Upcoming application deadlines & other updates! Learn More

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2019 Year-End Video

2019 marked 10 years of gs. We spent this year running powerful programs and building gs for the long haul. There are many things that we could plan for, and many things that we couldn’t. We are learning from all of it, and new doors are opening.

Entering 2020, with critical elections afoot, gs is staying on course with our Strategic Priorities and paying close attention to what social and climate justice movements need.

Watch our 2019 year-end video.

Get Involved

Volunteer in Oakland, CA on January 29, 2020! Gather with gs staff and other volunteers to prepare thank you cards for the many people who donate to gs and make this work possible. Stipend available upon request.

Be a part of our Get Centered: Grassroots Fundraising Program that will take place in Spring 2020. This will be an opportunity to get centered in action as we practice embodied donor organizing! Participants will be asked to make a donation to gs that is significant to you and aim to bring in at least three additional donations from friends/family or by calling past gs grassroots donor lists. We will provide resources and materials, and create opportunities to come together with one another to practice in community.

Find out more. 

To express interest, email: development@generativesomatics.org.

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Join the gsPN

generative somatics Practitioner Network (gsPN)

The gs Practitioner Network (gsPN) is an important part of our strategy and commitment to serving movement.  The gsPN is an organized network of politicized somatic coaches, therapists, and healing practitioners who have built somatic competence through gs programs. gsPN members strategically serve and support organizers, member leaders, and movement builders who are doing vital work for social and environmental justice. The gsPN is organized in alignment with gs values, mission, vision and our Strategic Priorities. Please check it out to learn more.

Embodied transformation for individuals and groups, works best when there is an ecosystem of support around leaders, teams, and their organizations. gs offers this in the form of courses, movement partnerships, and local practice groups. In addition, one-on-one somatic coaching and somatic bodywork, and somatic healing groups, support people to heal and transform in an important and ongoing way. The gsPN exists to help those who work in social and environmental justice movements get this support. 

The gsPN provides somatic practitioners with opportunities, community and resources. It is a community of practice where we engage in political development to better meet those we serve,  support each other in the embodiment of the methodology and its application in healing, and grow and learn together.

The gsPN also supports you to strategically contribute to social and environmental justice movements, by connecting you with clients who are organizers, member leaders, and movement builders,  looking for somatic healing, and support.

The gsPN is a place to:

  • Build community and relationship with other gs practitioners
  • Continue developing competence to coach organizers, members, and other movement leaders
  • Share wisdom and resources with peers
  • Receive referrals for short-term low-/no-fee movement clients

 

The gsPN membership offers:

  • Monthly 1.5-hour peer-led video conference calls on topics pertaining specifically to serving movement clients.
  • Video recordings and notes are regularly sent out
  • Ongoing Signal thread to share victories and updates
  • “Matchmaking” referrals to connect movement leaders with gs practitioners for short-term, low-/no-fee coaching.

Is Somatics, Trauma, and Resilience for me?

The gsPN is for politicized somatic coaches, therapists, and healing practitioners who built somatic competence through gs programs. It is a community of practice where we engage in political development to better meet those we serve, support each other in the embodiment of the methodology and its application in healing, and grow and learn together. The gsPN also supports you to strategically contribute to social and environmental justice movements, by connecting you with clients who are organizers, member leaders, and movement builders, looking for somatic healing and support.

The gsPN is open to those who have completed a minimum of one year of Somatics and Trauma (now called Somatics, Trauma, and Resilience), are either somatic practitioners now or aim to be, and who are committed to centering clients who work in social and environmental justice movements.

Whether you are a somatic practitioner with many years of practice behind you, or brand new to your practitioner path, the gsPN is a place for you to continue to develop, be resourced, and build community with other practitioners. Find our more about the path to becoming a practitioner below.

Explore The Somatics, Trauma, and Resilience Courses

Path to Becoming a Practitioner

Different people have different paths to developing the skills as a somatic practitioner serving social and environmental justice movements. This is an overview. Want to explore more? Please contact us at gspn@generativesomatics.org 

Select a button below to read more.

Courses: Somatics, Trauma and Resilience, levels 1 and 2, Somatics, Trauma, and Resilience Advanced, Embodied Leadership (as relevant), Somatic Bodywork intensives, and other courses as needed/ desired.

Receive somatic bodywork and coaching, do your own transformative work and healing. Engage in your own daily somatic practices.

See practice clients, receive supervision, and get assessments and feedback.

Deepen your own political analysis and understanding of movement strategy. We strongly encourage practitioners to become members of a base-building movement organization.

2020 gsPN Programs

We are excited to announce the 2020 gsPN programming!  Thank you members of the gsPN for informing our work together. We are thrilled to announce (drumroll) The First-Ever gsPN Retreat: An In-Person Gathering! In 2020, we will hold our first in-person gathering for practitioners in the gsPN! More info TBD. If you would like to get involved and help organize, contact mahfam@generativesomatics.org.

Select an opportunity below to learn more.

Quarterly gsPN Virtual Gatherings

Quarterly gsPN Virtual Gatherings (on Zoom, recordings available) are a space for peer support, resource sharing, practice, and learning from organizers and senior practitioners! The content topics are guided by your interests and needs.

gsPN Retreat: An In-Person Gathering

October 9-11, Bay Area, CA

More information TBA

Quarterly Virtual Gatherings:

Feb 21

May 22

Aug 28

Complete your gsPN Inquiry Form by:November 1, 2019

Monthly Somatic Supervision

Monthly Somatic Supervision (on Zoom, recordings available) are led by senior practitioners, supervision is a place to bring your client questions, and continue your growth and development in somatic methodology. We do a deep dive on one client per session. 

Political Education Sessions

Political Education sessions (in person, or via Zoom) are in tandem with gs Teacher Training; includes readings, videos, and other resources, as well as support to organize study groups.

Assessments/Evaluations & One-on-One Support/Coaching

Support on your path via

Join Our Somatic Practitioner Listing

The opportunity to be listed as a somatic practitioner on  the gs website. This is for gsPN members who see clients, are in gs supervision, and who have been assessed by the Support and Accountability Team as a New Practitioner, Practitioner, or Senior Practitioner. 

Client Matchmaking

Client matchmaking means gs will refer clients to you, including folks from our Strategic Priority areas, Movement Partnerships (MP), and other social and environmental justice movement leaders.

Other Resources

Other resources like Practice Client Curricula including 12-session trauma healing, 10-session for organizers/movement leaders, and healing groups, methodology handouts, and client agreement and evaluation templates.

Somatics Supervision

Back by popular demand, gs is continuing to offer gs Supervision Monthly Zoom Calls to practitioners for the fifth year in a row in 2020. These gs Supervision Monthly Zoom Calls deepen the application of gs methodology. We will dive into the live process of somatic transformation for individuals and groups – how do we see shapes, how do we assess the somatic process and practice needed, where do we blend, where do we fight for?  We will explore the Arc of Transformation as an assessment and planning tool, blending and leading as core to effective work, navigating emotional depth with ground, and your own shape and transformation as a practitioner and leader. We will also work with client examples and questions.

Given that many of us are seeing clients within the context of the gs Practitioners Network (gsPN), we will also look at the container of the ten one-on-one sessions that gsPN works with, and how to best support organizers and other movement leaders.

gs Supervision Monthly Zoom Calls will be facilitated by Staci Haines and other senior gs practitioners and special guests.

 

Is Supervision for Me?

Somatic Supervision It is an opportunity to deepen your skills in leading gs somatics methodology as well as learn from senior gs practitioners. 

Monthly Zoom Calls are for: 

  • Members of the gs Practitioners Network (gsPN), including any practitioners/bodyworkers who see clients one-on-one or lead healing groups.
  • gs teachers and teachers-in-training. 
  • People who lead somatic practices inside of a gs Movement Partnerships. 

Do I need supervision if I'm in the gsPN?

The gsPN is not a substitute for supervision. Any gs practitioner who is actively seeing clients or running healing groups, should be in supervision. Supervision deepens your effectiveness as a practitioner and supports you to be accountable to this role. This supervision requirement can be met by meeting one-on-one or in small groups with an experienced gs practitioner or by joining the gs monthly supervision group (via Zoom) led senior practitioners. 

Supervision is a place to:

  • Continue developing competence in gs methodology
  • Bring specific client questions
  • Do your own reflection and work as a practitioner 
  • Receive assessment, support, and guidance from experienced practitioners 

What competencies are needed to become a politicized somatic practitioner?

Becoming a competent somatic practitioner requires development and embodiment in a wide range of skills and competencies. What we mean by “competency” is that you know and embody gs somatics as a change theory, process, and practice. Rather than using stand alone practices or “body-based exercises”, you can assess the “shape” of an individual person or a collective “body” and use the wide variety of somatic principles and practices to help transform this to a “new shape,” aligned with their commitments and social justice principles. 

This embodiment comes through –

  • deepening political analysis and movement strategy
  • learning / training
  • practicing with support and supervision
  • your own transformational work and daily practices
  • getting feedback from folks who embody the work

 

See more information about the path of development above.

One of the tensions we deal with at gs is that many of the somatic practices can be picked up and passed on before someone is embodied in them. When this happens, the practice can become shallow, or on the flip side, deep pieces might come up that the facilitator/ practitioner may not now know how to hold or work with somatically. We at gs have had to respond to the fall out of many of these experiences. Also, somatic practices outside of the context of “transforming shape” and embodiment, can feel weird and ungrounded for participants/clients. If somatics spreads as merely “body-based exercises,” participants/clients will miss the most sustaining and transformative power this path has to offer. We don’t want somatics to be a movement fad—rather we want it to contribute deep and transformative theory, practices and processes. 

At gs and with our movement partners, we talk a lot about these tensions…how do we grow and keep depth and quality? How do we make somatics as accessible as we can, while we know that repetition and practice is what creates embodiment of both principles and practices? How does somatics contribute to social and environmental justice movements in a meaningful way and not get rigid or bureaucratic along the way? We’d love to be in these real and live tensions with you, while we stay grounded in our commitment to offer somatics that will help build a more effective, powerful and compelling social and environmental justice movement. 

Below are several of the skill-sets that practitioners need to develop as they learn to embody and practice the gs methodology. 

  • Deep personal healing and Social action & engagement towards change
  • Regenerating safety while living within current conditions and Acknowledging material safety
  • Somatic bodywork and opening and Consciously being able to contain/Containment skills
  • Healing Shame, Internalized Oppression and Privilege and Centered Accountability, Self-Forgiveness & Dignity

Somatic Skills Building: supporting clients to develop most necessary new skills based on their declaration & social contexts, balancing: Healing and Leading and Taking Action

  • Blending with a wide range of shapes and Leading with a wide range of shapes
  • Somatic Awareness and Political Consciousness
  • Assessing, blending with, and affirming What Is and Imagining, fighting for, and affirming what else is possible 
  • Educating the client on the impacts of trauma, oppression and privilege and Learning from the client’s experiences of trauma, oppression and privilege
  • Resilience: Identifying, affirming and cultivating client’s resilience and assessing where resilience may have become part of a client’s conditioned tendency
  • Conflict as Generative
  • Social Context: always acknowledging and being responsive to each of the Site of Shaping and always holding a client’s uniqueness, humanity and aliveness (i.e. Pat Parker poem, To the White Person Who Wants to Know How to Be My Friend: “The first thing you do is to forget that I’m black. Second, you must never forget that I’m black.”)

Why Healing and Social Action? Why is this relevant to practitioners?

Trauma & Healing Analysis

Practitioners must also pay attention to maintain a dynamic balance across skill-sets. For example, a practitioner needs to develop a deep knowledge of personal healing in order to support a client in navigating the terrain of healing the impact of intimate violence, and at the same time, if a practitioner focuses only on developing personal healing skills, they will not develop the competence they need in order to help the client understand their experience of intimate violence in the context of patriarchy, adultism, white supremacy and disability justice.

Ignoring these aspects of shaping and context will leave both practitioner and client at risk of individualizing the client’s healing arc, and likely to miss critical opportunities for each to engage in action for social change, which can re-establish connection and dignity in deeper and more significant ways than are possible solely through individual work. It is important for practitioners to be in ongoing self-reflection, as well as to receive ongoing assessment, in order to balance and counterbalance, or cross-train appropriately to facilitate healing for the sake of liberatory social and environmental change movements

Individual and Social Trauma:  politicized healers need to understand the ongoing cycle between trauma and oppression, i.e. that trauma creates and perpetuates oppression and oppression creates and perpetuates trauma. We hold this as distinct from an individualized view of trauma. 

  • Resilience: politicized healers need to understand the central role of resilience in working with the impacts of trauma and oppression, as well as how resilience can inform and be leveraged for organizing, campaigns and movements. 
  • Grounded in Transformative Justice approach and principles: politicized healers need to be grounded in transformative justice approaches for addressing harm and violence. This means options for safety, transformation, healing and accountability that do not depend on state violence and punishment. Restorative Justice partners with the state, and can still be a better option, at times. Since the capacity for transformative justice (TJ) is low within movement and communities, responses to harm and violence may need to be multifaceted depending on the level of risk of further harm.
    • Practitioners need to be able to deal with the experiences of trauma, violence or harm experienced by clients, their families and communities, and/or the client doing harm/ being violent. These are often situations where others need to be called in for organizing support and accountability. Practitioners should know when to call for this.
    • Politicized healers need to be in ongoing learning and practice with TJ politics and principles: liberation, shifting power, safety, accountability, collective action, cultural relevance/cultural humility, and sustainability. Or refer to someone who is when needed.
    • TJ includes healing and interventions, collective accountability and organizing to change social conditions. 
    • To find out more about Transformative Justice read generationsFIVE’s Transformative Justice document.

What does Political Analysis & Movement Engagement mean?

In order to be relevant to movement, politicized healers need certain political competencies, and to structure their work in order to serve in relevant ways. These competencies and conversations include: 

    • Ongoing political education and development on: intersectional analyses of oppression & privilege, political economy, identity politics, etc.
    • How to establish and maintain a healing practice with political values
    • Ways of being meaningfully engaged in movement, as a healer and as an individual
    • Knowing who to strategically serve in your region, and whom to partner with to assess this
    • Understanding movement roles
    • Understanding movement landscape & trends
    • Holding and grappling with the complexity of resources and income as a politicized healer within capitalism

Political Analysis & Movement Engagement

In order to be relevant to movement, politicized healers need certain political competencies, and to structure their work in order to serve in relevant ways. These competencies and conversations include: 

    • Ongoing political education and development on: intersectional analyses of oppression & privilege, political economy, identity politics, etc.
    • How to establish and maintain a healing practice with political values
    • Ways of being meaningfully engaged in movement, as a healer and as an individual
    • Knowing who to strategically serve in your region, and whom to partner with to assess this
    • Understanding movement roles
    • Understanding movement landscape & trends
    • Holding and grappling with the complexity of resources and income as a politicized healer within capitalism

Group Facilitation (only for healing group leaders)

The purpose of healing groups is to offer participants a space to move through the arc of transformation within a group setting. The aim is embodied healing. A group is a very powerful setting in which to heal because it offers both social and relational reflection, and the possibility to regenerate safety, connection and belonging. For politicized healers to run groups, they need to have training in: 

 

  • Distinctions between holding a group versus one-on-one work
  • Group dynamics & agreements
  • Offering collective assessments (and individual assessments in a collective)
  • Leading demos & doing pieces of work live with an individual or a few individuals within a collective body

What is the path to becoming a gs practitioner? Will I be “certified”?

Our priority is to serve social and environmental justice movements as transformative “booster power.”  We do this through courses, Movement Partnerships and gs practitioners serving folks one-on-one and through healing groups. 

After many conversations within generative somatics and with other practitioner-training organizations, we have determined that we do not want the gsPN to become an accreditation or licensing body. We assessed that this decision is most aligned with gs commitments, strategy, and priorities.  We want to keep our time and capacity on our primary focus serving movement. Also, we aim to support a wide variety of healers and practitioners to serve movement. Making this a credentialed process, tends to limit who has access and asks us to engage legal processes, that are not values-aligned. While depth and competence are our commitments, being a credentialing body is not.

The gs practitioners will reflect a high quality of standards, depth, and responsibility to movement, which includes processes for supporting and assessing practitioner competence. gs practitioners will embody ethical standards and be in ongoing development.  We are committed to ensuring that gs practitioners are best serving movements and communities. 

Each gs practitioner enters this learning with many, many skills you have already developed. We assume these interact with and add to what you learn with gs. The learning process below is a general guide to what it takes to become competent as a politicized somatic practitioner, doing one-on-one coaching or healing, and/ or running small healing groups. Here are the key elements of becoming a gs practitioner.

Training usually includes:

  • Somatics, Trauma and Resilience course (Level 1 and Level 2)
  • Embodied Leadership Series (as relevant)
  • Receive Somatic Bodywork/Coaching (50 sessions)
  • S&T Advanced and/or Somatic Bodywork
  • Practice clients (10 x 10 sessions)
  • Supervision (one-on-one, small group, or national group)
  • Own daily practices → Path. Ongoing self-education, transformation
  • Assessment from senior practitioners or gsPN assessment committee as competent. 
  • Engaged in a base-building or political organization. (Strongly encouraged)
  • Embodiment of core gs theory and practice:  
    • 3 Circles
    • Sites of Shaping/Change (with social context)
    • Arc of Transformation, i.e. developing somatic awareness, commitments, building resilience, regenerating safety, blending, somatic bodywork, holding contradictions, new embodied skills building (boundaries, interdependence, centered surrender, etc.), healing shame and centered accountability, using somatic practices, working with a wide emotional range, 
    • Relational process (projection, transference and countertransference), generating trust and intimacy, and completion.

Somatics Supervision

2020 Somatic Supervision: Monthly Zoom Calls 9am-10:15am PST / 11am-12:15pm CT / 12noon- 1:15pm ET.

Dates: Tuesday Feb 6, Mar 5, Apr 2, May 7, June 4, July 9, Aug 6, Sept 10, Oct 1, and Nov 5

Fees: In past years, gs has charged annually and/or month-by-month for supervision. In 2020, supervision will be made available, free of charge, to all members of the gsPN, the Teacher Training program, and to those who lead somatic practices inside of our Movement Partnerships. We encourage those who participate in supervision Zooms (live or via recording) to consider becoming monthly donors or increase your monthly donation to support our work in an ongoing way.

Check out Somatic Supervision FAQ for more information guidance. If you have further questions, please be in touch: mahfam@generativesomatics.org.

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