Letter from SE™ Senior Manager of Engagement & Marketing, Rebecca Schwartz

by | Dec 5, 2022 | POINT OF VIEW

Dear Global SE Community,

I believe feedback is a gift. When we receive feedback from someone, it’s a sign that they care about and are invested in us.

Over the summer, we sent you a survey and asked you to share your perspectives on SE and SEI. We had some ideas about the responses we expected, but generally weren’t sure how much feedback we’d get and what it might look like. Even so, the amount and depth of the responses we received were beyond anything we could have imagined. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your incredible generosity in sharing your time, experiences, and good thinking with us.

Nearly 700 of you responded to the survey, and those responses were extremely thorough. We read every single comment—more than 400 pages of comments—and the feedback was rich with insights, ideas, and accountability. Some of you had a lot of praise for what we’ve worked hard to build, for the things you’ve learned, and the people you’ve met along the way. Many of you recognized where we’ve made progress, where we’re falling short, and where we still have a lot of work to do. Still others of you shared some very hard truths about your experiences and the reasons that SE is not yet accessible to everyone. You held up a mirror for us to better see ourselves, and we’re so grateful.

Today we’re releasing the summary report of the survey, and I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look through it. In addition to a lot of feedback on the way we conduct our work and serve our community, we heard that you wanted post-SEP trainings and other continuing education, as well as networking opportunities and professional affiliation with the SE community. We’re excited to share that all of this and more will be available through the new Somatic Experiencing Professional Association that will launch next year.

You also told us your ideas for offering the SE training to teachers, for expanding resources for bodyworkers, and what your experiences as students and assistants have looked and felt like. We heard a lot about barriers, from cost to timing to your preference for online or in-person trainings. And, we heard your advice for the curriculum; where you think it excels and what opportunities you see for improvement.

Above all else, we saw a lot of love in your comments. Tough love, certainly, but we all seem to share a deep and abiding love for SE and hold an expansive view of the human potential for healing and resilience. That was crystal clear from your responses. One of you said it best when you said:

“All I can say is how grateful I feel with this amazing community! I am proud of being part of such powerful family and wise approach and to experience the power of healing on me and witness it in the people I work with.”

Analyzing all the survey data was just the first of our goals for this project; now that you’ve gifted us this wealth of feedback, it’s our responsibility and privilege to use it to inform our strategy and operations to fulfill the potential of SE and SEI to transform the world by healing trauma. The board used these results to inform its strategic planning meetings and continues to reference them as that process wraps up. Last week our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee met to discuss the results of the survey and generated a list of actions we can begin to implement. The staff identified a draft plan for the metrics we want to focus on in the coming year and we’ll be refining that in the coming weeks and months. We look forward to sharing more with you about the changes we’re making to meet the needs of the SE community that you identified.

As this year comes to a close, and the holiday season is in full swing for many of us, we’re thinking about gifts and gratitude. We’re reflecting on all the incredible work that has been done this year by the many individuals who contribute to our work, from students, assistants, and faculty, to staff, board, donors, and volunteers. SEI isn’t SEI without the individuals who pour their time, energy, and passion into it. Thank you for gifting us your feedback so we can keep growing and changing to be the organization and SE community we all want to see.

We wish you a very joyful last few weeks of the year. See you in 2023!

With gratitude,

Rebecca Schwartz