Making a connection is a term that is often used to describe what happens in a relationship between two people, but what exactly does connection mean in the context of CST? Other questions we will be discussing during this day are: How do we each as therapists connect with a client, and what is it that deepens the connection we have with them? Is it possible to treat someone if we don't feel a connection? What does it feel like when we truly connect with a client, and what difference does this make to the way the session goes? Are there times when we need to disconnect to allow more space for processing?
The first workshop looks at the nuts and bolts of being a Complementary Therapist, moving from negotiating first sessions through to bringing a series of treatments to a close. We will be examining our expectations of what it means to be a practitioner and learning some very practical ways of looking after ourselves as Therapists both inside and outside sessions. However long you have been in practice, our experience is that you will still find something in this module to enhance the way you support yourself and your clients. As well as exercises performed in ones or twos, there will also be an opportunity for group supervision where participants can bring client material for discussion.
This workshop explores what separation means and looks at how and why we separate from clients. Endings are as important as beginnings, and we want to make any transition as smooth as possible. When therefore is the right time to finish a course of treatments and how do you bring things to an elegant resolution? What happens afterwards? Do you keep in touch and how do you do that? What happens if it is the client who wants to stop coming for treatment? How do we deal with the feelings that naturally arise from the loss of a client?
In Module 2 we will be looking at the myriad ways that healing touch has been used throughout the ages. We will cover in detail the anatomy and physiology of touch and the various ways it is employed within the world of therapeutic bodywork. Touch is perceived differently by each of us dependent, among other things, on our age, our experience and our culture. We will consider how to work with touch sensitively and appropriately. Topics covered will include working off the body, how intention affects the quality of touch and both the concept and practice of non-doing. Additionally, we ask the question 'What do we mean by embodied presence and how does it affect our work as complementary therapists?'
If there's something that we have probably all felt in the course of our Craniosacral career it is confusion. In fact, because it is so enigmatic in it's very nature, CST may produce confusion more than other therapies. Questions we often ask ourselves like: What do I/don't I feel? Am I doing the right thing? and What do I do next? are typical of the ways we can tie ourselves in knots. Then there is always: Is it my stuff or their stuff? and Do I tell them what I'm feeling? Working in a small group to go over these insecure moments can help us to realise that we are not alone in feeling confused, and helps to inspire confidence in therapists of all ability.
Am I stuck in my practice, and how do I get unstuck? Does that mean that I see the same types of people and their problems all the time and am I scared to take on certain other conditions? Or do I feel I have to stick to a protocol which has become meaningless. Can being stuck be a spur to moving forward, because it requires insight to recognise where we are getting caught up in a pattern?This workshop will look at how we can shake things up for ourselves, and use our time with clients more creatively.
The premise of this module is that it is the therapeutic relationship rather than any particular therapy or technique that is the key to a successful outcome. We will be exploring the boundaries of the therapeutic space from multiple perspectives, aiming to find our own place within the therapeutic relationship. Over the three days we consider questions, such as 'Are there discrepancies between how we see ourselves, and how we are perceived by our clients' and whether it is our job to fulfil our client’s expectations?' Throughout the module we will continue to look at new ways in which to relate to our clients and their problems, and focus on broadening our practitioner horizons. At the same time, we will emphasise the need for suitable boundaries and discuss transference and counter-transference issues.
Allowing yourself to be less focussed on the outcome, and much more accepting of whatever seeks to emerge during a treatment gives both client and practitioner the freedom to open themselves to the creativity and sponteneity of the moment. Pain is rarely a purely physical event. Backacke for instance often emerges from an armoured storehouse of many years of suppressed emotion, of body patterns which have congealed in such a way as to to help us avoid the messy business of feeling. We can't just take away years of contraction by merely putting our hands on. Before that can happen there has to be a shedding of the layers of resistance, a moment of vulnerability for both parties. This workshop explores that space and what it feels like.
In the final module we will discuss the different archetypes that may play a part in the healing traditions and how using a knowledge of these forms might lead us to a different way of thinking and how this in turn might help us to see our clients and their problems from a fresh perspective. Taking as our model the familiar archetype of the Wounded Healer and using the concepts of Rescuer, Victim and Persecutor from the Drama Triangle, we will look even more closely at the roles of both Therapist and Client in the therapeutic encounter, gaining further insight into how all interact in that complex relationship.
The nature of the work we do involves showing compassion for both our client and ourselves. When, though, is compassion necessary, and could it cloud my clarity around a situation? Does my need to be compassionate ever hold me back or make me judgemental or directive? Could misplaced compassion somehow sabotage my work with a client by making it difficult for me to see the wood for the trees? What is true compassion, and how do I make sure I am showing myself and my clients compassion where appropriate?
Return of our popular workshop . Asking the right questions in the right way is crucial and can help to uncover deeper layers within the client. As therapists we often find ourselves at a loss when confronted with our client's pain. They may have puzzling and confusing symptoms, and we can become as lost as they are in a maze of physical and emotional complaints. It can be extremely difficult for either of us to delve under the surface of many years of coping, armouring and outright denial. It is at this point that asking the right question may be the key to moving things forward. So what is this magical question that we can ask our clients to facilitate healing? When and how do we ask it?
Are there times when we collude with clients, and how might this manifest? How might we hinder the therapeutic relationship or suppress the healing process by allowing a clients’ agenda to prevent them from moving forward? How much do we want to please our clients, and might they want to please us as well? This workshop looks at all aspects of these questions in order to help us spot collusion more readily.
Sometimes we find ourselves with uncomfortable feelings towards a client, and wonder if we can work together at all. Occasionally a client will resist getting well. What does resistance feel like? How might we work with it in a session, how does it inform us, and how do we decide whether to push forward or hold back?
Meeting our clients where they are is an art that grows with practice. It is crucial to the work we do, but can our expectations of each other sometimes be too high? What happens when we feel we aren't relating successfully to a client and what can we do to create a more balanced relationship?
What personal gifts do we bring to our work as Therapists and what are the pitfalls we face? Can we look at ourselves objectively and find some answers? In this workshop we explore our strengths and shadows as practitioners, and how they might affect our work with clients. Can we continue to grow as therapists if we only listen to our clients’ stories and fail to listen to our own?
The Role of the Therapist
Craniosacral Therapy uses stillness and deep, spacious listening to facilitate change. Listening to ourselves is also a fundamental part of the process. In the workshop we will explore the role of the therapist/ teacher through the use of led discussion and hands on practical work and examine what strengths we bring and what challenges we might face.
What are your limitations as a practitioner?
Can we accept the fact that we don’t know, either as therapists or as clients? Our work demands acceptance not only of our strengths but also of our limitations and it may mean that we have to be content at times with an uncomfortable or unexpected version of ourselves. The therapist that we saw ourselves becoming at the beginning of our career, may have to mutate into someone more humble, who is content to be doing the best they can. Accepting that we can't change everybody's symptoms or lives for the better is hard, but necessary.
The Healing Dialogue
Asking the right questions in the right way is crucial and can help to uncover deeper layers within the client. As therapists we often find ourselves at a loss when confronted with our client’s pain. They may have puzzling and confusing symptoms, and we can become as lost as they are in a maze of physical and emotional complaints.
When we encounter a client who really touches us it can be so difficult to sit back without offering advice or opinions. In our work as therapists it is our job to help our clients take responsibility for themselves. We don’t offer our clients a quick fix or an instant cure, but more importantly a chance to gain a greater understanding of themselves from a different perspective; an opportunity to see where they have come from, and where they might go from here.