Written by Karen Powell

This past weekend saw SAISI’s first fully online workshop: “Putting the ‘I’ back in Intervention: Informed, Introspection, Intention, Intuition”, focusing on treatment principles in ASI® according to the Fidelity Measure principles.  While some participants and board members were skeptical about the viability of a full two-day online workshop, the COVID pandemic forced us to consider how our members can continue with their training and qualification process.

After courses had to be cancelled in 2020, March and April 2021 saw the presentation of both SASIC 1 and SASIC 2 courses in a hybrid format, with both online and face-to-face participants.  This not only provided a more accessible version of the course for those staying far from major cities, but also a more cost effective option.  We received heaps of feedback about our somewhat wobbly first attempts, with challenges related to sound and loadshedding topping the list of things that needed to be addressed in future.

Thanks to the pioneers in our SASIC 4 group of 2020, we knew that some things needed to be in place for a successful course:

  • It was best for all the lecturers to be together in one location, for (almost) seamless transitions between lectures
  • Each lecturer needed their own, good quality headset, rather than relying on the laptop microphones and speakers
  • Breaks needed to be scheduled and stuck to, so that participants could plan their home/work schedules around the programme

For this course we were privileged to make use of Marié Greyling’s newly painted practice, with upgraded fibre connection, which made for a lovely and comfortable venue for the team.

FM workshop venue

We received detailed feedback from the workshop participants.  Some of their thoughts regarding the administration of the course are below:

  • “Having notes printed, bound and sent to us was very useful.”
  • “Couldn’t hear sound on some of the videos. But I loved that there were so many audiovisuals to learn from.  Also enjoyed the ongoing, insightful comments from the presenters.”
  • “Thank you for sticking so carefully to the time. A job well done.”
  • “I enjoyed the online format – not as costly and comfortable in my own environment.”
  • “The online presentation and flow was very good. Also liked the breakaway sessions.  Still prefer in person workshops though.”
  • “Thank you thank you thank you. I missed out on the FM workshop years ago and have not managed to link up to subsequent ones in the cities.  Being online this time made this workshop a reality for me.  Baie dankie julle.”

The general age group of participants in this workshop was significantly older than for SASIC 1, as most are very experienced therapists already.  While this might have meant that they had clinical reasoning on their side, some needed slightly more support with the technical aspects such as use of the e-learning website, zoom chats and breakout rooms than the SASIC 1 group.

But after all, they were actually there to learn about treatment from our team of very experienced lecturers:

  • “I was so impressed overall with this course. I have learned so much that I can start using right away.  Thank you to all the brave therapists who shared their treatment videos.  The videos were the most valuable tool.”
  • “Lots of opportunity for group discussion. The lecturing was clear, concise and easy to follow.”
  • “Thank you for sharing your incredible knowledge and insights, and for your time!”

I would like to extend a sincere thank you to them for taking the time to write down their thoughts and experiences.  It is only with your accurate feedback that we can improve the upcoming courses.

As mentioned in the comments, online, face-to-face and hybrid courses have their pro’s and con’s.

Face to face Hybrid Online
More personal contact and networking Open to those who prefer either option Accessible to those who live in rural areas or have logistical challenges
Expensive venue fees Large variety of expenses Less expenses: venue, travel but extra fees e.g. courier
Onsite coordinator needed Two coordinators needed: onsite and online Online coordinator needed
Easier for presenters to engage with group in more animated way Presenters need to find ways to make online group feel included Easier to engage with online group only
COVID concerns for all, and need to make adjustments if Alert levels change COVID concerns COVID concerns for presenters only
Less visual fatigue Participants can choose their environment Extreme visual and auditory fatigue


We will continue to monitor the pandemic, technological advances and personal preferences and decide as we go as to how SAISI will present future workshops, as well as the qualification process.  I would like to extend my appreciation to SAISI’s EDCOM leg, to acknowledge the flexible manner in which they have been able to approach the challenges of the last year.  I think we can all agree that they have demonstrated an adaptive response of which Dr Ayres would have been proud.


Keeping the lecturers fed and watered