I was very luck to participate as a therapist on the first Upledger PTSD Intensive Therapy Programme to be held in the UK last November. Upledger carry out Intensive’s for several different conditions including PTSD, Concussion and Autism. The programmes have run since 2006 and are producing amazing therapeutic results.
At the PTSD Intensive in November 2017 we had 6 clients who were ex police force. One of whom was also ex-military. They had lost their employment due to post traumatic stress disorder as a result of their accumulated experiences at work. We had approximately 26 therapists which included some backup support therapists and the two primary facilitators of the programme who had come over from Upledger Institute International in the US.
The programme was 5 days long and the clients were welcome to receive up to 6 hours therapy per day. We would work multi hands in groups of 3 or 4 therapists to each client. This is a well-recognised and enjoyed way for us therapists to practice in Craniosacral therapy. It gives greater support and facilitation enabling clients to go deeper into their therapeutic process.
The day would start at 9am in a circle of all the clients and therapists. This provided a space for the clients to discuss how they were feeling, how the previous day of therapy had been for them and the evening after the therapy. Then we would peel off into our groups for the current days’ work. The clients were completely in control of their whole therapeutic process. We would take tea breaks from the treatment table if and when they chose through till about 1pm when we would have an hour’s lunch break. Then we would resume at 2pm and continue through till 5pm.
The clients were very brave that first morning, not really knowing what to expect out of this programme they had signed themselves up for. Most of them had not received craniosacral therapy before (though it had been recommended that they try to have a treatment or 2 beforehand). Mostly they did not know one another either. However, by the end of the first day there was a palpable sense of the safe container that had been created by like-minded therapist holding the space for change to occur.
The essence of Upledger craniosacral therapy is for therapists to be entirely non-judgemental and neutral in response to anything a client brings up during their treatment. When a client received this total acceptance of their story the client can both feel heard and feel safe. The therapist has joined the client in the reality that they (the client) had previously been isolated within. Now the client is no longer isolated within their experience, they are receiving connection, being held with complete non-judgemental acceptance in this space. This is the therapeutic presence that enables the clients’ body and nervous system to let go of its trauma and stress response.
As a team we therapists and clients turned up day after day to enable these changes to happen. And day by day the clients were having life changing experiences. Likewise, for us therapist to witness the courage and bravery of our clients bearing their truth is an honour. This therapeutic work is a very unique and precious experience.
Comments made by the clients on the last day included;
“I am feeling the sense of relaxation and inner peace”.
“I am in touch with my emotions again”. “I feel hope for my future”.
“With this work you have not just changed my life, you have saved my life”.
“I cannot quite comprehend the magic that has happened in here”.
And “I have been so lucky”.
These Intensive programmes are also being written up as scientific studies in the interest of building a genuine record of the therapeutic effects of Craniosacral therapy. The first set of scoring has come in for the longer term benefit and change the programme has had for the clients. On the scoring index that is used for such scientific studies a 5 point improvement suggests an approach is helpful and 10 point is clinically significant (according to those who developed the scale). From our 6 folks their PTSD scores improved from a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 34, the average being 25. There are also scores for level of Depression and all of these have more than halved. This is just the beginning; the scores will be taken again at 3 and 6 month. However we are thrilled with the results so far. It just goes to show what a compelling for of health care Craniosacral therapy is.
If you are interested in creating an intensive type experience for yourself take a look at my Treatment Plans page then get in touch and we can create a plan to suit you.