We are reaching out: “We have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate global resilience in the face of the mental health pandemic that is already touching many of us.”—SETI Op-Ed, September 2020 Who needs to know more about the benefits of SE? Everybody.
Milestones: • As part of the Institute’s increased emphasis on furthering research into SE, a new Research Committee, chaired by Michael Changaris, PsyD, and chair of the Board for 2019-2020, was established. Initial areas of focus include an overall research agenda for the Institute, a mentor program to support community members conducting SE research, and creation of grants and a funding database, among other things. • In February 2020, the Board announced the new Peter Levine Somatic Experiencing Research Awards, designed to encourage new research from the academic and practitioner communities. The first recipients will be announced in February 2021. • As a feature of our COVID-19 response efforts, we launched the Crisis Stabilization and Safety program, which includes the SCOPE tool, a practical resource that offers simple, yet deep, practices to interrupt stress activation. SCOPE is available in English and Japanese and will soon be available in Spanish. • The Toolbox also included videos and peer-to-peer short programs. Since introduction, the CSS videos have been viewed 3,089 times. The Toolbox was presented to nearly 4,000 writers, editors, columnists, and producers as part of our media outreach. • Outreach in 2020 included new markets, such as the Physicians Assistants for Global Health conference, hosted by Yale University and the American Association of Physician Assistants. SE tools were also presented to Public Health Directors and COVID-19 task forces in 50 states, to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation conference, and to pastoral and emergency management teams responding to hurricanes in Alabama and Florida. In their words: “I can’t wait to be ‘boots on the ground’ with the CSS program. Providing a framework for direct interventions in crisis/disaster response for impacted populations and responders holds great potential in reducing, even preventing, long-term stress effects. This will be a win for the SE Community.” – Diana Akeret, SE COVID Response Workgroup member, New Jersey-based FEMA USAR responder, and SE Assistant/SEP.
Our 2020-2022 strategic plan included this key priority: Position SE as a leading best practice for healing trauma through certification, research and public awareness. In 2020, we began an outreach program to major media, related profes- sional groups, and the public. In September, we wrote and distributed our first-ever op-ed on SE, positioning it as a significant therapeutic healing modality during the time of COVID-19, for both healthcare professionals and individuals alike. Outreach to other mental health professionals and to the public included the Crisis Stabilization and Safety Program (CSS), including the SCOPE tool and a series of videos done by practitioners that walk through the SCOPE exercises. Our pub- lic health initiatives team is working on an SE
Disaster Relief training program, which will offer disaster team deployment models, field training for using the CSS toolkit, and support sessions for frontline workers. We are also developing advocacy connections with federal and state governmental agencies and establishing relationships with public health agencies and first responder organizations. A significant initiative begun in 2020 is a renewed focus on research and outreach to those in the field of mental health research. Research into SE will continue to build a case that establishes it as an evidence-based technique to treat PTSD and other trauma. This research is pivotal in encouraging peer referrals, increasing SE’s visibility as a standard of care for PTSD, and broadening insurance reimbursement options for clients and practitioners.
In their words: “SETI has stepped up and out in amazing ways since the pandemic began, following a new openness for organizational change and service. It began a series of conversations to reach SE practitioners throughout the globe as shutdowns forced isolation. These served to bring together the far-flung community to explore not only the trauma of the pandemic for clients, but also for practitioners as well. The Institute also moved to confront the crisis for first responders by establishing a COVID-19 Working Group, which then became a Disaster Response Working Group, an acknowledgment that this is but one crisis we will face that requires SE tools. And then the epic assault on Black Americans received a commensurate response from the Institute as it dedicated new staff to this evolving crisis. The best organizations innovate and evolve. SETI surely stands among them. I am proud to be both a practitioner and a member of the Disaster Response Working Group.” – Beth Ellen Cole, SEP and Somatic Coach
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