Dear Tribe,

This past year has been a challenging time for ISTA. However, with these challenges come opportunities to learn, grow, and improve.

We care deeply about the participants who choose to step into our containers. And as we look toward the future, we would like to share more with you about the fundamental and critical changes we’ve made over the past few months.

To help on this journey, we partnered with several outside experts to ensure that we effectively brought various components of the ISTA organism up to date. We are now better positioned to meet the needs of our community in concrete ways, including a faster and more complete response to any inquiries or issues.

Here are the key changes:

1. Overhauling governance: The first significant change is a complete overhaul of our governance circle. We transitioned from a circle of three to a Council of five dedicated beings, each holding point for different areas of the organization. This upgrade will ensure that the critical work needed to support our international functioning will be done more efficiently and effectively, thus creating better and more supportive experiences for participants and our community.

2. Participant feedback process:

This past summer, to help us better understand your wants, needs, and concerns, we created a general feedback form and engaged with an independent third-party mediation service. Both tools have provided valuable insight and facilitated some important conversations.

In the spirit of transparency, we would like to share a few statistics from these efforts:

Our feedback team has received and responded to everyone who submitted a form. A total of 70 submissions to date:

  • 25 submissions sharing suggestions for improvement
  • 23 submissions sharing appreciation
  • and 19 seeking clarity or concerns at some level, with the remainder made up of a mix of all three categories.

Our third-party mediation service has received 14 submissions:

  • Mediations successfully completed – 2
  • Pending mediations – 7
  • Just wanted to share – 2
  • Don’t wish to have mediation – 3

We believe in making sure our community is heard and will continue to invest in this area.

Greater accountability: We have received requests for greater accountability within ISTA. In response, we’re excited to share that we’ve developed an accountability program to better support safer and more welcoming training spaces for all. The program is now in its testing phase. You can expect to hear more about it when we’re sure it’s working as intended.

Faculty continuing education: As part of our new structure, we have created an education stream for faculty. This initiative will support them in better understanding how to serve training participants and anyone in the ISTA community. The first topic under this stream aims to help faculty become better informed regarding the complex issue of trauma in its many forms.

Diversity and inclusion: To ensure we hear more voices and more diverse experiences are represented, we have created a stream focused on cultivating diversity and inclusion in our field. We’re excited to open ISTA to more people and communities!

ISTA Integration platform: ISTA Integration is where grads can log in to the ISTA Graduate Portal. This online platform provides access to support and resources to help them integrate their experience after attending a training. By entering the Graduate Library, they gain access to the Free Integration Mini-Course and the ISTA Integration live monthly calls (for a small fee).

Earlier last year, a group was formed on Facebook to gather the stories of people who have not had positive experiences in ISTA trainings. Most of the members of this group are reasonable and have constructively communicated their concerns around some of ISTA’s policies and how trainings are run (see stats above). We view this feedback as crucial to our growth, informing many of our new upgrades. ISTA has been in contact with this group and has now set up meetings with a third-party mediator to listen to and address additional concerns.

Finally, we would like to address some troubling attempts to attack ISTA on social media and in the field. While we hold deep respect for the right to share opinions and experiences — good or bad — we are saddened to see a few separate individuals have stated their goal is to discredit and disrupt our work by any means. Rather than seek resolutions or improvements, these individuals have engaged in a campaign of deliberately and aggressively spreading misinformation and distortions about ISTA and our trainings, both online and using scare tactics directly with venue owners.

This is unfortunate; however, it has also motivated us further to seek paths to constructive collaboration with the members of our community who share our goal of seeing ISTA grow and improve.

Thousands of people – approximately 15,000 and counting – have experienced the transformational work of ISTA in the last 15 years. Many are sharing their inspirational journeys on our Facebook page called ISTA Love.

We have chosen not to allow negativity and hate to lower the vibration of what ISTA stands for worldwide. Instead, we are focusing our energies and efforts on the people we serve. Our goal and ongoing commitment is to make their ISTA experiences more supportive, inclusive, and loving.

We thank you for being a part of our community!

As always, we welcome your communications. Please feel free to reach out via our feedback form or by email. or

We look forward to seeing where 2023 takes us all as we continue our sacred journey together.

With love,

ISTA Council

Komala, Triambika, Crystal Dawn, Laurie, and Raffaello

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