Small Group SE Study Session Intensives – Workshop

Somatic Experiencing Intensives – they’re different than “Intense”

An immersive small group session clinic study intensive for SE People to watch – and feel – how a seasoned SE practitioner works with different people, multiple times, over several days.

My Somatic Experiencing Intensives are specifically for SE students and practitioner and are meant to:

  • Dive deeper into the SE material.
  • See 1st time sessions with your outside clients.
  • Ask any questions you want and get authentic answers.
  • Have great sessions for yourself in a supportive environment.
  • Gain a better understanding of the progression and process of a course of SE therapy.

These are definitively the deepest and most generative learning environments that I’m involved in creating. That makes sense, 6 people and myself spend 4 days together focusing on all things SE. Special, these events are special.

How this works

A small group of SE people get together and invite me to their location for 4 days to give daily sessions with each participant while the rest of the group observes. We’ll also bring in your outside clients for demos too. As the days go on we’ll discuss various aspects of these sessions and the SE process in informal conversation and specific consultation seminar periods each day.

It’s an organic immersive learning experience meant to facilitate participants’ felt sense understanding of the craft and theory of SE as well as receive some good session work within the context of a supportive and like-minded group. Wordy to talk about but lovely to experience. – Twig

Typically participants all know and like each other. Other times they’re an ad hoc groups where everyone is at the least cordial and supportive. Groups often come together because someone like you hears about these and starts talking to their friends and colleagues about creating a study intensive with me. How a group comes together or chooses to coordinate themselves is up to you. As you all develop a solid plan 1 person takes on the role of coordinating with me.

Some Organizing Principles:

  • Relaxed focused attention.
  • Participation and engagement.
  • Understanding and sharing.
  • Witnessing, safety and support.
  • The best possible sessions and reflections I can give you.

What participants have said

“Be prepared for an experience that will offer you a lot-professionally and personally-and ask you to stretch yourself to take it in. Twig brings knowledge, skill, and a capacity to help make complex matters clearer, but it is up to the individual to take it inside, and that takes effort. One of the richest most meaningful educational/personal experiences I have had in my many years of education and therapy.” –Ken Talan, M.D.: psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and Somatic Experience practitioner.

“Twig is a true master of the art of SE. He is such a great teacher and very empathetic and funny to boot. I would totally recommend you do an intensive or supervision with him.” -Pratibha Eastwood Ph.D. SEP

“The 4 day SE clinic was one of the most helpful experiences for learning SE I have participated in. Twig was a master at facilitating our personal and mutual learning. And even though we went deep into experience and learning about SE, it was never too much. I left that experience renewed, more grounded in my life, with more confidence in working with this model, and inspired to go back to my clients. I deeply appreciate Twig’s willingness to offer his time and expertise to us in this way.” -Carol Spears, LCSW, SEP

Timing and daily organization

Creativity in scheduling is certainly welcome but here is the pattern that seems to work best most often:

Days 1, 2 & 4:

  • 8:45am – Outside client
  • 10-1pm – 3 participant sessions
  • 1-2:30pm – Lunch
  • 2:30-5:30pm – 3 participant sessions
  • 5:30-6:30pm – Group Consultation and debrief.

Day 3:

  • Individual sessions without the group watching scheduled throughout the day (sometimes this is done with the group).
  • This day can include or not include a group consultation/debrief at the end of the day.
  • Typically 2 outside clients make up the difference for an 8-hour day in a cohort of 6 participants that doesn’t do a debrief at the end of the 3rd day.

This schedule is meant as a guide and most groups develop a kind of flexible flow adding in short breaks as necessary and adjusting to the reality that some sessions are better when they’re shorter and others best when a little longer. For this reason outside client sessions start the day at 8:45am so the rest of the day can develop as necessary.Lunches are usually taken together and used as time for further social engagement, question and answer periods and general good will. The times above fit a 6 participant cohort with 1 outside client per day (2 on Sunday). Adjustments can be made for a cohort of 5 or 7. Again, original or creative thinking on scheduling is welcomed.

What participants get

Beyond just a great time with great people swimming in great material, you’ll also receive…

  • Daily sessions with me (please review my scope of practice notes below).
  • My very best thinking about what you can do during and after the intensive to personally integrate your SE sessions and move toward greater self-regulation.
  • An open space to ask me anything that you want regarding SE and a promise to do my very best in answering it or identifying where a better answer can be found.
  • Opportunity to watch (and feel in the group space) the pacing, rhythm, languaging and directionality of my interpretation of SE sessions.
  • My undivided attention for 4 days (I turn off my contact with others and focus my attention purely on participants during these intensives).
  • Group consultation credits for those needing SEP requirements [note: this is only for time spent in the consultation environment and does not include session credits].

My scope of practice

It’s important to recognize what I’m truly good at and what you’re better off getting elsewhere.

  • My focus is definitively psycho-physiological self-regulation. I use classic SE sessions to help people create greater resiliency and capacity to negotiate stress events and cultivate the state of well-being.
  • I am not a psychotherapist nor a pre and parental or attachment focused therapist. I am informed enough to have in-depth conversations about these themes and even to provide some significant assistance in these arenas but it is not where I focus my training or work.
  • One of my specialities is the ability to identify what I am doing and why and to translate that to SE clinicians during and after their sessions so they can have both a better appreciation of their own organismic processing as well as a better understanding of the SE process in general. In other words, I’m good at naming the physiology of what’s happening. This is a strong focus of my sessions during these intensives.

My needs

I try to be as accommodating and flexible with these intensives as possible as I’m convinced they’re one of the best ways for me to help people both feel better, integrate the SE material and subsequently help others. Those are serious goals for me so I take the opportunity of facilitating these intensives seriously (although admittedly I’m playful in how I do that). Ultimately I probably get as much out of these study sessions as anyone.That said, these intensives require a tremendous amount of resource from me including travel, time away from my home and family, and extreme concentration of attention. To make them viable and sustainable I have a list of needs: Daily Fee:

  • I ask for 8 hours per day of my away-from-home session fee. (8 x $140). [My fee forwarding policy is not available during these intensives.]
  • This is usually broken down by each participant paying for their daily session and a percentage of the 1-hour group consultation seminar debrief.
  • Outside clients usually pay for their session, though this is sometimes adjusted by their inviting practitioner.

Travel expenses covered by the group:

  • From either Seattle or Spokane, WA on United Airlines or by negotiation with other projects if I’m out and about already.
  • Some participants have used their airline mile redemptions to cover my travel expenses.

Room and board: 

  • Sleeping arrangements in a relatively safe and comfortable space where my social engagement is not expected in the mornings and evenings. I won’t be anti-social but I’ll need time to myself at the edge of these days.
  • Typically this is in the home of one of the participants but it is sometimes in a nearby hotel.
  • I don’t need to be fed the entire time but it is admittedly helpful.

Group needs

Organization is done by the local group who invites me. Here are a few needed things:

  • A suitable location for 6-8 people to meet for sessions and conversation.
  • Places to eat nearby or food preparation options on site.
  • General good will toward one another and enthusiasm for the process.
  • A coordinator to handle communication amongst the group members and between the group and myself.

Participant requirements

Let’s say that everyone participating needs to have these things:

  • Intermediate level SE training or higher.
  • General ability to get along with people in a small group.
  • Desire to focus in an intensive process like the one described here.

Dates & scheduling

While I love doing these they’re not always easy to schedule. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • The more warning the better though these are typically schedule 6-8 months out.
  • Weekends are generally best for participants but weekdays are best for me.
  • I maintain a waiting list for these and when I have an unanticipated opportunity to offer one I contact people on that list on a first come kind of basis.
  • These are usually done in 4 and 5 day format though a few 3 days have happened too.
  • You are certainly welcome to be in touch with me to see what might be possible or to get on the waiting list.

Audio video recording

Some groups choose to record part or all of these intensives. I leave this to the discretion of the participants. Generally speaking I don’t help make these recordings beyond a few technical suggestions here and there.

Invite Twig for an SE session clinic intensive

Here are some steps that you can take to make one of these clinic intensives happen:

  1. Re-read this information page.
  2. Think about whether this is something you’re really interested in organizing.
  3. Gather a prospective group of 5-7 people together (plus prospects for outside clients).
  4. Write me and tell me of your interest and your proposal and we’ll see what’s possible.

Note: My clinic intensives tend to be scheduled 6-12 months out and I’m only able to offer a limited number per year. Thanks for your interest and I hope we can work something out.

Let me know what you’re thinking…

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