I have been doing a Foundation course in Psychotherapy this year and have therefore been reading a lot of psychotherapy texts and I came across the following description:
“Psychotherapy, as I define it, is the art of alleviating personal difficulties through the agency of words and a personal professional relationship”
This really struck a chord as I have struggled for many years to try to find an adequate description of just what it is that I do, and I thought that if I could simply swap a few words around I could come up with something that makes sense for me. So:
“Craniosacral Therapy, as I define it, is the art of alleviating personal difficulties through the agency of touch and a personal professional relationship”
I think that this sounds about right and to borrow further from Anthony Storr,
I am “consulted today by people whose symptoms are ill defined and who are not “sick” or “ill” in any conventional or medical sense. They present what.. [have been] called ‘problems in living’ and what they are seeking is self-knowledge, self-acceptance, and better ways of managing their lives. [Craniosacral Therapy] … is therefore more concerned with understanding persons as wholes and with changing attitudes than with abolishing symptoms”.
Of course I often see people with bad backs, painful shoulders or stiff necks as well as those who come for no particular reason other than a sense of malaise, a sense that things are not quite right for whatever reason.
As I am trained in both Alexander Technique and Craniosacral Therapy I find myself working with either or both of these modalities. Needless to say this is simply my approach and it will by necessity vary according to who I am working with and what it is that they may need as each session and each person is individual. Some people appreciate the mysterious quietness of Craniosacral Therapy while others prefer the structure of an Alexander lesson. In either case it is a joint investigation, a joint exploration into seeing whether together we can alleviate some of those “personal difficulties” regardless of where and how they might have originated.
I like the description of “changing attitudes” and not abolishing symptoms, I think that is exactly right. Symptoms may change as the work progresses and that is why it is generally beneficial to have a number of sessions. In most cases the problems have been around and developing for some time and it can equally take time to establish a personal rapport that is trusting enough to begin to examine some of the issues that are presented. Of course in some cases I would suggest a visit to a doctor but as we all know there are many instances when there is no definable cause other than the pressures of life and how we are approaching it. Both Alexander Technique and Craniosacral Therapy offer an alternative insight into our ways of dealing with life’s problems that can be illuminating simply because they’re not concerned with reason or logic; nor is the body. The body doesn’t deal in words or logic or reason.
In a session or a lesson together we observe how particular attitudes and difficulties physically manifest and listen to just what it is that the body is trying to say. Most people are far more observant of their pets than they are of their own bodies and it can be really enlightening to just stop and listen. It might be the first time that someone has really paid attention to themselves in this way.
So, this is how I understand Craniosacral Therapy and this is what I hope to do – alleviate personal difficulties through the agency of touch.Leave a reply →