If you’ve been reading my emails, you already know that almost everyone has trauma whether or not it seems obvious.
Think about it... When we don’t feel safe, it’s hard to connect with people. It’s hard to feel curious. It’s hard to learn, take things in, and experience the world with an open heart and mind.
It’s uncomfortable feeling anxious, feeling tense, feeling nervous -- so as we walk into these experiences, we often do our best to hide it. We project an exterior that says everything’s fine and show up a little numb and checked out.
Physically we’re there, but the rest of us? Not so much.
We can’t know what’s going on inside the people we hold space for.
We can’t know their past history and experiences, their trauma and wounds and hurts and triggers
We can’t know the childhood they had, or the experiences in adolescence that taught them they don’t belong.
We can’t know that meeting new people makes them anxious, or how this is the first time they’ve decided to try coaching and they’re nervous and scared, or how the last time they tried breathwork they had a terrible time but they’re giving it another go.
We can’t know.
Which is why it makes SO MUCH SENSE to make creating safer spaces our top priority.
What would be possible for us as facilitators, and for our students and clients, if the people that come to us feel safe enough to be even more open, to be vulnerable, to get curious with us, to explore and to play, creating experiences that are truly healing?
Imagine the difference we could make.
Imagine the experiences people could have if they felt truly comfortable in our care.
Imagine being the kind of facilitator who can skillfully take people to the edges of their discomfort in a way that feels safe enough for them to go just a little further than they thought they were capable of.
Imagine knowing how to facilitate this dance with discomfort in safe enough space and how much MORE our students and clients could receive if we tipped the scales in their favor and knew how to create safer spaces for them.
For myself, I feel that safety is the thing that dissolves those walls, that peels back those layers, that holds space for those miraculous experiences.
So many of us who are taught to guide meditations, teach yoga, conduct one-on-ones and workshops, as therapists and as coaches have been conditioned to say ‘this is a safe space’, because in our heart of hearts we want people to feel safe with us.
But telling people they’re safe doesn’t make them feel safe.
We can’t completely control the environment, and we can’t know what feels safe for every person we hold space for.
So we can’t promise a completely safe space - and neither should we.
But we CAN work towards providing a SAFER space. -- and we have a responsibility to do so.
So what do we do?
We create safer space through actions, not through telling someone they are safe.
I’m not as sensitive as some people. So a big part of this, and why it was really good, was to understand how making small changes on my behalf as a facilitator can really make a huge impact on the way people receive.
I’m getting more empathy for people who’ve been through more than I've been through, and the effect that’s had on their nervous systems.
When you join Creating Safer Space, you’ll learn so many tools and practices to create that sense of ease for people, and it all begins with how we set up the experience we’re offering, and how we orient someone to the experience they’re going to have with us.
So, what do I mean by orienting someone to the experience they’re going to have with us?
Orienting means making the unfamiliar familiar, so the nervousness and anxiety of not knowing what to expect can soften, and people can be present with us, ready to receive what we’re offering them.
This goes DEEP for people and often it’s unconscious. Many folks with trauma have NO idea they are even feeling anxious or on guard.
In this survival mode we’re not able to receive information and take in connection.
We’re not able to feel safe enough to experience the edges of our discomfort in a way that supports our healing and growth.
Orienting is about first impressions. You know that first impressions count - we hear it all the time.
Orienting is how you create a first impression for someone - whether it’s the first time or the hundredth time they’re walking into your space. And believe me… they ARE sizing you up whether or not they are even conscious of it!
It makes a HUGE difference, as you’ll learn when you listen to the audio examples included in the course - you get to hear it in action, so you can experience what it feels like to know what’s coming next in your own body.
15 videos with simple, incredibly effective tools and practices for creating safer space so you KNOW you’re setting people up for the best possible experience with you. ($500 value)
Guided audio practices - hear a whole lot of examples of how to use what you’re learning in your own teaching and space holding. ($400 value)
Step-by-step practices you can use with your clients and students (or even yourself) to help them ground, center and resource. ($400 value)
Bonus interviews - several videos with a wide variety of guest teachers share how they “Create Safer Spaces” well in how they guide. ($500)
Access to a private Facebook group to connect with other course participants, and have all your questions answered. (Priceless)
This is very easy to implement, but it has a huge impact. It’s very powerful. It’s not something that’s so complicated you can’t wrap your head around it, it’s very simple yet profound tools that can make such a difference. That’s what I really liked - it was very easy to implement, but I saw a big shift.
Creating Safer Space includes a huge bonus - in depth conversations with a variety of teachers, healers and space holders on the ways they create safer spaces in their work.
You’ll receive some incredible wisdom and many different perspectives on topics like consent, choice, empowerment, change, navigating the edges of overwhelm with people and more.
Dr Betty Martin
Betty begins our interview with the powerful statement: “there’s no such thing as safety.”, and in our conversation, goes into depth around the unmistakable importance of consent.
Bev shares with us the POWER of being "clean", and we talk about creating client-centered and agenda-less sessions so clients are empowered in their experience.
Enrique shares about the importance of giving folks choice and options and the empowerment and sense of agency that comes out of it.
Giselle Jones (LCSW, CMF, CSAT-C)
Giselle shares how to support folks from a variety of backgrounds genuinely feel more safe in our spaces. We explore the HOW of creating "Safe Enough Space" including Consent, Social Conditioning, Inclusivity, Sex and Sexuality, Privilege, Cultural Humility and Compassion.
Rick shares with us how we can create conditions for change without causing overwhelm. He talks about what happens when we try to make someone change and offers his thoughts and tools on how to create transformation without pushing someone over the edge into being triggered by trauma.
Robyn describes what a container is and how important it is to have one - both internally and externally. She also shares how to create a non-judgmental space of allowing so that shifts can happen instead of pushing people into change.
Louiza “Weeze” Doran
Coach, Podcast host, Agent of Change, Strategist & Educator. Louiza Doran, affectionately known as Weeze, is a Decolonization and Liberation Coach. Her work is as multi-faceted as she is. She has designed a coaching and consulting practice that honors her passion for both social equity and personal empowerment.
I see myself slowing down and being more thoughtful of my words and actions. Loving everything about this training!
So many of the Creating Safer Space participants have been surprised at how they feel after taking the course. In learning how to create safer spaces for their clients and students, they’ve created safer space for THEMSELVES.
They’ve learned how to care for themselves in deeper ways. They feel more grounded, present and confident in all areas of their lives, not just in their work. They’re naturally using the skills they’ve learned in their lives outside of their work - their relationships have improved, they say they just feel better. And feeling better feels GOOD.
They’ve learned to identify and tend to their own trigger points and wounds with more kindness - both in their work and in their personal lives.
So not only will you help people who come into your workshops, classes and sessions feeling anxious soften their anxiety and feel calm and ready to receive your gifts, open to having truly transformational experiences…
YOU will feel safer through doing this course - calmer, more able to meet what comes in your sessions and in your own lives.
Creating safer space for your clients and students causes a beautiful ripple effect out into the world - the people you support feel safer, so they are able to transform at a deeper level, so their impact on the world is greater too.
MODULE 1: WELCOME
Welcome to the course! You get to experience firsthand what it might be like to show up to a trauma aware experience. Immerse yourself in orienting in action, and feel this in your own nervous system as it’s modeled for you.
MODULE 2: ARRIVING
Drop into awareness of how to support others with trauma, and how to support yourselves in the midst of supporting others who have trauma. Get clear on the importance of what happens during arriving for folks with trauma, and play with some experiential exercises so you feel in your own body and nervous system what you’re learning - how it feels, creating a safer space for yourself.
MODULE 3: DEFINING TRAUMA
Getting a little nerdy, in a really accessible way! This module helps you to understand what trauma is, how it impacts pretty much everyone, and the number ONE way to support people with trauma.
MODULE 4: ORIENTING, CONTAINER AND AGREEMENTS
This helps you understand what a container is and why it’s fundamentally important to creating safer space for just about everybody. It breaks down how to create a solid and healthy container for the experience you’re giving your people. AND, lots of examples so you can hear what this sounds like and how you might use what you’re learning to do this for your people.
MODULE 5: SAFE ENOUGH SPACE
As you’ve read about at the top of this page - we go into more detail on the difference between ‘a SAFE space’, which we can’t promise anyone, and ‘SAFER space’ which we can absolutely work towards providing. Learn how to invite people into supportive experiences without making promises about safety.
MODULE 6: WORK WITH YOUR TRIGGERS
You know this! It’s so important to care for yourself so you can better care for your students and clients. Learn where your hot spots are and how to tend them. Learn how to lean even more fully into your own internal and external support systems. Creating safer space for you, as well as the people you support.
MODULE 7: COMMANDS VS. INVITATIONS
Learn how to invite people into the experiences you’re offering in a way they’re likely to be SO much more receptive to your guidance. We’ll also talk about the balance between being direct, and offering empowered choice, and why telling people to ‘close their eyes’, or ‘relax’ is often not so helpful, and what you can say instead.
MODULE 8: EMPOWERED TOUCH & CONSENT
Oh the importance of this module! Here you learn to track a truly empowered yes or no, and how healing it can be to honor a ‘no’. You’ll understand how to sense this in your own body and also how to help your client or student convey this to you so you can be fully supportive of what THEY need in any given moment.
MODULE 9: POWER DYNAMICS & RELATIONSHIP TO CARE
It can feel SO GOOD to have people doing what you tell them to, but that’s not giving them the responsibility to learn how to make wise choices for themselves. When we learn how to share power with our people, it’s incredible what healing and growth can occur with high integrity and ease. This is something that’s often been taken from this and we can help them restore their personal power when we can understand what might be happening here.
MODULE 10: TO THE EDGE BUT NOT OVER
Faster & more intense does not equal deeper - as much as many people crave intense, cathartic experiences, these are not always the most skillful way for people to receive the gifts you offer them. Learn some tools for working with people’s edges - how to bring people towards their edge, but not over.
MODULE 11: CHARACTER TYPES TO LOOK OUT FOR
4 surprising character types to look out for in your classes and sessions, and what each of them needs. By looking through the lens of these types you’ll be able to start recognizing how trauma shows up in the room by paying attention to these various characteristics that people display.
MODULE 12: TENDING TO SEXUAL TRAUMA
Why it’s important to have an awareness of the cultural conditioning the majority of us have around our sexuality and how it impacts disconnection from our desires. Adding to the conversation around power dynamics, responsibility and a wake up call for embracing our motivations when supporting folks around healing sexual trauma, growing capacity for sexual intimacy and creating permission for ALL parts of our students and clients to be present.
MODULE 13: TRIGGER MOMENTS
Easy to follow tools you can use to support people who are experiencing a trigger moment while in your care, and how to support yourself in this too. When people become really overwhelmed or shut down, you can implement these tools - accessing them immediately so they’re right there when you need them.
MODULE 14: SIMPLE RESOURCING PRACTICES
Learn the language you can use to support people in feeling safer, practices you can use with clients/ students (and yourself!), ways to help people come into the present moment and tap into their resilience and how to share and teach resourcing so your people are more and more empowered.
MODULE 15: EQUITY & DIVERSITY INCLUSION
Why we can't talk about trauma without talking about marginalized populations.
MODULE 16: EXTRA RESOURCES
Where to go next? Additional reading, trauma awareness tips for facilitators, and a beautiful grounding practice for you to explore. Everything you need to deepen your understanding, right at your fingertips. This is a constantly growing resource toolkit that will be a supportive foundation for you to return to over and over again.
MODULE 16: INTERACTIVE CALL RECORDINGS
These live interactive calls have been recorded and uploaded to the course and are a very rich resource to learn more about the different ways people are creating safer spaces in their work. Course participants share their celebrations and struggles both personally and professionally and Shelby offers trauma aware support and guidance. She also answers questions related to various types of facilitators, therapists, coaches and guides.
You know when you haven’t really gotten a certain piece of the puzzle, that makes things flow a little bit better… this program is filling in those gaps, filling in those little pieces. The puzzle is all coming together where I have the tools and the voice, and what to say, in a much clearer way.
My journey has its own ups and downs and I became who I am today through quite a few dead end roads, misguided coping mechanisms, a depth of complex trauma, and a strong dose of PTSD.
But everything changed the day I walked into a Buddhist Meditation Class about 15 years ago.
I ended up getting a coaching certification, then a somatic psychotherapy degree, got another coaching certification in Sex, Love & Relationships, went deep into embodiment, tantra, and sensuality (which I use in my work and life everyday), started working with clients and realized I’m really passionate about this!
I’ve been traveling the world the past couple of years and living in Bali much of that time. I’ve been both teaching and also immersing myself in trainings and workshops and taking notes on specifically what people are doing (and not doing) to create space for their students and clients that gives the best opportunity for healing and growth.
I help people heal and grow so they can offer their gifts to others and using my somatic psychotherapy background to make sure that we’re navigating trauma in a way that doesn’t cause more.
In other words, I’m here to help people be more of themselves so they can heal their wounds and the world.
I want you to be able to TRUST that you can create a safer space so that your clients can heal, learn and grow with you and YOU can tap more fully into your AUTHENTIC VOICE, WISDOM and SPACE-HOLDING with incredible wisdom, care and compassion.
What I really really admire about Shelby is her transmission and her embodiment of what she’s speaking, is more powerful than most teachers I’ve worked with. Her level of integrity between embodiment and speaking is very high.
And if you can create a safer space that has people feel safe enough to have a life changing experience in your care - that’s the kind of thing they’ll remember forever.
Pablo - Breathwork Facilitator, Bali
Taran - Counselor & Therapist
"I have finished your course on creating safer space and I must say, it is VERY GOOD. I appreciate the explanation of trauma because I think it is misunderstood by many folks and you have made it easily understandable. I found it a refreshing reminder of the fact that most of us have trauma induced lack of resiliency in some aspect or another of our being. I love that your path to healing is about encouraging resilience and resourcing; it reminds me of the idea that flooding a room with light just naturally makes the darkness go away - no struggle involved. No further trauma, either. I can use this in the casual and more formal conversations with our clients in behavioral health settings. Our clients have a very high incidence of repeated trauma and, "Safe Enough Space" is definitely applicable and worth listening to more than once."
– Kestrel Jean, RN, Bend, Oregon
Dawn - Therapeutic Bodyworker, Sex, Love & Relationship Coach
Daniella - Woman’s Empowerment and Female Sexuality Coach
How long will the course take me?
Creating Safer Space is designed in bite-size chunks - most of the videos are short. You could take one in each day for a couple of weeks, binge watch them all in a day, or really take your time to integrate each new module before moving on (that last one is my recommendation!). There are 9 hours of content, including bite-size videos, audio practices and examples, and guest teacher interviews. There’s also the bonus extra of the interactive call recordings, which are a great extra resource - see how other Creating Safer Space participants are applying these tools in their practices and learn from the questions they ask (not included in the 9 hours).
Can you tell me more about what to expect in this course?
This is an INFORMATIONAL series - you won’t be a trauma expert at the end of it, but you WILL be trauma aware, and have a lot of tools to support your clients and students so you feel super confident in the spaces you hold. This course is about creating spaces so your clients and students with trauma feel more resilient, resourced and held so the trauma they carry doesn’t overwhelm them while being guided by you. They’re more able to receive the value of what you’re offering. This course doesn’t help you directly heal and/or resolve trauma - that’s for more specialized trauma therapists and is a much longer training process. However, clients and students may inadvertently heal naturally through these practices. There are some guided practices AND there is a Facebook group where you can ask lots of Q’s and get clarifications. You also have access to two live 60 minute calls each month, where you can ask Shelby your questions directly, and hear from other course participants how they’re applying these tools in their work and lives.
Who is this course not for?
This is a beginner level trauma awareness training, so it’s not for folks who have specialized body-based trauma training already like Sensorimotor or Somatic Experiencing or Organic Intelligence. It IS for folks who care about their impact, and are willing to look at their blind spots, and to slow down enough to care about those they might be missing.
Do I get instant access to the course when I buy it?
Yes! When you click “I’M IN!”… 1. You’ll be directed to a payment page 2. Once payment is received, you’ll receive an email with access to the course and an invite to join our private Facebook group where you can ask all of your questions.
Do you offer a money back guarantee?
We sure do. If you’re not satisfied, just contact me within 30 days of purchase, and I’ll refund your money. No questions asked.
Do you cuss in your videos? (okay this isn’t asked frequently, but I thought it was important to let you know!)
We sure do! If, for any reason, you don’t Not a lot but I do drop a few “F-Bombs” for emphasis throughout the modules so proceed at your own risk ;-)