SAF Staff & Board Members

SAF Executive Director

Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt has studied Sensory Awareness and related practices since 1980. Born in Switzerland, Stefan studied Meditation-Based Gestalt Therapy and Bioenergetic Analysis before devoting himself primarily to Sensory Awareness and moving to the US to assist Charlotte Selver in 1994. He has been a student of Buddhism since 1983, practicing and studying with teachers of different traditions. Stefan lives in Hancock, New Hampshire. He offers workshops in the USA and Europe. Currently, he is working on an oral history and biography of Charlotte Selver’s life. This is Stefan’s second term as Executive Manager after a first run from 1995 to 2007.
You can reach Stefan at



Sara Gordon

is retiring as Deputy Director of the SAF after over twenty years of dedicated service to the Foundation. At the moment, she still helps us out with her vast experience of co-leading the Foundation. Sarah has been a long-time student of Sensory Awareness. She has two Master’s degrees, one in gerontology and one in business. Her business degree has helped her a great deal in her roles as secretary and treasurer of the Sensory Awareness Foundation. She has done many things in her life, including owning and running a business for 17 years, raising children, becoming an artist and doing end of life care for the elderly. She feels that her work in sensory awareness has helped her to identify and honor her authenticity which has made her life very rich.


SAF Board of Directors

Michael Atkinson took his Ph.D in Phenomenology and for decades has explored the psychology of perception and the construction of meaning, literary and lived.  Michael began his study of Sensory Awareness in 1974, is the current President of the Sensory Awareness Leaders’ Guild, and an ordained Buddhist Dharma teacher interested in the relation of Sensing to the psychology of contemplation.  

Pamela Blunt joined the board in 2014, having studied Sensory Awareness in the 1980s and returned to an intensive study and practice since 2011. Since this work changes and deepens the experiencing of everything, everything that followed in her life and work has been deeply influenced by it: As a professional massage therapist through her current work as an LCSW offering psychotherapy to her clients in rural Arizona. Her main passion is the arts, both as an artist and a certified intermodal expressive arts therapist. She is a member of the SALG and was the Executive Director of the SAF in 2015 and 2016.

Sara Bragin, LMFT finally found Sensory Awareness (and began finding herself in deeply important ways) when, in 1991, she attended her first class with Charlotte Selver and Charles Brooks. She continues to be an enthusiastic student of the work and is delighted now to have the chance to lead classes herself and bring the possibilities of new life to elders and people recovering from addictions. Sara has been a Physical Therapist, an ad writer, an oral historian, a psychotherapist and is now writing and performing her work.

Beate Heckner has been practicing Sensory Awareness since 2012 and is eager and enthusiastic to learn where the studies may lead.  Beate is a marketing manager of web content and trade shows for a large corporation and holds a degree in Latin American Studies from UC Berkeley. She is an avid athlete who enjoys movement of any kind in the great outdoors. When she is not biking, running or swimming you can find her trotting and hiking with her dog, Sachio.



Ray Fowler studied the practice of Sensory Awareness with Charlotte Selver for thirty-two years. He has offered workshops for thirty years in a variety of venues including retreat centers and universities. Ray leads a week-long workshop every summer on Monhegan Island, Maine. You should go! A graduate of The Julliard School of Music, he is also the Music Director and Conductor of the Ohio Valley Orchestra.

Ruth Kerr is a mom, wife, book-lover, entrepreneur, meditator, blogger, triathlete, and science graduate. Through her training in life coaching, Gestalt psychotherapy, fitness programs, Sensory Awareness, meditation, yoga, parenting paradigms, and much more, she continues to develop herself and her skills in working with others. She brings her business background, a strong commitment  and a sensitive intelligence to the SAF board.


Dilrini Ranatunga has been practicing Sensory Awareness since 2012, after being introduced to the practice by Seymour Carter at the long-running Fort Mason (San Francisco) classes.  Currently working as a data analyst, she has also been a community organizer, project director, and certified massage therapist.  Steeped in body-centered practices such as massage, Rosen Method and Authentic Movement for over a decade, she finds Sensory Awareness to be a practice that not only supports and enhances these modalities, but also, on its own, is a continual source of curiosity, delight, grounding, and peace.