SE Today and Tomorrow: A Special Report on Our Organization

3 Big Things We Did in 2020 Moved all our training online in response to COVID-19. At the time of publication, we estimate we will have trained nearly 7,000 students in SE™ in 2020. We trained 6,314 students worldwide in 2019. 1

A Message From Rebecca Stahl, JD, LLM, SEP, Board Chair Transition: “a going across or over,” 16th century Latin As we find ourselves at the closing stretch of 2020, the word transition percolates up more and more. Many of the various definitions of the word “transition” almost always include the words “passing” and “change.” We talk about the transition from adolescence to adulthood and the changes that brings. In music, a transition is passing from one key to another. In writing, it is a bridge that connects two topics or sections to each other. The word transition is used in biology, psychology, physics, chemistry, technology, and gender and sex. Transitions, as verbs, are a process without finality, a process that continues as we grow and change together.

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Enhanced our outreach, communications, and governance.

Established a new Public Health Initiatives program, hired a full-time director for it, created the Crisis Stabilization and Safety program, and took our first steps to develop a formal program to train disaster response professionals and other first responders in SE.

When I joined the Board in 2018, we were unquestionably an organization in transition. Our process of change beginning more than two years ago would have been monumental if we had simply hired a new Interim Executive Director, realigned staff and responsibilities, and strengthened our governance practices. The transition was not complete, nor will it ever be, but the significant changes that happened in the organization brought stability in new ways. But then came two major events. COVID has upended and unsettled all of us—what is “normal” anymore? For many, this pandemic has unraveled the very foundation of their stability, whether through physical illness or mental illness issues made worse by separation and despair or by making simple, daily occur- rences potentially life threatening to ourselves and our loved ones. In the middle of this virus pandemic, the racial pandemic the U.S. and the world had not reckoned with became central to our conversations. As a community dedicated to healing trauma, we find ourselves at the center of these discussions while facing the trauma they are causing in our personal lives as well. There are many important lessons to be learned and changes to be made because of the intense

global trauma we face right now. We have made many of those necessary changes, and more are to come. We have taken positive steps to become more connected, more transparent, and more inclusive. Recently, I saw a cartoon that made me both smile and be slightly awestruck by its simple profundity. A caterpillar and a butterfly are sitting across a table from each other. The caterpillar says to the butterfly: “You’ve changed.” The butterfly responds: “We’re supposed to.” Change through transitions is not always easy. This liminal space can be messy, contradictory, energizing, energy-sapping, beautiful, ugly, peaceful, and rupturing—all at the same time. As an organization whose vision is to transform lives through healing trauma, we are always helping people transition. We can best do that when we examine our own need for change— and then act on it. I encourage you to read about our own transitions, as a community and an organization, in this Special Report. And, as always, please feel free to reach out to us, at, if you have questions or you simply want to connect.

Table of Contents:


Message from the Board Chair Q&A with the Board Chair and Immediate Past Chair Transitions: “We Are Stepping Out” Transitions: “We Are Speaking Out” Transitions: “We Are Reaching Out”

“It is when we are in transition that we are most completely alive.” – William Bridges, American author and speaker


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What’s Next? Strategic Plan Recognition

Warmly, Rebecca Stahl, Board Chair 2020-2021

December 2020, ©Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute Somatic Experiencing® and SE™ are trademarks owned by Peter A. Levine, PhD or SE™ Trauma Institute and may not be used or applied without written consent.


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