Announcing Our Yearlong Certification Program

Culminating in Certification to teach the Restorative Practices Neurodevelopmental Model.

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Culminating, with approval of the Training Department of the Restorative Practices Alliance, in Certification to teach the Restorative Practices Neurodevelopmental model, in accordance with the parameters established by its best practice codification*


This yearlong course will be taught by our Core Faculty, both face-to-face and remotely, including:

Natureza Gabriel Kram, Convener of the Restorative Practices Alliance
John Stokes, Founder of the Tracking Project
Ilarion Merculieff, President of the Global Center for Indigenous Leadership & Lifeways
Dr. Stephen Porges, PhD Developer of the Polyvagal Theory
Dr. Karla Scott, PhD Professor of Communication
Pete Erschen MS, Certified Anti-Racism Trainer
Pete Jackson, Visionary Surrealist Painter, Brazilian Martial Arts (Capoeira) Instructor and master of the science of numerology
With Guest Appearances by other faculty as requested and required.


"This is THE next great leap forward in transformative work."

–Caroline Goodell, Participant, Restorative Practices cohort #3


The certification program will meet face-to-face for three x four day sessions at our Eco-reserve in Northern California. Between face-to-face sessions, we will convene remotely, over Zoom, for ongoing pedagogical and experiential work for at least 3 hours monthly.


Successful completion of a Restorative Practices Cohort and Training Department commendation to advance. As this program will take place physically in Nicasio, California, and by Zoom, participants must arrange to be physically present in Nicasio (which is 45 minutes north of San Francisco, California) for all face-to-face sessions. We can assist with accomodations. There are many beautiful places to stay in the area. We can also allow a limited number of folks to camp on the Land itself (note that doing this in January will not likely be practical.)


Three times over the course of the year, we will gather on the land, at the headquarters of the Restorative Practices Alliance, a 10-acre property in a pristine old growth Douglas fir forest in Nicasio, California. The property is adjacent to two seasonal watercourses and is rustic. It includes multiple outdoor classroom sites, toilet facilities, and a shelter. Dress in seasonally appropriate attire, including bringing rain gear. Our focus in these live sessions will be:

ON THE LAND: The Development of Facilitation Skills

  • Improving Tracking abilities: both hard-ground tracking, as well as tracking physiology: we approach tracking as a metativity: a metaphor, an activity, and a meditation. Tracking is a governing metaphor in the model, as facilitator must develop exquisite self-tracking skills and group tracking skills
  • Developing Sensory Calibration to establish participants in sensory equilibrium
  • Developing non-cognitive ways of Knowing: these skills feed tracking skills. Our mentor Ilarion Merculieff points out that western cultures think of intelligence as something that arises from thinking, whereas Indigenous cultures know that intelligence arises the moment thinking stops. Meditative and felt in nature, these awarenesses clarify, define, and refine non-cognitive ways of knowing, including interoception, the felt sense, nunchi (Korean word for the ability to track other people’s emotional states), pakikiramdam (Filipino word for non-verbal knowing), yūgen (Japanese word for feelings too deep for words), and la faculdad (Spanish word for piercing awareness of energies in place).
  • Facilitatory interventions for working with conflict in groups: Active and subtle conflict, aggressions, evasions, shutdowns, both macro- and micro- in moments of disagreement, relating across difference, etc. Our expertise is is creating connection in groups, and in removing what gets in the way. Conflict may arise within participants or between participants. It may be personal, and or structural, and or archetypal. We work across all of these layers.
  • Establishing safety in a group: although we can never make anyone else feel safe, because each person’s nervous system must intrinsically arrive at its own neuroception (felt body moment-to-moment sense of safety or threat), we can create conditions that make it more likely folks will feel safe.

REMOTE: Content Expertise

Between gatherings on the land, our monthly zoom meetings with faculty will focus on Content expertise. We will study:

  • Polyvagal Theory with Dr. Stephen Porges, PhD
  • Indigenous Intelligence with Ilarion Merculieff
  • Tracking with John Stokes
  • Anti-racist and cross-cultural facilitation with Dr. Karla Scott and Pete Erschen
  • Equilibrium and mentoring with Pete Jackson

You should anticipate that this program will involve an equal amount of time outside of class, which will likely be comprised of two primary activities:

  • Working on yourself: addressing your own traumas, reactivities, and growth edges and your relationships with a) Others and b) the Living World
  • Studying: there is a list of 20 books that accompany this course, which could easily be turned into a two-year masters degree program, and likely someday will be.


This is an experiential learning model, an apprenticeship, a mentoring process. While the course contains a significant amount of theoretical material, ultimately it will all be applied in vivo. We aren't concerned, per se, about your formal level of educational attainment. You don’t need to have a particular degree, or be trained in a particular lineage to be eligible for this course. Having a background in group facilitation in some context is extremely helpful, as is having some mindfulness background, as is having some context in which to practice what you are learning outside of the group. We have had people successfully complete previous versions of this training who worked as: Mindfulness teachers, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion facilitators, Anti-Violence trainers, and Therapists. We regularly train a broad range of health professionals, including doctors, psychologists, nurses, trauma therapists, and body workers. We also regularly train activists, social justice practitioners, deep ecologists, and trackers. If you have questions about the relationship between your previous experience, and what you will be learning, reach out and let’s talk.

You will have an accountability partner in this process: your facilitation partner. Because we teach the model in teams, we will give preference in application to facilitators who are coming with a facilitation partner. Because facilitating with someone is both personal and professional, it will make sense for you to invest in this relationship. If you don’t have a facilitation partner in mind, let us know, as we are often supporting people to find a facilitation partner. Once you are certified, you will be able to facilitate with other partners (of different genre and ethnicity)–just know that much of what people learn will come from the degree of trust in this relationship.

You will have access to periodic coaching support, both individually, and in small groups, and electively with peers. In our work, we often break the group out along differential lines of sociological difference, e.g., along ethnic, gender, and class lines, at different times and for different purposes. You will also likely forge strong connections with your colleagues across dimensions of this connection.

Our objective, from the outset, is to get everyone together across the finish line. To this end, you can excel by being helpful. We are in this as a team, as this is core to what we are teaching others. While you will be periodically assessed, this is not an evaluation. We want you to exceed, and will hold you to high standards. We will be transparent with you about concerns. We realize that each person is unique in relationship to this training process, which is itself non-linear. We work with participants from their thirties to seventies. People arrive at different stages in their developmental process. Some of you may arrive ready to teach, some of you may not be ready after a year. Think of this as a human developmental process. We are in it with you, and if we choose to work with you are investing in your development for the long-term.


We are an organization with a triple bottom line, actively working to repair neural, social, and ecological fabric damaged by the mind-body split, colonialism, structural racism, and ecological alienation. Tuition for White folks is $8000. Tuition for Indigenous and BIPOC participants is $4000. We are happy to work with you to arrive a payment schedule that works for you, and can extend payments out quarterly or monthly up to six months beyond the completion of the course. 25% of your tuition is due prior on acceptance into the program, and prior to its commencement. E.g., $2000 for White folks, and $1000 for Indigenous & BPOC participants. We recognize that this is a lot of money. Our commitment to you is that if you invest in yourself in this way, keep showing up, and engage this work whole-heartedly, it will support your development in ways that will continue to surprise you. While we can’t promise a particular outcome, many of our participants have reported various kinds of healing, both physical and with respect to mental health, as well as significant changes in the quality of their relationships. You will also end the training with uniquely relevant professional skills that will never be replaced by a machine, because they address the heart of connection, which machines don't do well.


The Restorative Practices Alliance is a multi-cultural organization, and has been since its formation. You can meet our Global Council of Governance here. We commit to equity and inclusion and to processes and policies that de-center White Supremacy, colonialism, and domination, and to embody this awareness in our practice and our organization’s business model (we are formally incorporated as a California Social Purpose Corporation) both practically, operationally, and philosophically. Both common sense (look around in 2022) and our global network of Indigenous mentors tell us that we are entering a period of increasing instability socially and ecologically, as the global hierarchical post-colonial capitalist structuring comes up against the limits of the biosphere. What this means, as a practical level, is that you are likely to find these skills both personally useful, and professionally relevant going forward, as more and more people are likely to be having a hard time. We are a global alliance, growing rapidly, and also a start-up. We have a big vision, and rent to pay. Our current learning platform has the technological capability to serve 500,000 people. Within the past year we have been contacted by a global ecological social movement, independently by two divisions of the United Nations, and the Stanford University School of Medicine. What this means, practically, is that once you are Certified as a facilitator, there are likely pathways to viable livelihood both within our organization globally (at present we have participants in 45 countries), where we pay facilitators a minimum of $100/hr, and outside of it. Joining us now you are coming in at the beginning of our growth trajectory, which is likely to create cascading future opportunities. Just sayin’. Plus, we’re pretty cool. If you have specific questions about this program, please contact

If you are interested in being considered for the Yearlong Certification Training program, please drop us a line at and we'll add you to our mailings about the program.