More and more of us are training to be therapists. Every year, schools and training courses release into the therapist market another batch of newly-qualified practitioners. Most of the associations or guilds that they subsequently join will have CPD requirements for ongoing skills development, but not many of the postgraduate courses focus specifically on their personal development as a practitioner.
The co-authors of “Every Body Tells a Story", Daska Hatton and Liz Kalinowska, discuss their background and share insights into issues affecting the professional and personal lives of craniosacral therapists.
As practitioners of Craniosacral Therapy, we often find it a struggle to describe what it is that we do as we work with our clients. It is even harder to try and explain how so much change can occur through just placing your hands on the body and waiting to see what happens. This is indeed mysterious and transformative work, and often feels truly alchemical.
We come to know ourselves through our sensory perceptions of life, how the world affects us and how we move within it. Our bodies are a map of our histories, the narrative of our lives; they record the ways in which we were brought up, they chronicle our accidents and illnesses, our emotional experiences and our beliefs. They reflect the stories we tell ourselves, and the stories others tell about us.
Reading Liz Kalinowska and Daska Hatton’s new book ‘Every Body Tells a Story’ feels like taking a journey down the Amazon. It flows beautifully and invites the reader to step into previously unchartered territory, navigating the highs and lows of the therapist-client relationship as both protagonists embark upon a process of self- discovery, growth and rebirth.
“We have based our story loosely on the stages of the Hero’s Journey [to show] its advances and setbacks, gains and losses. There are also echoes of Christian’s adventure in John Bunyan’s ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’, and of many other mythical odysseys. Two myths in particular seemed relevant. First, and most obvious, is the archetype of the Wounded Healer which portrays the vulnerability of the therapist and its effects on both parties. Secondly, we have used the cyclical journey of growth and rebirth that is at the heart of the myth of Demeter and Persephone as an allegory of Anna and Sarah’s relationship over the course of the treatments.”
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.