Welcome to the Accountability Process for Andrew Barnes page. We at Safe Mediation are pleased to announce the completion of the accountability process for Andrew Barnes, a tantra facilitator and sexuality coach. Andrew has taken significant steps to address any harm caused by his actions, including participating in regular supervision sessions, taking courses and trainings on trauma-informed consent, and implementing a code of ethics for his retreats. We have received feedback from several women who have gone through the restorative justice process with Andrew and have found it to be beneficial in addressing the harm caused by his actions.

However, we would like to remind everyone that we will continue to gather feedback and make any necessary adjustments to this process. We value the input and feedback of all parties involved and encourage anyone with concerns to reach out to us.

The process began with women coming forward with their experiences of harm caused by Andrew’s actions. Through the use of restorative justice, Andrew and these women were able to have open and honest conversations about what happened and how to address the harm caused. Andrew took responsibility for his actions and showed a willingness to learn and grow through regular supervision sessions, trainings and therapy. He also implemented a code of ethics for his retreats to ensure that clear boundaries and consent are upheld in all of his interactions with attendees.

As a result of this process, Andrew has gained a deeper understanding of power differentials, trauma-informed consent and care of others. He has also taken steps to address the harm caused to the wider tantra community and to ensure that similar situations do not occur in the future.

While this process has been completed for now, we recognize that healing and growth is an ongoing process. We will continue to gather feedback and make any necessary adjustments to this process to ensure that everyone’s needs are met. We also encourage anyone who has experienced harm at the hands of Andrew, or any other facilitator, to reach out to us for support.

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 Larissa 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.

The main changes in Andrew Barnes’ practices as a result of the accountability process include:

  1. No longer offering experiential sessions with individual clients or couples.
  2. Implementing a code of ethics for his retreats, which includes clear guidelines and boundaries for interactions with participants.
  3. Undergoing regular supervision and training in trauma-informed consent and care.
  4. Actively participating in the restorative justice process and making amends for any harm caused by his actions.
  5. Being open to ongoing feedback and making any necessary adjustments to his practices.
  6. No longer offering yoni healing sessions.
  7. Being more aware of power differentials and the impact of his actions on individuals and the community as a whole.
  8. Being more available to truly listen to someone who comes forward with concerns about his actions.
  9. Being more clear with himself and others about the nature of the relationship.
  10. Being more aware of his own blind spots as a practitioner and taking steps to address them.

It is also worth mentioning that Andrew Barnes has written a public statement apologizing for the harm caused and committing to the accountability process.

In his statement, Andrew Barnes expresses remorse for the harm he caused to others through his actions. He acknowledges that his lack of understanding of power differentials and trauma-informed consent led to confusion and unclear boundaries with clients. He apologizes for the harm caused to individuals and the wider tantra community. He is committed to the accountability process and making amends through ongoing self-reflection, professional supervision and training. He encourages anyone with grievances to reach out to Safe Mediation for further discussion or mediation.

We will be updating this page with any new statements or changes to his practices. Thank you for taking the time to review this information.

Statement Published on 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.”

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)

Here you find the code of ethics and guidelines that Andrew Barnes has implemented as a result of the accountability process, to ensure that Andrew Barnes’ retreats and workshops are safe and trauma-informed.

Code of Ethics and Standards. In August 2022, Andrew Barnes published a comprehensive Code of Ethics and Standards for all retreats and workshops that he facilitates. This code serves as a set of guidelines for dealing with any circumstances that may arise during the events and ensures the safe and trauma-informed operation of the events. The code is designed to educate participants, professionals, and the general public about the ethical standards upheld by event professionals and promote the care and protection of all participants. As a result of the accountability process, Andrew has ceased offering experiential sessions on a personal or sexual level with individual clients or couples, and instead focuses on group lectures and retreats.

We understand that may be ongoing issues that need to be addressed. As such, we have implemented a feedback system where anyone can share their concerns and experiences with Andrew. This feedback will be used to inform any changes or adjustments that need to be made to the reintegration plan.

Complaints and Grievance Procedure. In addition to the Code of Ethics and Standards, Andrew also published a Complaints and Grievance Procedure to provide a clear and transparent process for addressing any formal grievances that may arise. This procedure outlines the steps that will be taken in the event of a complaint, including investigations and mediations, and is in place to ensure that any violations of the Code of Ethics and Standards are addressed promptly and fairly. This is part of Andrew’s ongoing commitment to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants in his events.

In addition, the reintegration plan includes regular supervision sessions, ongoing education and training on trauma-informed consent, and participation in a support group for accountability and reintegration. We are committed to supporting Andrew in his ongoing growth and development as a facilitator, and to creating a safe and trauma-informed space for all participants in his events.

It is important to note that the reintegration plan is not a guarantee of reintegration into the tantra community, and that the decision to allow Andrew to participate in events will ultimately be up to the event organizers. However, we will continue to work with Andrew and the community to create a safe and healing space for all involved.

Safe Mediation is a neutral body that facilitates communication between Andrew Barnes and any individuals who have experienced harm as a result of his actions. We provide a safe space for individuals to come forward and share their experiences, and we facilitate restorative justice mediations between Andrew and those individuals. We also supervise and provide guidance to Andrew throughout the accountability process to ensure that he is taking appropriate steps to address any harm caused by his actions. Our approach is based on restorative justice principles and we work with all parties involved to find a resolution that is fair and just for everyone.

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 community members come 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 has supported overcomers in taking each step during this Accountability Process, listening to their needs and coaching them on possible pathways. Denyse has a Bachelor’s in Sociology with 20+ years of experience in the field. Denyse is also a trauma-informed tantra facilitator, trained in Tao Tantric Arts for Women by Shashi Solluna and Minke de Vos, under the umbrella of the Universal Healing Tao system of Mantak Chia.

Anaisa Seneda is the founder of Safe Mediation, and she is available to facilitate conversations between Andrew Barnes and community members. She is a trauma-informed professional experienced in cases involving moral damage, misconduct, power dynamics, and sexual abuse. She has managed Accountability Processes based on Restorative Justice and mediated tough conversations in corporate settings. Anaisa has also facilitated family dynamics for Family Offices and worked on three continents with multicultural groups. Her work is inspired by the Harvard Negotiation Project and she was mentored by Scilla Elworthy, a three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. Anaisa’s training includes Psychoanalysis, behavioral coaching, and mindfulness techniques. Additionally, she holds an MBA from INSEAD Business School where she studied Conflict Management and Negotiations. Anaisa is also certified as a Tao Tantric Arts Facilitator, a Lifestyle & Business Coach, and a Yoga teacher. She is currently completing her Ayurveda Practitioner Bachelor with an emphasis in Ayurvedic Psychology. Anaisa is also currently pursuing a Masters in Medical Qigong and Shamanic Chinese Medicine, which enriches her mediation practice with an integrative approach that addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of healing.

We count on key members of our community who have offered guidance and support for this Accountability Process. The members of the accountability pod 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

Pre Accountability Process Phase of Testimonials (given about Andrew):

Testimonial from Larissa

At Safe Mediation, we understand the importance of confidentiality and transparency in the accountability process. We are committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all parties involved, and we take the protection of your personal information very seriously.

As part of the accountability process for Andrew Barnes, we have implemented strict confidentiality and transparency policies to ensure that all information shared during the process is protected and used in a responsible manner. We will only share information with individuals or organizations that have been granted your explicit consent, and we will always strive to balance the need for transparency with the need to protect your privacy.

We understand that this process can be difficult and emotional, and we are here to support you every step of the way. We are committed to providing a safe space for healing and growth, and we will always strive to use information as a tool for collective awareness and growth. If you have any questions or concerns about our confidentiality and transparency policy, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Statement from Safe Mediation

Andrew Barnes’ formal accountability process comes to a close on Monday, April 3rd, 2023.

The accountability process for Andrew has been a thorough and ongoing effort to address any harm caused by his actions as a tantra facilitator and sexuality coach. Andrew has shown a deep commitment to personal growth and healing, as well as a willingness to take responsibility for his actions and make amends. He has implemented a Code of Ethics and Standards for his retreats and workshops, as well as a Complaints and Grievance Procedure to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants.

The Safe Mediation team and the Accountability Pod have worked closely with Andrew throughout this process and have received positive feedback from those who have gone through the restorative justice process with him.

We will continue to gather feedback and make any necessary adjustments to this process to ensure that it remains effective and transparent.

We encourage anyone with questions or concerns to reach out to us through the contact form provided on this page.

Thank you for your attention and understanding.


Statement from Andrew Barnes

As the formal part of my accountability process draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting on what has happened as a result of going through this process.

  • Taking responsibility: Being responsible for the harms I caused others and to the community as a whole.
  • Empathy and understanding: Through dialogue with those I’ve harmed and the community, I’ve developed a deeper understanding of the impact my actions have had on others.
  • Repairing harm: The process of restorative justice has provided an opportunity to begin to repair the harm I caused, and where possible to make amends or engage in actions that will help to repair the harm caused.
  • Feedback: Engaging in honest self-reflection and to be critiqued by professionals and peers regarding my detrimental behaviours and patterns.
  • Power differentials: Through this process, I’ve developed a better understanding of power dynamics and how they affect personal and professional relationships and interactions.
  • Trauma-informed care and consent: Understanding of the many forms of trauma and to recognise the signs and symptoms. And the need to adapt methods to ensure that people feel safe, informed, and have agency at all times.
  • Blind spots: I am now aware of how poor communication, role confusion, and unclear boundaries caused harm. I am also aware of how not making the time to listen impacted those I harmed.
  • Personal developmental and vicarious trauma: I’ve taken time to address and begin healing some personal developmental and vicarious trauma that had impacted on my ability to make sound decisions personally and professionally.

While the formal part of the accountability process has come to a close, it remains an essential part of my ongoing commitment to accountability, safety, and growth. I’ve established complaint and grievance procedures, as well as a code of conduct, which are available to anyone interested. If anyone has a grievance, please contact Safe Mediation (third party mediators) to discuss or participate in the accountability process.

While the formal part of the Andrew’s accountability process has come to a close, it remains an essential part of his ongoing commitment to accountability, safety, and growth.

If anyone has a grievance, please contact us at Safe Mediation to discuss or participate in the accountability process. If you have questions or want more information about the accountability process, you can contact Andrew Barnes or us at Safe Mediation.

Contact Form

Thank you for visiting the Accountability Process for Andrew Barnes page. While the process has reached completion, we understand that concerns may still arise and we want to ensure that everyone’s voices are heard. We invite you to use this form to reach out to us with any questions, comments, or requests you may have regarding the process. This includes any feedback you may have on how we can continue to improve the process for all parties involved. We are committed to making things right and welcome your input. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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 Accountability Pod and/or the general public without your consent.