How are you working to #ChangetheCulture to prevent sexual assault? #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth

I am graduating with my MSW in August and am excited to continue working in prevention and recovery for individuals who have experienced trauma. My work spans multi- media, workshops, expressive arts, consulting, fundraising, and event planning.

Most recently, I completed a clinical internship at Mass Mental Health Center’s partial hospital program providing DBT therapy and psychotherapy groups I also work for a Sexual Abuse Recovery Coach providing and creating supportive online spaces and mentorship to folks in their healing. I believe people who been traumatized are vulnerable to further trauma and so part of prevention work is supporting people in their recovery so they can develop skills to try and protect themselves from additional harm.

Additionally, I’m a co-organizer in a new grassroots initiative called the Survivor Leadership Collective ( that has been showcasing survivor leadership in the community through open mics and art workshops and exhibits over the past year. I’m part of an art studio Planning Committee, which is creating the first designated space for recovery from childhood sexual abuse. To raise awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness Month as well as Child Abuse Prevention Month, I created a video called “We Need You to Listen” featuring various stories of people at different stages of their recovery.

I’ve been sharing my story since my college days where I organized Take Back the Night events in an effort to end stigma and offer hope to others. Sharing my story has been a powerful part of my healing as it’s helped ease the shame and isolation that caused far more suffering than the trauma itself. I found my voice and realized I could use it to help advocate for others and be part of the change. I’m passionate about meditation and nonviolent communication, as well as restorative justice as a means to change the larger culture of  violence and oppression. My vision for #metoorising is to focus on accessibility and systemic oppression in order to prevent violence at every level of society.

Jocelyn Schur, an advocate for survivors of trauma, restorative justice, leadership development, and sex education. She is committed to ending violence through education, prevention, and raising awareness by empowering youth and survivors to know their bodies and their rights. She is a leader of the Survivor Leadership Collective and pursing her MSW at Smith College.

Last week, we asked men why it’s important to be leaders in their communities to support survivors and fight sexual assault. This week, we asked: How are you working to #ChangetheCulture to prevent sexual assault? The individuals you’ll hear from below reaffirm that there are so many ways to advocate – creating cultural changes in the workplace, teaching children that they have control over their bodies, modeling healthy relationships, simply having a conversation about #MeToo – and more. 

At JWI, we’re working to shift norms, language, and attitudes through programming that aims to build a culture of consent. “

Read the full article here:




Restorative Justice.

Whether I’m thinking about gun violence and toxic masculinity, politics, relational trauma, I keep coming back to Restorative Justice. I’ve just added some links to my website for those interested in learning more.

Here’s a quote from a recent talk I listened to, by Sujatha Baliga:

“How do we heal through the work? Be thinking about this notion that we are interdependent. Ubuntu was driving force for truth and recon processes in South Africa. I am because we are. A person is a person through other people. it doesn’t mean you can’t also see it in your work litigating. We get to see that in action through RJ processes….we heal together with our clients. we are healing the world together. Think about why are you in this? what’s your skin the game? instead of thinking about helping people outside ourselves. without becoming narcissistic, there is a e’s a way we can be in deeper relationships and community with the people we are working with. and to humble ourselves and say what do i have to learn from this moment. not like they are in a peetree dish, but rather we are in there with them.

How is my own personal healing going to be the gift to the work that I do? And this is true for allies as well, because we all have colonizers mind. all of us. Even those who have benefited from it are being deeply damaged by it. in closing, it’s my sincere hope that through our individual and collective healing, from our shared legacies of genocide slavery colonialism, that we will all be able to embody ubuntu as lawyers and move beyond justice of sides. win lose, towards a justice that heals.” Sujatha Baliga

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” -MLK

Big milestones and social work updates!

I hope all is well by you.

It’s been nearly a year and I wanted to share some exciting updates.

This past Fall I helped organize two interactive art exhibits in cafes in Boston and Dorchester. We raised awareness about domestic violence and invited the community to join us for open mics to culminate the month. It was especially meaningful to create physical spaces for dialogue during the #metoo movement when so many survivors were glued to their screens reading testimony’s from friends, family, and celebrities on the daily.

This Fall I interned in a college counseling center and most recently I began at Mass Mental Health Center’s intensive outpatient DBT program

Also featured in this newsletter:

  • Where am I headed next?
  • New Opportunities


Where Am I Headed?

In August 2018, I graduate from Smith College School for Social Work with my MSW.

As I complete my final internship, I am considering what therapeutic setting I’d like to work in. Right now, I am loving working on an inter-disciplinary team, the emphasis on collaboration, creativity, and group work. I am drinking the DBT kool-aid which is based in mindfulness and grateful for this rich training experience.

If you come across any great opportunities, I hope you’ll keep me in mind! 

Coming Up:

Join me at Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy training in Great Barrington: Feb 17-20. This course is Entry Level Course for all Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Certificate Programs. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is accredited by IAYT and registered with YA.) They are still offering major discounts!

I am continuing to interview amazing leaders on my podcast, Transforming Trauma), and leading volunteers supporting an online community (4k!) of survivors. This Spring, I have been offered the opportunity to coach survivors in this 16-Week Beyond Surviving group program.

Very excited to shout out to my inspiring colleague and creator of Healers of the Wound, promote a conference Friday, March 16th, 10am-3pm. The theme is “Racial Trauma & Healing: Research, Policy & Practice.”  Stay tuned for details.

Happy Winter!

Choosing Love,

Renew Your Spirit: Why Am I Here?

Fewer than 20% of leaders have a strong sense of their own individual purpose.

Clarifying and connecting to your self of yourself as well for your company, energizes and reinvigorates you as you move through change. When you work towards goals that are more meaningful, your drive and stamina increase!


Remember your personal tagline will continue to evolve as you do.

Her purpose:

“Inspire others to see the infinite possibilities in themselves” -Bonnie St. John (



Their purpose:

  • Build and inspire strong relationships to create change in the world.
  • Colorful communicator helping people discover who they are.
  • Lovingly teach the shoeless to fish.
  • Be part of a community.
  • Form of water activate purpose.
  • To give and receive love.
  • To create inspiration to break boundaries. 
  • No BS, myth busting, kid wrangling, news-ninja, kicking ass with humor and compassion.
  • Up and out together and alone.
  • I am fiercely real and will help you be too.
  • Creating true and sustainable community.
  • Assist others to become a beacon of hope.
  • To be a truth teller and cut through the crap.


My Purpose:

First recognize that the things I want most in my life are NOT the hardest. They are achievable!

Two steps that helped me come up with my purpose (for now!):

1. Identify things I have done well:

Organize events, lead groups, case manage, coordinate volunteers & workshops, fundraise, public speaking, marketing, mentor, listen, gather people

2. Things I Enjoy:

Mentorship, public speaking, writing, building relationships, connections, inspiring, holding space & facilitating inclusion/safe spaces, working with young women, helping others speak their truth, find opportunities, navigate difficult transitions, gather friends, being thoughtful and passionate!


My purpose is to live and lead, embodying self-love through writing, speaking, and partnering to design spaces for others to step into their power. 




Career Moves, What’s Next?




Sunday was my 28th birthday. Instead of New Year’s Resolutions I like to reflect on what I’ve learned this past year of my life and consider the year ahead. This past year has been exciting; I’m in a place in my life and career that I wasn’t a year ago, and I wanted to share with you all some of the challenges and triumpths I’ve discovered along the way. I also want to share some goals for the upcoming 12 months that I can use help holding myself accountable for.

Sometimes we try to ignore our bodies and minds, despite clear signals communicating that something needs to change. For me, this reality was born from my learning to prioritize myself better and recognize my needs. 

Healing is valuable work. It is draining – emotionally and financially. My creativity and conviction and belief in full recovery has given me hope and inspired others to keep swimming.  For the first time in my life I became my own best advocate, I was and am on a mission. I pushed through the fears that I should just be grateful and accept myself and my life as it is. Ignore pressures to compartmentalize, repress, dissociate and “move on.” It makes others uncomfortable at times and they seem to have lost hope and think you are giving in to your past. DON’T listen to them! Healing is not linear, and these past few months have taught me so much that I would never have believed just a year ago. 

I am forever thankful for my tribe who continues to believe in me and remind me of my strength when I waver.




A fellow social worker entrepreneur, Nicole Clark, writes:

“It’s always been said that when you make a decision to play big, the Universe will rearrange itself to bring in people and opportunities that will get you closer to your dreams. When you have a big enough WHY, the HOW will always present itself.”

I am proud of how far I’ve come since I first put myself out there consulting and coaching in 2012. I remember the Omega Women’s Leadership (Omega Women’s Leadership Center) Intensive that was my launching ground. This growing circle of women who believe in their power and what it means to share power, continue to inspire me. This summer I have the chance to give back to the OWLC and I can’t wait-stay tuned for details! 

Beginning in July 2016, I began hosting a podcast called Transforming Trauma. I still have a lot to learn, but I am proud of and excited by this new opportunity to break the silence. In April 2017, I was offered the opportunity to do be in a direct service role with the coaching business I was contracted for marketing and consulting these past few years. I’m officially facilitating a monthly virtual support groups for adult survivors of physical, sexual, and/or emotional child abuse or neglect, bringing them together within a nurturing and supportive community. This past month, 17 survivors joined the call from around the world-one person calling in from across the world! In the Fall of 2017, in addition to completing the last leg of my Masters in Clinical Social Work @ Smith College (at a college counseling center!), I will be be providing one-on-one coaching to support survivors going through the Beyond Surviving Group virtual program.

This Spring, I’ve been developing a program for Volunteer Facebook moderators who will help maintain a safe space for survivors who seek support in the “Healing from Sexual Abuse” Facebook Community. I’m interested in how people can learn to utilize social media as a rich resource while still protecting themselves from triggers and traumatic experiences. I continue to be amazed at the ways that technology intersect with social work/therapy and how we can leverage online resources and apps to meet people where they are at in their healing. 

Finally, these past several months, I have begun collaborating with various local organizations like Beth Israel’s Center for Violence Prevention & Recovery, Survivor Theater Project, Incest Resources, Cambridge Women’s Center to design more services and spaces to support survivors. I am so energized by this work and am working on creating a scaleable web platform that will be a resource for survivors everywhere (contact me if you’re interested in getting involved.) I’d LOVE to hear from you!



Action Oriented Thoughts/Feelings Oriented


Inquiry Listening
Accountability Reflecting
Requests Confronting
Goal-setting Interpreting
Strategic Planning Diagnosing
Telephone & Email Face-to-face at a
special time and place

What are some of my career goals that I want to achieve by my 29th birthday?

Well, I have a few:

  • Complete my college counseling internship.
  • Complete an independent research study with Smith Social Work faculty who have similar research interests. 
  • Chart a strategic plan for the open-source web platform I am creating to facilitate resource sharing and connections for the survivor community in the Greater Boston area.
  • Complete Level 2 of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy training (apply for a mini-grant to make this happen!) 
  • Continue my meditation practice and meeting monthly with KM group. Go on an extended retreat.
  • Cultivate multiple (and sustaining) streams of income (by way of speaking engagements, writing, coaching, and consulting.
  • Share a story at a Live Moth Event.

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Of course, these will change slightly or significantly. The accountability of writing them out should help keep me focused. Feel free to ask me how I’m doing! 

Jack Canfield says:

“The quickest way to hit a target is to fire, see where the bullet landed, and then adjust your aim accordingly. If the hit was 2 inches above the target, lower your aim a little. Fire again. See where it is now. Keep firing and keep readjusting. Soon you are hitting the bull’s-eye. The same is true for anything.”

Despite how scary and challenging the world can be, today I feel more hopeful than I’ve ever felt. I feel creative and energized and connected and surrounded by incredible friends and colleagues.

I wish ease and abundance for every human in my life and around the world.

Change. Hope. Possibility.


In Strength & Power,



*Self-Care & Sustainability: Why Healing is Valuable Work was first printed on Rest for Resistance Read more of Shivani’s writing at @shivaniseth05

When I was 12…


When I was 12 I thought I was the only one in the world with an auto-immune disease, at least one that couldn’t be pronounced or spelled. Generalized subcutaneous morphea or eosinophilic fasciitis. Always wondered about my leopard skin? You might not want to google it. My brave parents. My fearless, naive little me.

Now that I’ve lived more than half my life with the condition and its residual scarring, I can see how incredibly lucky I was to have insurance and advocates. My life mattered because I had access to privilege.

#affordablehealthcare #iamapreexistingcondition

As far as anyone could tell I was a healthy 12 year old when I suddenly couldn’t shoot a basketball or sit cross-legged or try on a dress. Putting my socks on became a struggle. I remember waking up early to get blood work every month. I remember almost getting used to my brother (my personal EMT) giving me shots every Tuesday and Thursday at our house and when he left home, my dad would practice on an orange and tried his best, but it always hurt, despite how hard I hid my face in the pillow.

My parents drove me to various hospitals, consulting with doctors who gave me different diagnosis and treatment regimes, some more aggressive than others. At the time, I couldn’t comprehend that the rare auto-immune condition could be terminal. My parents made a binder with my face on it and devoted much of their life during this period to researching and driving me to physical and occupational therapy, and so much more. I can’t imagine the fear and pain they experienced watching the illness spread through my body. Fortunately, after a series of scary tests, we learned that I didn’t have the type that would impact my organs. Still, the disease spread across my body to forever impact my joints and skin.

I remember my mom distracting me with puppets when I had to get a scary skin biopsy on my arm and hip. They described it to me like a cookie cutter as if that would put my terrified heart at ease.

I remember my parents waking me up in the middle of the night to numb my arm because I hated more than anything, getting my blood work done. Even though the cream didn’t do anything, it made me feel better and they entertained my attachment to the cream + numbing with ice before anyone (shout out to the one and only phlebotomist I ever loved, Ed) came near me with a needle. So in the middle of the night, they’d prepare my arm with cream and saran wrap. They took me for PUVA light treatments and advocated for me in school.

Like many girls, especially those who have experienced any kind of trauma, and all humans really, I was not taught to love my body. Being at war with your body kills your spirit. I can’t remember how my body felt before my cells started attacking me. Ever since then I’ve been in conversation, often fights, trying to remind my body it’s okay, we’re safe, you’re home now. You are an amazing, powerful force. #thebodykeepscore #whenthebodysaysno #gabormate#besselvanderkolk #somaticexperiencing