Creating safer spaces workshop

with Sage Hayes & Lisa Newell

How do we know if the spaces we are offering are actually safe for various groups of folks?

Safer Spaces is a workshop, dialogue, and exploration for therapists, medical workers, bodyworkers, and other helping professionals to learn about how to create safer spaces for marginalized communities through our language, understanding, scope of practice, and healing spaces as practitioners. What does it mean to create safer space in your practice or studio? How do we make 'All Welcome' a reality? 


Workshop Description:

When we say marginalized communities, we mean folks who experience wide-spread systemic oppression because of their race, class, sexuality, gender, age, ability, etc. Safe space for these folks has always been important and yet because of the recent election, there has been an increase in hate crimes and we are facing the threat of loss of civil rights we and our ancestors have worked so hard to gain. We are also seeing an increase in people, especially white folks, wanting to “do something to help”. As helpers in our communities, especially white helpers, it is so important for us to check ourselves on our awareness of how we may perpetuate microaggressions without realizing it. And so that we don’t perpetuate the “white savior” complex.

We as practitioners can't define or truly know what safety is for someone else; we can educate ourselves and each other and develop skills and practices to help our clients feel more welcome and comfortable and not have to deal with some of the common forms of oppression that they have to navigate in the world. We can work toward creating a space where folks of color, queer folks, etc can be comfortable enough to set down some of the layers of protection they have to put up out in the world. With practice, we can even potentially hold space for clients to work through the oppression they experience even if it is not the same type of oppression we experience.

Because the majority of practitioners are white ( we live in a white supremacist culture) and it is our responsibility to work for racial justice in our field, this workshop is open to everyone and specifically geared towards white practitioners.

Co-facilitated by Sage Hayes, SEP, RYT, LMT, BS of Embodied Liberation and Lisa J. Newell, Holistic Somatic Therapist, BS, BHSP, CMT, SEP, RM. Both Sage and Lisa are Somatic Experiencing Practitioners with the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.

Competencies covered:

- Acquiring strategies for sitting with the suffering of others
- Unpacking and leveraging privilege, particularly white privilege
- Identifying and interrupting microaggressions
- Exploring the differences between intent and impact
- Understanding basic neurobiology of prejudice, fear, and threat in relationship to social trauma


Workshop is Friday night 6-8:30pm, Saturday 9:30-5pm

Details: Friday evening 2/3/16 ** 6-8:30pm ** Group Potluck and Introduction - Bring a dish to share with the group - we will be spending some time getting to know each other and beginning the workshop.

Saturday 2/4/16 ** 9:30am-5pm * Please arrive by 9:15am
Lunch 12:30-1:45pm, bring your lunch or eat at one of plenty of places nearby.
We'll provide tea/coffee/light snacks all day

Workshop fee: $80 - $170 suggested sliding scale

We are committed to making this workshop accessible to poor and low income practitioners. We use a cost sharing process in the form of a sliding scale to more equitably cover the expenses of putting on this workshop, relying on folks who have access to more financial resources to pay more so that folks with fewer resources can attend without strain. You decide what you can contribute based on an honest assessment of your financial status.

*If you struggle to meet your basic needs, choose the lower end of the scale.
*If you are doing pretty good and have extra cash for eating out, social activities, new clothes, etc, please choose the middle.
*If you have investments, assets and/or a significant savings, or if paid work is optional, please choose the top of the scale.

If you would like help determining how much you should pay, please get in touch with us and we will be happy to support you.


To register, either pay here or send sliding scale payment in full through paypal to Sage Hayes at 
Creating Safer Spaces Workshop

Once you are registered, we will send you a questionnaire by email shortly. 

About the facilitators:

Sage Hayes is a white, trans, adoptee who grew up middle class and is now self employed creating an affordable online directory for holistic health care practitioners - think the 'YELP of transformation'. Sage has been working in Portland, ME for the past 15 years as both a social justice activist and yoga teacher and has had a private practice in somatic healing for 10 years. Sage travels on various teaching teams for the Somatic Experiencing Institute nationally and abroad. Sage is currently working on mulitiple projects which incorporate healing, social transformation, community building and global evolution. For more about Sage, go to

Lisa J. Newell is a queer, white, working class/buffer class, Holistic Somatic Therapist in private practice in Brattleboro, VT. She has been working toward racial and social justice and abolishing the patriarchy alongside her healing practice for 20 years. Lisa is part of the teaching team for the Somatic Experiencing trauma resolution trainings across the US. She is also a core organizer of Lost River Racial Justice in Brattleboro, VT and a member of Black Lives Matter VT and Southerners On New Ground. For more about Lisa go to