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Study Groups and Seeking CST Treatment for Oneself… A Personal Reflection by Lesley Stratton

Two things that are always mentioned at sometime during CST 1 and CST 2 are the benefits firstly of attending a study group and secondly getting CST treatments for oneself. I remember this advice was given our CST1 class about fifteen years ago. In my defence, there were not as many study groups available but that is as much leeway I can give myself because I promptly forgot the advice on both accounts and did nothing.
So I struggled on after CST1 working as a sole physiotherapy practitioner trying to integrate some of the techniques into my physio practise. At first, I was hugely enthusiastic after CST1 but this slowly waned after a few months as I had no terms of reference as to what the client might actually be feeling during a treatment and was confused as to what, if anything, I was also feeling. After about six months I had given up practising the 10 step protocol on my friends. I think in hindsight they were probably greatly relieved!
However nine months later, in our physio journal, CST2 was advertised and my curiosity was awakened once more. For me, this course acted like a spring board into a completely different sphere of tactile awareness. I could actually sense those torsion and shear patterns. A light had been switched on. I believe new information and insights are delivered like packages, we make leaps in understanding and insight and in those spaces we are transformed and yet we aren`t quite sure how we got there.
So did I find a study group or get some CST treatment as advised this time on CST2…? Well sadly no, not immediately. It is only with hindsight that I recognize how important both are in our development as skilled CST therapists and also going forward in personal growth and development. As Stan Gerome ( SER 2, TIDI ) says: "The most valuable thing that we can bring to the table is a well integrated therapist".


Eventually I did find a study group to go to and travelled down to Surrey where I had some treatment too. With good mentoring and the chance to thrash ideas and experiences out with other like-minded people, my skills developed. Then as the courses I attended progressed to SER 1 and 2, I augmented those courses with further CST treatment – this is where I wish that I had been a little more on the ball during those early days. It seems to me that as I have got more treatment I tend to "push" less hard at life, am less judgemental and more self confident. Becoming aware of my "shadow" and recognising the experiences which have hot-wired and high-jacked my non-conscious has been empowering. Doing the work on myself has increased my tools in the kit bag and, I feel, developed a degree of wisdom and consciousness. In response to this, I feel my clients are able to deepen their own SER processes.
So if any of you reading this have heard the advice to "get treatment" and "go to a study group", don’t be like me and ignore it. Make time and try it – you will be well rewarded and probably have fun doing it!
Lesley Stratton
Thanks Lesley, any thoughts anyone?