and vibrant SE research community—curiosity, excellence, and passion. Bilge Aydodu and Dilara Özel won in the professional research leadership category and Dr. Cacky Mellor won in the dissertation research leadership category. Information about their research will be included in the recordings from the event, which we look forward to making available soon.

A current draft of SEI’s updated 2023-2025 Strategic Plan puts research front and center as one of its strategic priorities. It calls for strengthening SEI’s research function and driving ongoing research efforts to establish SE as an evidence-based practice that is internationally known and adopted as a leading best practice for culturally-grounded trauma prevention and healing.

Through the work and leadership of the SEI Board of Directors and SEI Research Committee, we will continue to identify and support the development of resources and structures with the goal of bringing research to life as a function and, in the near future, a core department within the SEI business model. The Committee is focused on developing new opportunities to build partnerships and fundraising and to encourage and grow research efforts through mentorship. We have recently engaged the talents of Melissa Sinclair, PhD, to support the Research Committee’s efforts strategically and administratively. Currently, Melissa is playing a significant role as crisis relations coordinator in orchestrating the ongoing activities of the SE Ukraine Task Force, a collaboration between the European Association of Somatic Experiencing (EASE) and SEI. She will be bringing her organizational and project management skills to the research initiative as a special advisor with the added ability to highlight the intersection of future research with humanitarian efforts.

We are at a pivotal moment in the history of Somatic Experiencing and SEI. Our dedication and focus to research in the coming years can have significant positive implications for making SE a valued, internationally recognized brand and household name in the field of trauma resilience, resolution, and healing. It can help us garner greater awareness and acceptance of our work in not only the clinician and non-clinician professional communities, but the general public as well. It can get us to evidence-based status which opens new doors to SE Practitioners worldwide for greater recognition and business building opportunities. Most importantly, it means a better world because more lives will be touched and impacted by you who embrace and spread the value and benefits of Somatic Experiencing every day.

Most sincerely,

Marv Tuttle
Executive Director