Dear Global Somatic Experiencing Community,
I have been the Interim Executive Director of Somatic Experiencing International for approximately two months now. I find myself consistently coming back to three things. First, I finally feel like I have arrived home. Like so many of you, I found that Somatic Experiencing helped me find a way to navigate a world where I never quite felt like I belonged. But through SE, I found myself, and through SEI, I found a new community. This new role feels like coming home in a new way, and my commitment from this place is to further our mission so more people can experience this feeling.
Second, I keep thinking that the world needs SE more than ever before. Increasingly, people outside our community understand the impact of trauma and are looking for ways to support themselves. How many of your friends and family are talking about increased anxiety, increased confusion and disorientation, increased pain, or decreases in sleep? How many of your friends and family do not understand that these are trauma manifestations from the past several years? But also, how many of them are listening for the first time to your explanations that these symptoms are normal responses to the very abnormal world in which we have been living? Somatic Experiencing is needed in the world, and we can bring it to more people.
Third, Somatic Experiencing International is an educational nonprofit whose vision is to transform lives by healing trauma. This year, we are focusing on doing that in numerous ways. We are creating new, short programs that are not only focused on training Somatic Experiencing Practitioners. We are providing more scholarships to increase access to the 8-module professional training that has served us all so well. We are continuing to create free resources. We are continuing to reach out journalists, podcasters, and others to get the message out about trauma and healing. We are raising awareness that SE can support people anywhere.
As a nonprofit, our mission is to do good in the world, and that means getting the message about the power of SE to more people. Every day, I imagine a world where everyone has access to SE, everyone has access to the feeling of being at home, and everyone has access to understanding that we are all experiencing a very difficult time in history but that we can find healing within it.
SEI’s greatest resource is the people who love SE. Our pledge this year is to use our resources to make the 8-module professional training more accessible, to create and disseminate SE-informed resources, to collaborate with mission-aligned community partners, to offer new SE-informed short programs, and to create new spaces for community conversations. As a member of this community, you make all of this possible.
There are plenty of ways to get involved. Invite a friend to a Basics class to help them see the benefits of SE. Invite your friends and family to donate to the scholarship fund or the annual fund to support our increased programming. Share your SE stories with SEI or with media outlets so more people can learn how SE can benefit them and the world. Those of us in the SE community know that SE works. We want to make sure more people have access to this healing,
and we do that with your support. We can meet our goals when we come together stronger than ever.
Thank you all for helping to create the community that has helped so many of us find our homes, both within ourselves and with each other. Together, we will continue to share this work with the world.
With deep gratitude and warmth,
Rebecca Stahl, SEP
Interim Executive Director