612.327.1447 dg@danielgaustad.com

Groups

Somatic Antiracism Group for White Bodies of All Genders - "From Embodied Awareness To Embodied Action" (Ongoing)

The body is where we fear, hope, and react; where we constrict and release; and where we reflexively fight, flee, or freeze. If we are to upend the status quo of white-body supremacy, we must begin with our bodies.

– Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

In this group, we will continue to build somatic awareness of our relationship to Whiteness and White Supremacy Culture. And, we will be sharing and embodying the challenges and successes of mobilizing in the fight against White Supremacy Culture. Within the support of our group and through embodiment, we will expand our capacities to move from Embodied Awareness to Embodied Action.

With the intention of maximizing opportunities for connection and coherence, this group is limited to 8 participants.

This group is open to White Bodies of All Genders (including White-passing individuals or mixed race individuals wanting to lean into their Whiteness).

We will meet approximately twice a month via Zoom.

Prerequisite that participants have: completed my White Bodies and the Characteristics of Whiteness series; spent time in my Somatic Antiracism Group for White Men; or done Individual Sessions with me around Whiteness and White Body Supremacy.

The following books are strongly recommended:

  • My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies – Resmaa Menakem
  • White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo
  • How To Be An Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi

This group is currently FULL. Please contact me if you would like to know about future offerings.

Somatic Antiracism Group for White Men (Ongoing)

This group is for White men who truly and deeply care about engaging with Racism, Colonialism, Imperialism and Patriarchy and who are curious about how engaging with Depression, Aggression and Life Force can increase the potency and sustainability of Antiracism work. We will find that by exploring how implicit biases live in our bodies, we can mobilize and find direction for our Life Force, moving out of Depression and Unhealthy Aggression and into expression of Healthy Aggression.

In order to move forward as men, we must do the deep work of looking at our relationship to race and our embodiment of implicit biases and White body supremacy. It has been my experience that what mobilizes through Somatic Antiracism work also mobilizes in other areas of life (in fact, there is no way to separate race from our lived experience), ultimately leading to healing and growth in relation to developmental and family-of-origin traumas. I have felt this in my own body and in my own relationship to authentic self.

In addition to personal check-ins, facilitated Somatic Sharing and group feedback, participants will be guided through exercises that explore: embodiment of essential goodness and authentic self; capacity to do harm; embodiment of race, racism and White body supremacy; relationship to anger; accessing healthy aggression; mobilizing healthy aggression.

A few of the books that inform this group:

  • The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity and Love – bell hooks
  • My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies – Resmaa Menakem
  • White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo

This is an ongoing group limited to 8 men and meets approximately twice a month via Zoom. Please contact me if you have any questions or if you’d like to inquire about current openings.

Somatic Antiracism Groups for White-Bodied Somatic Therapists and White-Bodied Somatic Therapists-in-Training
  • Somatic Antiracism Study Group for White-Bodied Somatic Therapists-in-Training – via Zoom
  • Somatic Antiracism Group for White-Bodied Somatic Therapists – via Zoom

Required reading:

  • My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies – Resmaa Menakem
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism – Robin DiAngelo

**Note for SE Practitioners-in-Training: as I am not an approved provider, sessions and consultations will not be applied to your required hours for completion of your SEP**

Individual Somatic Antiracism Sessions for Somatic Therapists and Somatic Therapists-in-Training
  • Individual Sessions: Somatic Antiracism and Exploring Whiteness : White-Bodied Somatic Therapists – via Zoom – $150
  • Individual Sessions: Somatic Antiracism and Exploring Whiteness : White-Bodied Somatic Therapists-in-Training – via Zoom – Sliding Scale $50-150
  • Individual Sessions: Somatic Antiracism, Exploring Whiteness and Right Use of Power : White-Bodied Faculty Members of Somatic Therapy Training Programs – via Zoom – $300 donation to a BIPOC-led Antiracism group or organization

Required reading:

  • My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies – Resmaa Menakem
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism – Robin DiAngelo

**Note for SE Practitioners-in-Training: as I am not an approved provider, sessions and consultations will not be applied to your required hours for completion of your SEP**

Through the Lens of Safety and Connection: Working with the Polyvagal Ladder

It is through reciprocal regulation of our autonomic states that we feel safe to move into connection and create trusting relationships.

- The Polyvagal Theory In Therapy, Deb Dana

Drawing upon principles of Somatic Experiencing and Polyvagal Theory, we will explore different aspects of our nervous systems in action, the neurobiology of safety and connection and the tracking of our inner felt experiences leading to more authenticity and compassion in our relationships with ourselves and with others.

Each week will include presentation/discussion on a theme related to safety and connection followed by opportunities for practical application through group work. The combination of discussions and group work will encourage interactions between our autonomic nervous systems.

No previous experience with Somatic Experiencing, Polyvagal Theory or group work is required. Group size is limited to 8 participants.

Fee – $250 for 4-week series meeting via Zoom

Late Fall 2020 dates to be announced.

Past Groups

White Bodies and the Characteristics of Whiteness - Summer 2020

Sense of Urgency, Perfectionism, Defensiveness, Quantity over Quality, Worship of the Written Word, Paternalism, Either/Or Thinking, Power Hoarding, Fear of Open Conflict, Individualism, Progress = better and more, Objectivity, Right to Comfort

(The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture - Tema Okun)

These Characteristics explain much of how we as White people benefit from and actively/passively propagate White Body Supremacy.

Together, let's take a look at how these characteristics land and take hold in our white bodies and how they keep us from doing the work of dismantling our culture of White Body Supremacy.

This 4-week series will include learning through presentation of information, group sharing and somatic exercises that explore characteristics of Whiteness.

Prerequisite - It is highly recommended that you have read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo or have watched a few of her talks on YouTube before this series begins.

With the intention of maximizing opportunities for connection and coherence, this group is limited to 6 participants.

Fee – $250

Wednesday Group 7:00pm - 8:30pm CDT via Zoom: June 24, July 1, July 8, July 15

Cancellation Policy – If you need to cancel, a refund, less $50, will be offered through June 17, 2020. After June 17, 2020, a refund will only be given, less $50, if your place can be filled by another participant.

Thursday Group 7:00pm - 8:30pm CDT via Zoom: July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6

Cancellation Policy – If you need to cancel, a refund, less $50, will be offered through July 9, 2020. After July 9, 2020, a refund will only be given, less $50, if your place can be filled by another participant.

Payment can be made via PayPal (paypal.me/danielgaustad) or Venmo (@danielgaustad).

6-Month Somatic Men’s Group - 2019

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.
– Joseph Campbell

Somatic Experiencing encourages us to look with curiosity at the body and the nervous system in a pragmatic and functional way. When we have a felt sense experience of the connection between the “physical plane” (body and nervous system) and “our own innermost being and reality” (thoughts, emotions, meaning), we can begin to answer questions such as:

– What happens in the body when we experience stress or trauma?
– How can listening to the body have an impact on how we respond to stressors in our life?
– How can we reduce the impact of stressors, reduce our reactivity and really feel alive and engaged in the world?

When we begin to understand how accumulated stress and traumas from our past can show up and limit the quality of our lives in the present, we can begin to move through those limitations and into the fullness of life.

Each session will include learning through presentation of information and group discussion/experiences. There will also be opportunities for individual sharing and feedback. Through sharing and feedback, we will learn from one another and support each other over this 6-month arc of growth and connection.

With the intention of maximizing opportunities for connection and coherence, this group is limited to 8 participants.

A few of the books that have inspired my work:

  • Waking the Tiger – Peter Levine
  • The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity and Love – bell hooks
  • My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies – Resmaa Menakem
Through the Lens of Safety and Connection: A 4-Week Series For Men - 2019

Men of feeling often find themselves isolated from other men. This fear of isolation often acts as the mechanism to prevent males from becoming more emotionally aware.

– bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Love

Each week will include presentation/discussion on a theme related to safety and connection followed by opportunities for practical application through group work. The combination of discussions and group work will encourage interactions between our autonomic nervous systems. Deb Dana in her book, The Polyvagal Theory In Therapy, states that “it is through reciprocal regulation of our autonomic states that we feel safe to move into connection and create trusting relationships.”

Drawing upon principles of Somatic Experiencing and Polyvagal Theory, we will explore different aspects of our nervous systems in action, the neurobiology of safety and connection and the tracking of our inner felt experiences leading to more authenticity and compassion in our relationships with ourselves and with others. “When we have a direct perception of interconnectedness, the four immeasurables (Buddhist virtues of loving kindness, joy, compassion, and balance that are the antidote to negativity) arise and are inherent.” – Mukara Meredith

This group is open to men. No previous experience with Somatic Experiencing or group work is required. Group size is limited to 8 participants.