There is always a great need for self-reflection and self-care amongst practitioners of every discipline. Unlike in psychotherapy where supervision is usually mandatory, in most bodywork therapies it is not required after an initial period, or completely ignored. Supervision is a big contributor to how we look after ourselves as therapists.
Practitioner care isn’t just about hoping that you are not picking up negative energies from your clients. It goes much further, requiring us to be eternally vigilant about how we are relating to our clients, and they to us. Being a therapist means being in an ongoing energetic exchange with your client, which has the quality of a complex dance, requiring you to follow both the dynamic flow of the relationship and at the same time making sure that your footing is as sure as it can be. We believe that these skills are not necessarily fully developed by the end of a training course and need constantly refreshing and reanimating over the course of a career.
We have noticed in previous workshops how helpful it has been for us to hear and learn from other practitioners. We wanted to extend this and look at some of the familiar problems that we all face. How, for example, did we come to be a therapist and does this affect or colour our work? Do we tend to attract similar clients, or clients with similar problems or life stories to our own? How do we work best and perhaps, more importantly, what types of clients or problems do we feel that we are not so successful in treating? What, in effect, does it mean to be a therapist?
It is our belief that the work that we do is most successful when it is entered into as a ‘Joint Practice’ with both client and practitioner being equal partners in the unknown journey. We aim to bring this spirit of openness and enquiry into our workshops. Our workshops are designed to cover all aspects of practitioner care from discussions about the importance of maintaining good boundaries to very practical ways of looking after ourselves while working. These workshops are applicable to all of us who work in the field of therapeutic bodywork.
Between us we have approximately 45 years of experience in practice and have undertaken various trainings in Counselling, Supervision and related courses in Psychotherapy. Additionally we have had experience of the Disciplinary process of the Craniosacral Therapy Association having served on its committees as Council Members. This has given us a deep insight into the most practical ways to support fellow practitioners. As part of this ongoing exploration we have recently published a book, ‘Every Body Tells A Story’, highlighting the importance of the client/therapist relationship and how it might develop in real life.