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Equitable Access Fund for the Edmonton Based Somatic Experiencing® Training

What it is:

The Edmonton based Somatic Experiencing® (SE) training team welcomes a new cohort of SE students every two years. We recognize that training is not financially accessible to many individuals who are interested in this learning. In Edmonton, it costs approximately $8000 over the course of the first two years for a student to complete the Beginning and Intermediate years of the training and accompanying personal sessions and consultations required to obtain an SEP certificate. We view access to funding as a social and political problem that needs to be addressed. 

As an act of reparation and reconciliation with communities of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), and the LGBTQ2S+ community, we’re making efforts to expand access to Somatic Experiencing Practitioners within these communities and for BIPOC and/or LGBTQ2S+ service users. We the scholarship team are committed to finding ways to support more equality of access, which is the purpose of this fund.

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Research demonstrates that trust, safety, and connection in the therapeutic relationship are more easily established for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, and LGBTQ2S+ individuals when the therapist shares their cultural and/or ethnic background. In light of this, making SE training more accessible to BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ practitioners will create more equitable access to treatment in our communities. This equitable access fund will support a few individuals to access the training and have the opportunity to bring this learning back to support those that they work with.

Who is it For?

  • Individuals, in Alberta, who are from communities and cultural backgrounds that are underrepresented in therapeutic and helping communities and overrepresented as individuals accessing services, including: black, Indigenous, people of colour, and/or individuals from the LGBTQ2S+ community.

  • Individuals from these communities who are in a helping profession or role, such as, but not limited to: therapist, counsellor, social worker, psychologist, teacher, outreach worker, body worker, or addiction support.

  • Individuals from these communities who are interested in the Somatic Experiencing® Training, are open to potentially completing the full 3-year training, and the possibility of taking the steps to achieve their Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) certificate. While it is our hope that the successful applicant completes the full training and SEP process, it is not a requirement or an expectation.

  • Individuals from these communities that would not be able to access this training without financial support.

  • Individuals from these communities who are interested in somatic trauma interventions, have a vision of how they would like to apply these interventions, and are committed to using these skills to support their community.

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How many Scholarships will be offered?

Our scholarship initiative aims to support as many individuals as possible. Based on funds raised, and the need of applicants, we will support a minimum of 2 students in each new cohort. One scholarship will go to an individual who is Indigenous, and the other scholarship will be directed towards someone in the BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ population.

What to Expect:

The successful applicant, if they choose to complete the full training program, will be aware that it is a 3 year commitment. The first 2 years of the program, the Beginning and Intermediate levels, will be in Edmonton, and the advanced year is not offered in Edmonton so will be in another location. The first two levels of the training consist of 6 modules, each 4 days long that are spread out over the course of 2 years. This scholarship goes towards costs associated with the first 2 years of training only. If the successful applicant chooses to continue to the advanced year of training, they will be responsible for all associated costs. The Advanced year takes place over 2 modules that are each 6 days long. This will require the ability to commit to these dates, to take time away from work and family to be at the training, and to travel for the modules.

During these learning modules, individuals will be participating in lectures, experiential learning, and group practices where learning is applied and practiced.  Topics related to various experiences and presentations of trauma and the impacts on the nervous system are explored and may be triggering to participants. There will be supports on site to reduce the impact of these explorations but participants need to be aware and prepared to be in contact with trauma related content.

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Additional/ Uncovered Costs:

This fund will support cost associated with the first 2 years of the SE training program. The advanced year, or 3rd year, has different organizers and is not offered in Edmonton therefore is separate from the Edmonton Cohort and this scholarship. The amount of financial support that each successful applicant will receive for the first 2 years in the Edmonton cohort will be determined based on what the individual identifies as their need in their application. This could range from full tuition coverage to partial tuition coverage. Applicants are asked to identify their needs so that individualized scholarship awards can extend to as many individuals as possible.

If the successful applicant decides that they would like to move forward with the advanced year of training, the student would be responsible for all associated costs, including tuition, travel, and accommodations for the advanced training.

To complete the Somatic Experiencing Practitioner certificate there are requirements for personal sessions and consultations. Even if the successful applicant does not wish to pursue their SEP certificate, personal sessions and consults assist to deepen and integrate SE learning. If the fund recipient chooses to participate in personal sessions or consults there will be additional costs for these sessions and consults. If the successful applicant indicates that a reduced fee would support their access, the additional costs of consults and personal sessions will be offered at a 50% reduced rate of $65 for individual sessions/consults and $25 for group consults with the Edmonton training team. Only required sessions for an SEP designation will be covered at the reduced rate. The cost of any additional sessions over and above program requirements would be the responsibility of the student and would be charged at the full rate.

Our Commitment to Applicants:

Our commitment to you is that the scholarship team enters this endeavour with open eyes and open hearts. Our intent is to support the individuals selected to access this fund to the best of our ability. Every successful applicant will have access to support, if needed, and to share feedback. This is new territory for the Edmonton SE community and although we are committed to equity, reparation, and reconciliation, we recognize that we will likely make some mistakes along the way. If and when we do, we welcome feedback and want to be called in so that we can make changes and do the work to rectify any blind spots and missteps. The development of this fund will be a learning process and an unlearning process along the way.

If you have additional questions, contact Terri Bailey

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