This accountability process is for the tantra facilitator and sexuality coach, Andrew Barnes.

Several women have accused Andrew Barnes of sexual misconduct. There has been much discussion publicly regarding sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and lack of consent, in many industries including the Tantric community, and what needs to be done about it.

Out of a desire to see action centered on healing, accountability, and transparency rather than secrecy, and punishment, sweeping this under the rug, ignoring it, and/or hoping it would “sort itself out,” Andrew is undertaking an accountability process.

The purpose of the accountability process is to achieve healing and wholeness for all parties. We understand the process is complex and that the process will look different depending on the person. We see accountability as positive and tie it to responsibility and change. It’s driven by connection and care, rather than mob justice, fear, and anger.

This accountability process embraces listening, learning, sharing, taking responsibility, and adjustment. It involves conscientiously creating an opportunity and neutral place for the harmed and the person that caused the harm to communicate (directly or written apology), so true healing and restorative justice can take place.

The benefit of the accountability process is being heard and witnessed so true healing, karma clearing, and restorative justice can take place.

For those not familiar, an Accountability Process is a process by which members of a community work together to resolve conflict or deliver justice based on a Restorative Justice System.

Restorative Justice is a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offense and collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible.

The Accountability Process is a path that supports the overcomer in beginning their healing journey and provides a safe space for their story to be shared. This process also supports the person that caused the harm; providing a space to heal, account for their actions, and transform their behavior.

We view accountability processes as a potential tool for transformation. Mediation allows us to do this work within a community realm and allows this process to be an instrument of healing and restoration.

Read more about Restorative Justice

Safe Mediation is a neutral representative to assist with cultivating wholeness, restoration, and resolution for all those involved in the accountability process. Our approach is rooted in addressing harm and accountability and is centered in love and liberation.

At Safe Mediation, Denyse Ford is the Mediation Coordinator, and Anaisa Seneda is the Mediator.

Denyse Ford is the first person the overcomer comes into contact with; she is the go-between and provides clear and frequent communication about the process and steps involved. You can reach out to Denyse for requests, suggestions, and questions via email (info@safe-mediation.com) and/or by filling the form below at the end of this page. She is also available for 30-min calls. Denyse can support overcomers in taking each step during this Accountability Process, and listen to their needs and coach them on possible pathways. Denyse is a trauma-informed tantra facilitator, trained in Tao Tantric Arts for Women by Minke de Vos and Shashi Solluna, under the umbrella of the Universal Healing Tao system of Mantak Chia. Denyse also has a Bachelor’s in Sociology with 20+ years of experience in the field.

Anaisa Seneda is the founder of  Safe Mediation, and she is available to facilitate conversations between Andrew Barnes and overcomers, in case the overcomer chooses so. Anaisa provides a safe space and supports the person harmed to identify and express emotions, ask questions and confront the person that caused harm. Restorative justice also allows the offender to describe their perspective, acknowledge responsibility, and be accountable, therefore it is fundamental to hold a safe container for the process.

Anaisa is a trauma-informed mediator, yoga instructor, tantra facilitator, and behavioral coach, passionate about raising feminine wisdom. She has studied and integrated both alternative and traditional therapeutic domains, including psychoanalysis, positive psychology, yoga, reiki, qigong, Taoist sexual arts, and tantra. She brings alchemy to her mediation sessions through guided visualization, assisted breath, and shamanic healing methods.

Her mind-body certifications include Tao Tantric Arts Facilitator by the Universal Healing Tao system of Mantak Chia, Lifestyle & Business Coach by the Brazilian Association of Coaching, Yoga teacher by Delight Academy in the Netherlands. Anaisa is currently working towards the completion of her Ayurveda Practitioner Bachelor with an emphasis in Ayurvedic Psychology.

We count on key members of our community who have offered guidance and support for this Accountability Process. Among our trauma-informed advisors, are:

 Betty Martin, developer of the Wheel of Consent, author of the book The Art of Receiving and Giving. She has more than 30 years as a hands-on professional, first in therapeutics – Chiropractic, Somato-Respiratory Integration, Educational Kinesiology, Reiki, Neuro-Emotional Integration – and later in body-based erotic education, including sensual massage, Taoist Erotic Massage, Kashmiri tantric massage, and Sexological Bodywork. Betty has taught peer counseling, gender liberation, embodiment and empowerment, fantasy play, goddess awakening, and erotic massage. She’s played with contact improv dance, Authentic Movement, Non-Violent Communication, and Shaivism tantra. She is a Board member and trains and certifies new facilitators for a touch and communication workshop called Cuddle Party. https://bettymartin.org/

Riya Sokol is an international artist, singer, mentor, writer, tantric intimacy coach, Vision Quest guide. Her musical creations, including a musical play and mantras, support people suffering from mental illnesses such as depression, chronic stress, and anxiety, bringing nourishment, healing, and calm balance. Riya also uses her artistic voice to speak about womanhood and motherhood. Apart from doing concerts, training, and lectures, Riya offers counseling sessions for couples and individuals around intimacy and sexuality. She is a member of Awaken as Love faculty and School of Life. Riya is a certificated coach by the University of dr Ava Cadell in California), trained as a tantra facilitator by Tantra Essence and Awaken as Love, trained as a Vision Quest guide by the School of Lost Borders, and an Awakening Coach certificated by Arjuna Ardagh. https://riyasokol.com/know/

James Stevenson, founder of Awaken as Love www.awakenaslove.com a center for evolution, training, and festivals combining Tantra, Biodanza, and spirituality. James brings together more than 20 years of experience in techniques, practices, and information from the cutting edge of Neuroscience, Tantra, Biodanza, Shamanic & Energy Work, Integral theory, and Taoist practices to create a spirituality that is rooted in the body. His shamanic work includes being Vision Quest rites of passage guide, holding Sweatlodge Ceremonies as well as Sacred Cacao Rituals. You can read more about him here www.jamesstevenson.life. Together with Riya Skol, James played a foundational role to set the grounds for this Accountability Process to be implemented.

Leigh Hurst, owner of Purposeful Living Healing Centre located in Reno Nevada, USA. She has operated this business since 2012, teaching people how to become the best version of themselves by connecting them to their purpose. She holds an Associate Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Gerontology, a Bachelor Degree is in Social Work with an emphasis in Gerontology and a Master’s Degree consisting of two classes shy of being completed is in Gerontology. During the Community Accountability Process, Leigh will be providing Andrew feedback during this Accountability process.

Leanora Rose is the founder of Embody Truth (2012), a ‘method’ that facilitates trauma healing, and somatic integration of the divided self toward wholeness and unification. Leanora was an administrator of the group Tantra not Trauma for 5 years. She provides direct support through one-on-one programs and often through online training. She’s passionate and committed to empowerment and enabling more efficient and effective mastery for integration and unification in what is the alchemical language of love (the soul).  You can find more at www.embodytruth.com

Matthias Schwenteck, founder of Somatic Consent. Matt is a German-born citizen who has been traveling and teaching around the world since 2010. He is a trained facilitator in the fields of Sacred Sexuality and Tantra and has been working with different healing modalities such as counseling, guided meditation, and bodywork, for over 20 years. His sessions and teachings are grounded in a background of trauma research and neurophysiology. For more information: www.somaticconsent.com

Lorenzo Stiernquist is a Consent Facilitator, Tantra teacher (2006), Sexsibility coach, and the founder of the Sexsibility coach training, and the Sexsibility Festival (2009). He has been working with consent in different ways since 2013 (the Wheel of Consent and the Somatic Consent), and he uses it and integrate it into all of his work. He offers training, workshops, individual sessions, coaching, and massage. He focuses on consent, sexuality, intimacy, spirituality, pleasure, and healing. For more information: https://www.starspray.com

We understand where you are coming from; we have experienced trauma in our lives. We are trauma-informed professionals and sensitive to the process. Together we can transmute darkness into light. Everything you share with the Accountability Process Team is strictly Confidential. That means neither your name nor your story is disclosed without your consent. You give us permission on how, when, and who to share with.

We are committed to the process, and we are committed to You, to healing, and to restoration. Our mission is to enable healing through this accountability process. Both confidentiality and transparency are key to building trust among all people involved. In the first stages of the accountability process, it is expected that most information handled is confidential. As the process matures, results start to show up, fears around disclosure start to dissolve, and more and more participants feel comfortable with sharing relevant information with other participants and the general public. The process is co-created by all involved, so there is a shared sense of responsibility in place to use information as a tool for growth and collective awareness.

  1. Fill out the intake form below. It will get the ball rolling and bring structure to the accountability process. Only the Safe Mediation staff (Denyse and Anaisa) will have access to read the applications received.
  2. After your intake form has been submitted, we will follow up with you within 10-days.
  3. Denyse the Mediation Coordinator, will contact you via email and offer the option to continue the communication via email and/or to schedule a 30-min intake meeting to talk about your application and the varied aspects of the accountability process. We will also address any questions, expectations, or concerns you may have.
  4. You together with the account team will lay out the best steps for you to take, based on what you hope to achieve with this process. The restorative Justice principle is that you take an empowering active role in the process by sharing with Andrew your experience of what happened, and how that has impacted you. With that, Andrew can better understand the harm caused, take responsibility for his actions, and prevent harm in the future. Therefore, your practical steps at this stage in the process could be, for example:
    • having a mediation session with Andrew Barnes,
    • writing a letter, or
    • recording a voice message to Andrew,
    • among other options.
  5. Once we, the account team, and you together decide on the best steps to take, we will support you and facilitate the communication between you and Andrew throughout the process. We understand how important communication is for healing, and that your expectations or desires may change over the course of the accountability process.

The overall process includes, but is not limited to transparency, healing, compassion, restoration, transformation, and collaboration.

Transparency and clarity are paramount, and we truly understand the importance of having a timeline, dates, and action plan on our website. Our website is ongoing and organically updated. We have been documenting and keeping track of the steps taken. Over time, information, plans, and the timeline will be updated on our website, social media, and via newsletter.

If you would like to be posted on the progress and updates, fill out the form requesting to be added to the newsletter specifically for this Accountability process.

Phase 0: Accountability Process BEFORE Safe Mediation

– In 2012 one woman stepped forward asking Betty Martin to facilitate a conversation with Andrew Barnes about boundaries and consent.

 – In 2016 – 2017 Andrew began doing less and less sessions; and having more triage protocols, interviews and check-in with clients and participants prior to their sessions.

 – In 2017 Andrew stopped promoting one on one sessions, and by the middle of 2018, Andrew stopped offering one on one experiential sessions.

 – An article was written about Andrew in December 2018 with allegations of sexual abuse.

– In 2019 Leanora provided several mentoring sessions regarding consent, trauma, and power differentials

– In June 2020 Andrew was invited to give a talk on relationships at an online tantra festival. A woman contacted the organizers bringing their attention to an article written about Andrew. There were concerns, so Andrew withdrew from the festival. After the festival, James Stevenson and Riya Sokol who were also facilitators at the festival contacted Andrew to propose a Restorative Justice Accountability Process.

– January 2021 – Andrew started taking supervision with Betty Martin (see Supervision Section below)  

– Victoria (not her real name) stepped forward and spoke to Riya Sokol on multiple occasions in preparation for a Mediation Session with Leanora Rose. In May 2021 Leanora facilitated a conversation about boundaries and consent with Andrew Barnes and the woman

 – In 2021, Andrew was invited to Israel to do a few events. A week or so before the event, a spiritual teacher had accusations made about him and committed suicide. This ordeal brought up a lot of emotion and discussion in Israel about these topics, and the article written about Andrew was brought into the discussion. The event organizer and Andrew decided to cancel the scheduled events.

Phase 1: Accountability Process Setup

August 2021 – Andrew contacted Safe Mediation to manage his accountability process.

September 2021 – The Safe Mediation team started getting familiar with the case via online research, interviews with Andrew and insight from individuals involved in the Phase 0 Accountability Process

November 2021 – Formation of an Advisory board for this process including James, Riya, Leonora, Leah, Betty Martin

December 2021 – Publication of this landing page https://www.safe-mediation.com/services/restorative-justice/accountability-process-for-andrew-barnes

Phase 2: Accountability process in effect

January 2022

– The Accountability Process was publicly announced on social media

– Members of this tantric community volunteered to amplify the message and spread the word about this Accountability process

– The link to this accountability process’ landing page has been published on Andrew Barnes’s main webpage, as well as in every external communication about events Andrew participates in. See one example here.

– Safe Mediation started collecting feedback and frequent questions from the general public about this process

February 2022 – The Accountability Process was reshared on social media (including, but not limited to the Tantra, not Trauma group)

March 2022 – First Mediation Session facilitated by Safe Mediation (Andrew and client).

April 2022 – The Accountability Process was shared on social media (including, but not limited to the Tantra, not the Trauma group). Additional women contacted Safe Mediation to share their stories. We are in the process of gathering information and hearing their story.

May 2022 – Mediation Session facilitated by Safe Mediation (Andrew and client).  Andrew’s Accountability Timeline was published on the Safe Mediation website.

June 2022 – Mediation Session facilitated by Safe Mediation (Andrew and client).

August 2022 – Published a Code of Ethics and Standards for retreats: This Code of Ethics and Standards serve as a set of guidelines for dealing with circumstances that may arise; also, for the operation of any events promoted on Andrew’s website. Its main objective is to educate professionals, participants and the general public on the ethical standards upheld by event professionals at events, while promoting the care and protection of everyone who participates in the events. At this time Andrew does a limited number of lectures and retreats. On retreats, he does not interact with participants on a personal or sexual level. And Andrew isn’t doing experiential one-on-one sessions with individual clients or couples.

August 2022 – Published a Complaints and Grievance Procedure: These procedures have been created for use in investigations and mediations of any formal grievance alleging violations of the Code of Ethics and Standards.

Supervision Sessions:

* Ongoing Supervision Sessions with Betty Martin (Dec 2020 – Present) – Andrew has regular sessions on the Wheel of Consent and Boundaries, along with understanding and addressing power differentials whilst facilitating groups.

* Mentorship & Supervision Sessions with Lorenzo Stiernquist (May 2022 – Present) – Andrew receives mentorship and supervision sessions with Lorenzo on consent and power differentials.

* Mentorship & Supervision Sessions with Matthias Schwenteck (May 2022 – Present) – Andrew receives mentorship and supervision sessions with Matt on somatic consent.

Courses/Trainings – Completed:

* TIC Training (May 2022) – Andrew completed and received a certificate for the Trauma-Informed Care Practitioner training with TIC on How to Identify Trauma and Heal Trauma.

* Somatic Consent Training (July 2022) – Andrew completed two online courses with Matt Schwenteck at Somatic Consent on:

  • Foundations of Somatic Consent
  • Four Pillars of Relating

* Polyvagal Institute (August 2022) – Andrew completed and received a certificate for two online Polyvagal courses offered by the Polyvagal Institute.

  • Polyvagal Theory: Principles and Practice for Individuals
  • Polyvagal Theory for Somatic Experiencing Practitioners

* Certified Cuddlers Organization (August 2022) – Andrew completed and received a certificate for the Consent Workshop course

* Live Tantra Academy – Andrew completed the Boundaries and Consent Training online with the Live Tantra Academy

* Andrew completed two online courses on Consent: Informed Consent at Hippa Exams and Joyful Consent at Loving Right

Courses/Trainings – Currently Taking:

* Andrew is enrolled in three online courses at NICABM (National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine) by Bessel Van de Kolk, MD:

  • How to Work with the Traumatized Brain
  • How to Work with Client’s Emotional Triggers
  • Working with the Pain of Abandonment

Readings:

* Betty Martin’s book The Art of Receiving and Giving (completed)

* Matt Schwenteck’s Orgasmic Blueprint (reading)

  1. How does Safe-Mediation get paid?

This accountability process emerged as a joint initiative from members of the tantra community that believe in restorative justice. 

A number of them are on the advisory board for the accountability process. They give pro bono advice as part of community service. At the request of the board, the accountable party (Andrew Barnes) will pay for professional mediation costs provided by Safe Mediation, as part of his accountability.

  1. Is Andrew still practicing?

The Accountability Process is an ongoing step-by-step process, and the process is mentioned on Andrew’s website and on the website of events he is participating in. At this time Andrew does a limited number of lectures and retreats. On retreats, he does not interact with participants on a personal or sexual level. And Andrew isn’t doing experiential one-on-one sessions with individual clients or couples.

In addition, Andrew is under the supervision of Betty Martin on the Wheel of Consent and Boundaries, along with understanding and addressing power differentials whilst facilitating groups.

Published: September 1st, 2022 – written by Andrew Barnes

“Until now, I’ve shared little publicly because of not wanting to react out of ignorance from a defensive position and cause more harm.

I have used this time to gain feedback from people I have caused harm to through an accountability process, for honest self-reflection and to be critiqued by professionals and peers about my detrimental behavior and patterns.

Along with this, to heal some personal developmental and vicarious trauma that have caused blind spots as a practitioner. And to find gaps in my understanding regarding power differentials, trauma-informed consent and care of others.

So, it is with sincere remorse; I am truly sorry for the harm to others that I caused. I am also aware that the harm I caused individuals, as a result, also extends to harming other Tantric facilitators and the community as a whole, and for this, I genuinely apologize.

I am thankful for people that have come forward in the accountability process to give feedback and share experiences on how my actions have impacted them, so I can better understand the harms caused. Some examples of this are role confusion, poor communication, and unclear boundaries.

I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t make myself available to truly listen to someone who came to me. I’m sorry for every time I made assumptions about their boundaries. I’m sorry for being unclear with myself and others about the nature of our relationship.

Albeit too late, my lack of understanding of power differentials and trauma-informed consent and care is glaringly obvious now. And for what it is worth, I am fully committed to the accountability process and for making amends.

I understand that some people won’t believe my sincerity, and I accept that. I am a work in progress and committed to the process of restorative justice, challenging though it is. I am striving to keep my eyes, ears, and heart open, and my mouth closed.

If anyone has a grievance, please contact Safe Mediation (third party mediators) to discuss or go through the accountability process. If you have questions about this statement or want more information about the accountability process, you can contact me or Safe Mediation.”

Intake Form

Get in touch with us! Fill out the form.

Tell us more about you and how you came across this accountability process.

Let us know if you have any questions, comments, or requests. You might want more clarity about the process, or you want to share any relevant information, or you want to book a call with Denyse to discover what could be the next steps for you.

We want to make things right with you and we are open to listening to suggestions and feedback to make this process better.

Intake form Confidentiality note:

Denyse and Anaisa, from Safe-Mediation, are the only ones with access to this form. Neither your name nor your message is shared with Andrew Barnes and/or members of the advisory board and/or the general public without your consent.

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