Frequently Asked Questions From Practitioners
Are you curious about joining The Breathe Network and curious as to how being aligned with our organization might complement your existing practice? Would you like to learn more about our work of connecting survivors across the country to sliding-scale, trauma-informed, holistic health and healing practitioners? Perhaps you are trained in more conventional medical practice and you hold interest in bringing a more trauma-informed approach to your work?
Below we have compiled a list of questions from health and healing professionals that we have received with the most frequency. Read on to learn more about the application process, experience and education expectations, trauma training, and support we offer our practitioners.
Thank you for your interest in The Breathe Network!
Frequently Asked Questions from Practitioners
1. I am interested in joining, and even though I want to support this group, I don’t have training specifically in sexual violence so I am unsure if I would be fit. Should I apply?
Our application process provides an essential lens to evaluate and assess whether or not the practitioner has the skills, training and sensitivity to provide trauma-informed care to survivors of sexual violence. While many of our practitioners do have a background in intentionally working with sexual violence survivors, there are some who began in this work with survivors by drawing upon their expertise in their specific modality to provide holistic, person-centered and affirming care their clients. Regardless of the discipline they practice, all of our practitioners share a belief in both the interconnection of the body, mind and spirit – as well as in the innate human capacity to heal and overcome trauma. We have a variety of online recordings about sexual violence and the impact of trauma along with over 40 blogs that can offer you more nuanced knowledge about sexual violence prior to embarking on this work. We are happy to speak with you by phone or email to explore your readiness to work with this population and can also direct you towards our professional trauma trainings or others we recommend.
2. What is the joining fee and the membership fee about? Right now my budget is tight as I am just starting my private practice, what might my options be?
The joining fee and the membership fee are an investment into being listed as a recommended provider of holistic healing that survivors across the country can trust when they seek support. Also, organizations and groups in your area may find you through our website and invite you to deliver trainings or presentations on your practice. One of the primary elements of our work is to promote the services, events, and trainings that you provide through our e-newsletter, social media, and through email inquiries we receive from survivors, their supporters, and organizations that serve them. Membership connects you to our national collective of healers from whom you may receive referrals or refer to, share about events, workshops, and request resources – all which serve to promote or enhance your practice. Additionally, we are implementing specialized trainings for our members that will bring together experts from the fields of sexual violence, trauma resilience, vicarious trauma and working with specialized populations facing trauma and sexual violence to enhance and strengthen your skill as a practitioner while building greater community as an organization. Finally, when our organization is invited to present at events or designs our trainings, we first approach our members to contract for these opportunities. At times, we may be able to sponsor you in sharing your practice, as well as representing The Breathe Network in your local, regional or national community at conferences and events.
For individuals we have a joining fee of $150 and an annual fee of $100. For organizations/groups the joining fee is $300 and the annual fee is $150. The joining fee is expected soon after being welcomed to our network and the annual fee can be paid in full or installments. Sliding-scale is available upon request and we will work with your budget. No one will be prevented from joining based on their financial constraints. We will work with you to ensure access to membership as long as your credentials and references support your application.
3. When you say we have to offer our clients a sliding-scale – what is the scale? Do we have to work with everyone that way? I can only take a few sliding-scale clients at a time – what are my options?
We do not set the scale for what any practitioner charges for their treatments – that is completely up to you. Each provider has a range that is appropriate within their given discipline and can be influenced by a variety of personal and professional factors. We trust you to set the scale at a rate that allows you to thrive in your practice and continue to be sustainable, while also making space for flexibility with clients whose financial resources may be more limited. You are not obligated to work with anyone and there may be times when your scale remains inaccessible to a specific survivor. In these cases, we encourage you to to refer to other providers within the network whose fee range is wider. You can also direct survivors back to our organization and we can assist them in identifying other options. We understand that not all practitioners can maintain a thriving practice with a sliding-scale for every client. We have some that do have this capacity, and we also have practitioners who reserve slot/s within their practice for sliding-scale or pro bono clients.
4. How are survivors referred to the practitioners within The Breathe Network?
Our practitioners receive referrals through our website, marketing efforts, outreach to rape crisis centers and national/state coalitions, and as a response to regular blogging related to sexual violence recovery. First and foremost, survivors find practitioners by visiting our website and searching for providers by location and/or modality. Our outreach to rape crisis center and national/state coalitions and our network of providers also help more survivors learn about how The Breathe Network might be able to support them. Additionally, we have a strong social media presence, so we market your services through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr by featuring spotlight posts on individual practitioners. Finally, other practitioners within The Breathe Network may refer a client to you if the survivor requires additional methods of healing support, if they think you will provide more beneficial care to them or if they simply cannot take on more clients.
5. I practice within a large, healing center that employs multiple practitioners, can I still join as an individual practitioner even though the whole center isn’t joining?
Absolutely! We believe that quality is more important than quantity, so we are looking for practitioners who are interested in working with survivors to address their unique needs and who bring expertise and passion to their work. This can come in the form of an entire wellness center aligning with our organization, or from one individual devoted to helping survivors. It is not necessary that the entire practice joins, we would be happy to list you as an individual practitioner.
6. Are there any training or professional development opportunities?
We offer free online teleseminars to everyone, a quarterly training for our members exploring the nuances of sexual harm, trauma-informed practice, experiential healing, and also focusing on specific modalities. We also offer multiple, intensive online trainings to survivors and healing professionals that are provided at a deep discount for members. Additionally, our practitioners have opportunities to facilitate trainings on trauma-informed techniques within their modality, and other practitioners in our network will receive updates on these trainings and be invited to attend – whether in person or online.
7. What kinds of workshops or events have practitioners participated in in the past?
Our practitioners have participated in a variety of events, workshops and conferences. We sponsored four of our practitioners to present their work and research at the National Sexual Assault Conference in Los Angeles which allowed them to attend this 3 day event at no cost – providing them with professional development training as well as national exposure to other practitioners and organizations within the movement. Our practitioners have also facilitated trainings on how their modality works to support holistic healing and modifications for other practitioners in their local and regional community, which we have organized. All of our teleseminars are hosted by our practitioners which is an excellent way to promote their work to clients who may seek them out for individual consulting or training on an ongoing basis since the teleseminars are recorded and posted to our website. Finally, we encourage our practitioners to identify areas where they may have a training opportunity within their field or for those in their community working within the anti-sexual violence movement and work to support them in organizing events, workshops, etc. on their own.
8. I am not sure survivors would want to work with me because I am a man…
Sexual violence impacts people of all genders and each person will resonate uniquely with a healer and also have their own personal preferences for what they are looking for in a care provider. It is important that we have practitioners in the network who truly represent the population of our survivors, which includes men, and people of all genders. The more diversity in our pool of practitioners, whether that is diversity of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, ability, religious/spiritual practice, language, and more, the better we can ensure optimal comfort and care for our survivors. We make no assumptions about what kind of healer any one survivor will feel comfortable with, since each person has their own experience and history. We do, however, have a commitment to meeting a variety of emotional safety needs for our survivor population and strive to offer culturally competent care by working to intentionally, and in an ongoing manner, diversify our practitioner network across the vast spectrum of identities.
9. Can you explain how the application process works and what you do with my responses to all of those questions?
In order to join The Breathe Network, you begin by completing the application. If your application meets our requirements, combined with the support of 3 professional references – we will move your application forward. Once you have been invited to join, we will then go through the process of on-boarding and welcoming you to The Breathe Network, which includes paying the one-time membership fee. From your application, we will create your practitioner page, which includes a description of your work, your philosophy of healing, your vision of trauma-informed care, your practice location and contact information where survivors can reach you.
10. Is there any additional fee if someone is referred to me through TBN’s website?
Nope! There are no fees for referrals that come through The Breathe Network! We simply connect survivors with holistic healers so that they can receive the treatment they need and seek. We do, however, send out optional, anonymous surveys to our practitioners inquiring about how many referrals they knowingly received through our organization. Tracking referrals in this way is incredibly useful because it allows us to assess and modify the methods we use to draw survivors to our website and help them find providers who can accompany them in their healing. Being able to effectively and confidently identify a trauma-informed healer can reduce the stress of not knowing where and from whom to seek holistic healing support, and ultimately leads to an enhanced and empowering experience for a survivor navigating the healing path. This is our primary goal.
11. Can you tell me about some of the benefits of joining, or is there a place I can learn more?
By joining you expand the reach of your practice through our national marketing efforts including our comprehensive website, social media, monthly e-newsletter, brochures and conference sponsorships. There are many benefits. You become part of a community of healers that share information with each other about best practices, creative problem solving and peer support; you can utilize the opportunity to conduct teleseminars and write articles to educate survivors, advocates and healers about your techniques and how more people can utilize the best practices that you have identified; you are able to create your own practitioner page on our website which informs viewers about the mind, body and soul impacts of sexual violence, methods of healing and your vision of how survivors can overcome and transcend trauma; we publicize your work on our website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and in our e-newsletter Embodied Healing which highlights the work, articles, achievements, and events offered by our practitioners; your listing on our website will also improve your search engine rankings (SEO) with a “backlink” from our website to yours; and you can access speaking and presenting opportunities at conferences and workshops through opportunities within our organization.
12. I am new to my practice and I don’t have an established client base, would it be appropriate for me to join?
Yes! Joining The Breathe Network is a great way to receive new clients for someone who is just embarking on private practice. We can help promote your work by featuring you in a one-on-one interview to learn more about your practice and what drew you to your method of healing. Joining the network also helps you connect with other holistic healers, locally and nationally, who can refer more clients to you.
13. I am a highly seasoned practitioner, and I already have a wait list, yet I am invested in the work of assisting survivors of sexual violence in healing. What might be the benefits for me to join?
We have many seasoned practitioners in our network whose extensive experience working with survivors supports a solid foundation within our organization. The benefits for our more established members include being invited to share their expertise with a wider community of survivors and other practitioners through teleseminars, or through facilitating special events like trainings or workshops in their area. You will be able to influence and educate less experienced practitioners in your area of expertise so they can gain more competence, confidence and skill in their work with survivors. Also, survivors and other professionals working with survivors of sexual violence learn so much about holistic healing simply by reading through our practitioner pages, so whether or not they make contact with you, we believe that you are having an impact that can positively influence their belief in the capacity to heal after sexual violence. Finally, if you believe in the value of holistic healing and access to such healing, by aligning yourself with our organization, you strengthen our mission and help to spread the wisdom and power of holistic healing with others.
14. I am confused by what it means to be an affiliated practitioner – are we hired as employees of The Breathe Network?
When you become a member of The Breathe Network, you retain your full autonomy as a healing arts practitioner. You are simply affiliated with our work and have intentionally marketed yourself through our website as someone who is both comfortable and confident in working with survivors of sexual violence.
15. Can you describe some of the marketing and communication support you offer for practitioners?
We send out monthly messages to our practitioner google group with social media links, introducing new members and other posts – if you have events, news, writing, we will share any and all of it! Each month we feature the new folks who have joined The Breathe Network as the first item in our newsletter to highlight their work. You can utilize the google group to promote your own work as well or seek referrals or information from your colleagues. In addition, we have a Facebook group for our practitioners which you are invited to join and utilize as a way to widen the reach of your work! We are intentional about promoting all of your good work on a daily basis. We do this through all of our social media efforts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr), by referring the contacts we receive from survivors and organizations to your website to learn more about you, and through our e-newsletter where we feature special news about our network.
When a practitioner is interested in going a bit deeper into the work they do, or sharing about their healing arts vision and practice beyond what is listed on their practitioner page, we are happy to invite you to a blog interview which we can then publish on our website and link to your practitioner page. This is another effective way that our survivor community and the organizations that serve them can learn about your practice. Please inquire about this upon joining!
16. Do you have any testimonials from practitioners who can share about their experience?
We are building this page right now. Stay tuned!
17. I see that you don’t currently have anyone else in your network who offers my modality – will that make it more challenging for me?
We celebrate the addition of new healing arts modalities to our network! We have found that once someone joins within a given modality and they are the first, they tend to influence and impact other people in that discipline who are later inspired to join. We believe that the more modalities we can offer, the more likely it is that a survivor will find a technique and a practitioner with whom they resonate. Being the only person in your modality will likely be a short-term experience given the nature of the way in which it opens other practitioners minds to the idea of aligning their technique with our organization – yet rather than it being a challenge for you, it will be a way in which you stand out within our organization.
18. I am trained as a nurse practitioner and while I often work with survivors and bring a holistic lens, I am not sure you are looking for conventional medical practitioners – and if you are, how do we fit into your mission?
We are absolutely open to conventional or traditional medical, health and wellness practitioners joining our organization as long as they bring a trauma-informed lens to their work and believe in the value of holistic healing. We recognize that healing may be something we navigate across our lifespan, and that some of us may identify specific health challenges that require conventional medical intervention. This is part of building our resilience as well! There are many survivors who may postpone critical conventional wellness treatments for years because of their fear of triggers, re-traumatization, lack of sensitivity, etc. which diminishes their capacity to heal and be resilient in their life.
Returning to the doctor after years of anxiety and potentially blaming ourselves for not feeling safe enough to seek treatment can be a liberating and empowering experience – yet it often requires that the survivor has knowledge upfront that the provider will be open to accommodating the unique needs of a survivor. We strive to reduce those barriers from talking openly about the physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual impacts of sexual violence, and encourage all health and wellness practitioners to identify how they can create a more survivor-centered, trauma-informed environment. Part of our healing may very well be connected to being able to have an emotionally safe, trauma-informed experience at our annual gynecological exam or to be able to confidently return to the dentist and have our cavities filled without feeling threatened, vulnerable or unsafe.
We offer training for conventional health and wellness practitioners that may not have an overtly holistic framework, but due to the nature of their work in human services, can have a more positive impact on their clients when they practice with a trauma-informed perspective. There are creative, simple, easy and yet deeply powerful ways in which all human service and health and wellness professionals can modify or tailor treatment to make it increasingly accessible to someone who has survived sexual violence and trauma.
19. I really want to work with this population, however knowing how intense this work can be, combined with my own story – I have concerns about compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma – do you offer any support to your practitioners?
We are working to establish a support resource that primarily serves our practitioner community and the unique impacts of working with survivors of sexual trauma. We hope to unveil this resource in early 2016. Our practitioners utilize a Facebook group to learn about accessible, yet powerful methods that their peers are using to maintain regular self-care and balance. We believe that survivors must be at the forefront of our conversations and actions related to sexual violence and since we know that this work can take a toll, we encourage you to take your time to decide about joining. You are invited to contact our Founder directly with questions, concerns or to simply seek support around navigating your own wellness while supporting others in their healing journey. We also recognize that survivors have a key role in the healing world as they truly embody survivor resilience and the capacity to heal and thrive after trauma. Survivors who have been able to successfully access healing support and who then choose to train in the healing arts, can share the gifts of their sensitivity and wisdom with other survivors, while holding the possibility for healing for their clients until they reach a place where they recognize it within themselves. Your wellness as a practitioner, a survivor, and a person, is our priority and we are always available for your inquiries related to resources, support, and modifying the way in which you are practicing to make it more sustainable for you.
20. What do you mean when you say your organization serves survivors of sexual violence – who does that include?
We utilize the language of sexual violence as an umbrella term which encompasses a range of non-consensual, unwanted sexual acts or behaviors that a person might describe as sexually violent, harmful, traumatic or negative. This could include sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, stalking among other forms of sexual harm – and in some cases, there may not be any physical contact. The people who seek out our services may have experienced verbal sexual harassment at work or they may have been sexually abused by someone within their family. There is a range of ways in which we experience harm. We have also seen a number of people for whom our organization’s mission resonates, that have not experienced what they would describe as sexual violence, however, they may have suffered a traumatic experience during a medical procedure or another experience that was connected to their sense of sexuality, sensuality and embodiment. Not all survivors will identify what happened to them as trauma, not all people will self-identify as a survivor, and some may feel that they did not experience violence, yet they sense a lasting negative or uncomfortable impact from what occurred. Our network of trauma-informed, holistic healing arts practitioners are equipped to respond to a range of needs, whether an incident occurred last month or 3 decades ago. We have extensive resources for healing and resilience for those who seek out support from our network.
Do you have a question not answered here? Please send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we will respond as soon as we are able! Thank you for your interest in joining The Breathe Network!