Letter from SE™ Interim Executive Director, Rebecca Stahl

by | Aug 16, 2023 | POINT OF VIEW


Dear Global Somatic Experiencing Community,


As the summer in the northern hemisphere ends, and children return to school, August is always a time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. Somatic Experiencing International has experienced quite a few shifts this year, but like all not-for-profit organizations, our north star is our mission. At SEI our mission is to “[s]upport trauma resolution and resilience through culturally responsive professional training, research, education and outreach in diverse global communities.” While our 8-module training is a large part of what we do, there is so much more, and all of it drives our mission and our love for this work.


With conversations about somatics and trauma-informed modalities now in mainstream media, people have never had more options to learn how to manage stress and trauma resolution through a somatic lens. Consequently, here at SEI, we must keep asking ourselves what makes Somatic Experiencing and SEI different. As a not-for-profit organization, our work does not begin and end with the training we provide. We want to bring SE and trauma resolution to more people. We support new markets in the United States and around the world. We work with organizers in places without SE communities to support them in bringing trainings to their countries, and we have translated the SE manual into 20 languages to support this growth. And that is just what we do with the 8-module training.


The 8-module professional training program is the most comprehensive somatic training out there. There is the didactic piece and along with that, the time and practice throughout the 8-modules help students embody the work taught by highly esteemed and compassionate faculty. Assistants and practitioners support each other and all students in their growth to becoming Somatic Experiencing Practitioners. This creates a community that forms the backbone of what keeps SEI and SE strong and solid. The SEI faculty have studied SE for decades, and the SE curriculum focuses on the depth of how our nervous systems inform our minds and vice versa, allowing us to heal through all levels of our being together.


It has always struck me that SEI and the SE community are about relationships. Learning transcends the classroom. It is through our embodied awareness in personal sessions and case consults. It is in the space created through ongoing cohorts. It is through ongoing assisting and SEI membership. It is through social media and movie nights at friends’ houses. In other words, it always comes back to the human connection.


With that thought in mind, we at SEI know that our staff has shifted and changed over time. We are a much larger organization in terms of what we do than many of us even realize, me included, before I got involved with the board and now as interim executive director. We want to help introduce you to who we are and all that we do. Please stay on the lookout for information about individual staff members, faculty members, international partners, our mission-driven work, and more. We want you to know all of who we are and all the ways we can work together to bring trauma resolution to the world as a strong community.


The SE community has changed my life. It is why I wake up excited for work every day. And this week, because of the SE Community, I got the support I needed when I sprained my ankle. For me, this community has been about learning, about connection, and about care. And I hope it is that way for all of you as well. Share your stories about how the SE Community has changed your life, and we will share how we want to support you and get to know you all!


With deep gratitude and warmth,


Rebecca Stahl, SEP

Interim Executive Director