What is Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?


The Biodynamic approach to Craniosacral Therapy speaks of a way to support a person's health through the body's own resources and its inherent treatment plan - in other words, the practitioner therapeutically supports what the body wants to do and how the body needs to do that, with its own divine timing and choice.
This approach is mostly perceptual where the practitioner lets go of an intention to fix the problem, and instead supports the primary Intelligence of the human system and its inherent treatment plan through a listening touch, observation and reflection, both verbal and non-verbal.  We recognise that it is the forces at work in and around the human system and the dynamic stillness from which they emerge that does the healing work. Practitioners relate to the body’s life experiences, trauma and disease through a learned balanced state of presence, reflective listening, being and stillness where the healing forces of the system can to come into play and, through the safety of this approach, permanent change towards health can take place.



Where does the name 'biodynamic' come from and what is the history?


The name 'biodynamic' refers to working with the energies that create and maintain life, and is what was meant in the name given to it by the first group of farmers inspired by Rudolf Steiner to put the new method to field-use and practical tests, deciding to call it "Biodynamic" from two Greek words "bios" (life) and "dynamis" (energy). The word 'method' indicates that it was not just about the production of another fertiliser, organic though it was, but rather that certain principles are involved, which in their practical application secure a healthy soil and healthy plants - which in turn produce healthful food for man and healthy feed for animals. The word 'biodynamic' is believed to have been first used in the cranial field by Dr Rollin Becker, who used the term to describe the action of the potency of the Breath of Life.

The biodynamic approach to therapy had its earliest beginnings in Osteopathy from the mid-1800s with the work and teachings of the founder of Osteopathy, Dr A. T. Still (1828 - 1917). Through family tragedy, Dr Still realised the limitations of medicine as a healer and, just as an aside, he prophesized the extent of the legal and illegal drug culture of today. He developed the art and science of Osteopathy, which was initially non-manipulative, as a way to support the body's own healing potential. For example, about the importance of the cerebrospinal fluid, Dr Still wrote:

"Cerebrospinal fluid is the highest known element that is contained in the human body and unless the brain furnishes this fluid in abundance a disabled condition of the body will remain.
He who is able to reason will see that this great river of life must be tapped and the withering fields irrigated at once or the harvest of health be lost forever."

One of Dr Still's students, Dr William Garner Sutherland (1873 - 1954) a profoundly spiritual man, developed an approach to Osteopathy known as the Cranial Concept.

In almost all books about Craniosacral Therapy there is some mention of the lifetime work of Dr Sutherland who, from the age of 25 until his death in 1954 at age 81, researched the inner workings of the human system.

As the story goes, when Dr Sutherland was just a student the bones of the cranium fascinated him because although he was taught that they were fused by adulthood it made no sense because skulls could be disarticulated and cranial bones had sutures that seemed to be designed for movement. While looking at a temporal bone, as he described it, a thought struck him, "bevelled like the gills of a fish for primary respiration." This thought led him on his lifetime journey to discover its nature.

He tried to prove that cranial bones were fused because if they were designed for movement this would have immense implications and challenge of everything that was "known" at that time. He undertook investigations, which included his crazy baseball cap and bandages that earned him the nickname "Wild Bill." These investigations proved to him beyond doubt that the living skull expresses motion and that this motion is physiologically significant.

In the early years Cranial Osteopathy became strongly manipulative and, with some refinements, it is still practised in this way today. However, in the latter years of his research, inspired by his teacher Dr Still to believe in the body's ability to heal itself, Dr Sutherland refined and practised healing through trust in the Innate Intelligence of the body. He pointed to the deep spiritual roots found within the human condition.

Discoveries and hypotheses, from the great thinkers and researchers of modern history, support Dr Sutherland's discoveries. For example, in the 1600 and 1700s, Christian mystics, such as Emanuel Swedenborg, put forward many physiological theories from research and intuition, which have since been confirmed by medical science. Just a few of Swedenborg's hypotheses were about the circulation and existence of the cerebrospinal fluid; that the motion of the brain was separate from respiration; "... that the smallest organic particles are independent centres of forces endowed with individual life."

There are many accounts of the history and development of biodynamic craniosacral therapy available on the Internet and in the increasing number of books published over the last decade or so. One story, edited from Franklyn Sills' website, is shared below to highlight a pivotal point in Dr Sutherland's move away from the mechanical fix-it approach to healing.  Please note that reference to inhalation and exhalation in the text below relates only to the felt sense of the inner movement of cells of the body that has a quality similar to that, but completely separate to lung breathing:

"In 1945, at the age of 72, Dr Sutherland had an extraordinary experience that transformed his understanding of the work, his approach to healing and the language he used. He was called to the bed of a dying patient who was in great pain. As Sutherland held the man's system, a depth of stillness arose, and he had a direct experience of what he called the 'Breath of Life' as his patient peacefully died.

Sutherland began to focus on 'primary' respiration and its inhalation/flexion and exhalation/extension phases, and he wrote about an approach where no outside force is used, but the unerring potency, or life force, is trusted to initiate and carry out healing processes.

What the body needs to happen for healing to take place cannot be achieved by the practitioner's analysis or motion testing. It is about what Sutherland called the 'Intelligence of the system' and the 'intention of the Breath of Life'. At its deepest level, work in this field casts us into the mystery of life itself."

Over the years Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy has become a discrete discipline. It is a gentle, non-invasive way of effectively working with the physical, emotional and energetic aspects of the body and its history. The way of 'being' of the practitioner to support health and healing without trying to fix the problem is not new. In the natural order of things as this work developed, some notable practitioners in the field returned to the roots of osteopathy, the later discoveries of Dr Sutherland and even further back to ancient teachings.

As Dr Sutherland came to the last years of his career, his experiences created a significant change in his perception of the workings of the body and the nature of health and healing. His clinical practice and language changed as he moved away from a biomechanical approach to respect the nature and quality of his experience of the subtle physiology and energetics of the human system. He spoke of the organising forces of life that emerge from stillness and became oriented to them in his practice, where he settled into listening rather than doing - what we now call a 'biodynamic approach'.

Breath of Life (BOL) is a term used by Dr Sutherland to describe our essential life force, an invisible element, a ‘fluid within a fluid’, which contains an innate Intelligence. Franklyn Sills describes it as:
“The action of a divine intention. This divine wind expresses and orchestrates the intention to create”.
Its functions precede genetics. It arises in the new individual at the moment of conception and remains within us as an intrinsic ordering force throughout life. The practitioner is present in humility and respect with the potency of the Breath of Life as it arises out of stillness and ignites the Tide – perceived to be the basic ordering principle within the human system.

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) is a transparent yellowish fluid, filtered out from blood that bathes and nourishes the central nervous system.  Dr Still called CSF as “the highest known element in the body”, and Dr Sutherland further understood the CSF as being “potentised by the Breath of Life”.

Cranial Concept is a philosophy and practice developed by Dr Sutherland. It involves an appreciation of the BOL and the rhythmic motions that arise out of it (the Tide) and the significance of the primary respiratory system (PRS) for the maintenance of health.

Intelligence - Dr Sutherland likened the CSF to the sap in a tree.  He stressed that there is an invisible element within the CSF, which is an expression of a universal Intelligence at work.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) –is a simple, effective and learnable four-step process developed in 1964 by psychologist Marshall Rosenberg PhD. It is an emotionally-intelligent, awareness-based communication approach. The heart of NVC is to identify universal human needs and what can be done to meet those needs. It is known to be effective even in situations of longstanding conflict or hostility. NVC can open new doors to a compassionate connection and action.

Osteopathy is a perspective of healthcare developed by Dr A. T. Still, that emphasises the relationship between body structure and function, and which views the body as a whole unit, capable of healing itself when its structure and function are in alignment and balance.

Pre and Peri-Natal Psychology –focusses on the period of about nine months, including conception and the whole of gestation, and to the short but crucial period of hours involving labour, birth, and the establishment of breastfeeding. These experiences are formative for both babies and parents and tend to establish patterns of intimacy and sociality for life. At stake here is a quality of life--the quality of personal growth and the quality of society itself. Ultimately, "womb ecology becomes world ecology."

Primary Respiratory System (PRS) – Dr Sutherland initially described a mechanism he discovered as composed of the inherent fluctuation of cerebrospinal fluid, the motility of the brain and spinal cord, the reciprocal tension membrane system (RTMS), the articular mobility of the cranial bones, and the involuntary mobility of the sacrum between the iliac bones of the pelvis.  As he continued his discoveries of the BOL and sensed the brain he spoke about the PRS rather than a mechanism (PRM) - a whole system of rhythmic motion arising from the potency of the Breath of Life, the bioelectric matrix, the primal midline, the Tides and the ground of stillness from which they arise. The movement is described as “respiration” because through sensitive hands this rhythmic motion as similar to respiratory breathing although it is not in rhythm with the respiratory breath nor the heartbeat.  Dr Sutherland further discovered that every cell of the body expresses this respiratory-like motion.

Reciprocal Tension Membrane System (RTMS) - the Dural membrane system that surrounds and partitions the central nervous system is attached to, and continuous with, the cranial bones and the sacrum.  It expresses a bipolar reciprocal rhythmic motility and motion in the two phases of primary respiration. The membranes are relatively inelastic and always held in a state of reciprocal tension during motion of the structures to which it is attached.

Reiki  - an energy therapy where the hands are placed on the body and “the energy of pure unconditional love” is channelled into the practitioner’s body through the crown of the head and out through the hands.  With a similar philosophy to the biodynamic approach to craniosacral therapy, the practitioner has no agenda or need, allowing the Reiki energy, in conversation with the body’s needs, to make the healing choices.



What is Resonance in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?


 'Resonance' describes a way of being of the practitioner that is wholly non-suggestive, without intention or manipulation, even in a discrete way. This approach, therefore, opens up the training and practice to people who are not medical Doctors or Osteopaths. In some respects, as a student, it can be an asset to be without experience of fixing patients through intentional therapies.

Resonance is a way of being where the meeting of two people - or with the environment and everything within that - comes into a neutral balanced state that offers a safe space to begin a ‘conversation’ around health and the plan to achieve that. It is the key to understanding another person’s experience.  There is a depth of receptive listening that supports safety and allows the ‘intelligence’ of the system to work without the practitioner’s need or being right – a letting go to what is, and to what is possible.

Paul Vick, who trained to teach with Franklyn Sills in the early 1990s in the UK, and taught with Franklyn for many years in London and at the Karuna Institute in Devon, describes "Cranial Resonance" as a meeting place or place of concord:

"This way of working promotes the natural healing forces within the body to be the active agent of change. Cranial Resonance is the foundation of a healing relationship and is the key to understanding another person's experience. It is a state of receptive presence. When we are empathetic, distance, as we normally experience it, ceases to exist, and we come into a Rhythm of Presence."

Paul continues to further the development and teaching of BCST with the Resonance principle in such a way that Cranial Osteopaths have commented that his teachings offer an exciting new depth of approach to the work.

It is no mean feat to embody the skills of this 'healing relationship' as there is often so much of our own "stuff" that can get in the way. Coming to a resonant way of being takes time and practice as well as a willingness to be a neutral witness, to be humble, without judgement and foremost to come from the heart. We trust the process and the Intelligence of the system as well as to let go and embrace Sutherland's words: "Trust the Tide."

Stillness – this is an energetic quality of being that invites health.  It is the ground from which all else arises.

Tide- Dr Sutherland found that the action of the potency of the Breath of Life generates rhythms within the tissues and fluids of the body, expressed as tide-like fluctuations palpable throughout the body – cells, structures and the core link (PRS).

Trauma - An event or series of events, created by physical and/or emotional stress, threat or danger, which mobilises the body’s protective fight, flight, freeze or collapse mechanisms, and so creating fulcrums of ‘memory’ when unresolved due to overwhelm, and then frozen in the tissues.


Why train with Stillness Trainings?


Stillness Trainings offers you a unique training, whether it is through Introductory workshops, Womb Surround Birth Process workshops, Professional Practitioner training or Postgraduate and other related trainings.

The foundation course ~ "Presence and Being" ~ offers you skills in support of many aspects of your health as well as healthy relationship skills, which underpin all aspects of life.

You may be drawn to undertake the ~ Professional Practitioner Training ~ which over the two years offers you a deepening into your process with potential resolution of unhelpful patterns that may be creating limitations on your life. This natural process of change and transformation also enhances what is possible for your clients and your other relationships - there naturally occurs a modelling of the potential for change.

Knowledge is essential and we ensure our courses meet that need from the latest research and development, then deepening into Stillness, Being, Presence and the embodiment of those sweet skills that are key to healing every aspect of our existence, for example, we train students in the use of dialogue skills to support the resolution of shock and trauma.

You will learn all of the classic and relevant aspects of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) however, more than that, we offer you something that many now perceive as the way forward in therapy, in health and in life. This 'something' is a unique aspect, which we describe as 'AND' - Absolutely No Doing - where we trust the "Breath of Life", trust the Intelligence of the system, trust the process and "Trust The Tide". Our practice is wholly respectful of the wisdom of the body and therefore is without suggestion, amplification of subtle motions, intention or application of techniques desired by the practitioner to "help".

'AND' is an approach to therapy that comes from the heart. It is about learning to let go of trying or making it happen, becoming so clear of who you are that what potently develops is not only a 'safe' space in which to be with someone but there is also an ability to "Be" in humility, stillness, respect, presence, non-judgment and love.

This way of Being grows from within as the many layers of learning and discovery bring you to a place of embodied presence and heart-centred present moment awareness, which can become a way that you may choose to be in life, an approach that invites health.

Stillness Trainings invites you to participate in a training that opens up a whole new world of possibilities in the healing arts and one that so many students, practitioners and clients alike, eagerly embrace.

As a graduate of Craniosacral Therapy, whether "biodynamic" or other foundation, we invite you to enrol in one or more of our postgraduate trainings, some of which are open to non-graduates. These courses and workshops offer you much support not only in your development as practitioner and CPE points, but also on your personal journey.


What is the history and intention of Stillness Trainings?


We - Terry Collinson, Brendan Pittwood (Tutors) and Evonne Bennell (Administration) established Stillness Trainings in 2006.

Terry's background is Physiotherapy and during her time working with Judy Reeman in Launceston, Tasmania she was introduced to Craniosacral Therapy techniques that proved effective with a number of long-term patients. Inspired by the potential for this work, and having discovered how the body really heals through her training in Rei-ki with Barbara McGregor she returned to the UK in 1995 and began her Craniosacral Therapy training with Franklyn Sills in London and at the Karuna Institute in Devon.

Having returned to Australia and established a busy craniosacral therapy practice that was rapidly becoming 'biodynamic' in nature, Terry was invited to train to teach in New Zealand and later Australia with Paul Vick and his UK team of teachers under his school, now called Resonance Trainings

Any fears of having to return to the more mechanical approaches that she had learned during her training were allayed with Paul's sublime teaching and approach, reflecting his own and Franklyn's growing movement towards biodynamics and away from mechanics and protocol oriented therapy.

Paul Vick trained to teach with Franklyn Sills in the early 1990s in the UK, and taught with Franklyn for many years in London and at the Karuna Institute in Devon. They established the Craniosacral Therapy Education Trust (CTET) with Paul as the principal teacher and course director. Following the call to take the training overseas, Paul began his own school in the late 1990s.

Paul was invited to head a practitioner training that completed in New Zealand in 2000. The training included four enthusiastic craniosacral therapy tutors from the UK and three of these tutors assisted Paul in the second training in New Zealand and first Australian training, completing in 2003. They included Sheila Kean, Ged Sumner, who taught with CTET, and Colin Perrow, who was a course director at the Karuna Institute.

Paul's intention for the teaching was to train tutors to continue his work "down under" and for both he and the team to continue to support graduates with a comprehensive postgraduate programme. He continued to further the development and teaching of BCST with the Resonance principle in such a way that Cranial Osteopaths have commented that his teachings offer an exciting new depth of approach to the work.

Brendan's background is in engineering, Osteopathy training (although he did not practice as an Osteopath), and remedial bodywork. He was one of Paul Vick's New Zealand graduates from that first training, and he was wholly inspired by the therapeutic potential of the work. Therefore he also began to train to teach with Paul Vick in New Zealand and Australia, subsequently training with Ray Castellino in pre and perinatal psychology.

After many years of training with Paul Vick, Terry and Brendan are committed to teaching with the resonance principle as an inherent part of all workshops and courses. We offer Introductory, Open, Diploma level, Advanced Diploma and Postgraduate training in the biodynamic and resonance approach to craniosacral therapy and associated training. All trainings are not only based on biodynamic and resonance principles but also on development from Terry's training in Reiki and metaphysical causation of disease, and Brendan's Pre and Peri-natal psychology training. Both Terry and Brendan are committed to the effective use of dialogue in therapeutic practice and teaching and reflect the practice of 'Nonviolent Communication' within the learning environment.

As is the nature of the work itself, our training continues to develop. We offer a new curriculum, enfolding the old with the new.

Our perspective within biodynamic resonance in craniosacral therapy is to take the second Osteopathic principle as close to an absolute as possible. This principle is that the body has the inherent capacity to heal itself. So part of our journey is to discover the ways we can relate to, and trust that principle.

We honour and cherish the history and development of this work by our teachers and practitioners, past and present and, just like the teaching, the discoveries are ever unfolding. There appears to be no end point.

We aim to offer training of a high standard that brings the essence of the biodynamic and resonant approach into a biodynamic craniosacral therapy training whose foundation has grown out of our extensive study, experience, training and practice. The courses offered also come from a foundation of the research and teachings of many great thinkers, writers and researchers as well as teachers in the cranial field. Most notable of these are Dr Andrew Taylor Still, Dr William Garner Sutherland, Dr Rollin Becker, Dr John Upledger, Dr Peter Levine, Dr Bruce Lipton, Dr Michel Odent, Dr Erich Blechschmidt, Richard Grossinger PhD, Marshall B. Rosenberg PhD, and our teachers Franklyn Sills, Paul Vick, Ray Castellino, and Barbara McGregor.

stillness Training

We deeply acknowledge our teachers who have brought us to this place of inspired learning and teaching, and also to our way of teaching, which comes from the heart and from a place of integrity and respect for ourselves and our students, who will join us on this exciting journey of self-discovery, exploration and becoming.

As you come to understand the biodynamic resonance principles, you might also find a resonance with the many aspects of Being, which are reflected in our logo - this "calligraphic mark". The logo also bears a mirrored similarity to the treble clef, representing a resonance with our frequencies of space and vibration.

The Stillness Trainings logo developed by chance, if there is such a thing!

Terry met Graeme Davey early in 2006. He is an artist and designer, amongst so many other attributes. Graeme was so inspired by his first experience of biodynamic craniosacral therapy that he created our logo, including some of the words below:

The feeling of Stillness is honoured with ancient origin
creating a timelessness.
This is nothing new.
This is where we come from
and where we choose to go.
The centre of Stillness.

The calligraphic mark speaks of 'real origin'
sits solid and turns within,
rising and falling,
coming and going in an infinite flow.
Expressing within it the Three Tidal rhythms
arising out of the Breath of Life
whilst sitting Grounded and Present.
A balance of the male and the female.
The essence of wisdom.
A centre of Stillness and creation within.
Creation from the Breath of Life.

- Terry L Collinson © TLC


Why is "embodiment" important?


Embodiment, in the context of biodynamic craniosacral therapy, is something that happens over a period of time as students practice the skills of the biodynamic and resonant approach to therapy and life. The learning process begins with the introductory workshop, practising the skills and repeating the workshop to more fully ground those skills.

Should you wish to deepen, expand and hone your skills then continue with the practitioner training, followed by one to two years of professional practice to become more established in your competency. During this time, and for the whole of your professional career, our Registration body in Australasia, which is the Pacific Association of Craniosacral Therapists (PACT) requires that you have regular supervision sessions with an accredited supervisor who will support you through professional practice challenges, and also annual continuing education requirements.

Embodiment is easily likened to driving a car where in the beginning you have to practice a lot in various scenarios in order to become competent enough to sit your test, and then the practice continues over at least three years as you trawl through your 'P's to the full licence. Especially in the beginning, it can feel awkward to remember all of the steps even before you switch on the ignition, however, over time the process becomes so automatic, or 'embodied' - seatbelt, mirrors, seat position, indication etc. Then all you have to concentrate on is the driving itself where some other skills also become embodied freeing you up to concentrate fully on honing driving skills and keeping safe.


Why are our training venues important?


We choose venues that will support the learning of students in a space that is not only comfortable but one that also supports safety for the exploration of intellectual as well as inner learning. We recommend that students stay nearby to the venues where possible, rather than travel home each day to maximise the benefits of being wholly immersed in the training.

In Australia, our main venue is in the beautiful Bays area of the Central Coast of NSW, surrounded by nature and water. This venue is far from shops and cafes; therefore we often cater for lunch with highly praised vegetarian, gluten-free meals, as close to organic as possible.

In New Zealand's North Island our main teaching venue is purpose-built within Brendan Pittwood's home in Egmont Village, near New Plymouth.


Why should I attend an Introductory workshop?


This workshop offers you the opportunity to gain an experiential understanding of biodynamic craniosacral therapy skills that can be very useful in your work, in your relationships and your own health.  It also offers you an opportunity to experience how the body self-organises, self-balances and self-heals and how you and others can be supported by your biodynamic resonant way of being with the potential for personal healing and clarity in your life's journey.

This course is ideal if you have a keen interest to experience yourself, your environment, family, friends, clients, and animals, in a healing way. It is mainly experiential, enabling you to get a felt sense of the way that you can 'listen' with greater awareness to stories that the body wants to tell and the resulting potential for improved health and understanding.

There are no pre-requisites as you are given all the information you need during the course. This workshop is open to everyone interested in learning about this subtle, profound approach to healing and Be-ing in life, even if you have no experience as a practitioner.

For existing practitioners from all backgrounds, the workshop offers an excellent opportunity for you to deepen your understanding and experience of subtle energy and to further develop skills, as well as subtle palpation skills, that will enhance your existing practice.

Teaching methods include lectures, demonstrations, the use of visual aids and models, mindful meditation, exercises and visualisation, feedback and questions. We explore the energetics of being in relationship as well as some experiential exchange time on treatment tables.

Completion of this Introductory Workshop — Presence & Being — is a pre-requisite to the professional practitioner training.


How is the practitioner training curriculum structured?


Teaching methods include lectures, demonstrations, the use of visual aids and models. We practice mindful meditations and visualisation, and the use of various types of dynamic crafting to aid learning from a somatic perspective.  Movement and other body awareness exercises support each seminar's learning.  Where numbers of students permit, we offer small group study and exploration, and with all groups, there is feedback that includes experiential exchange on treatment tables, practical exercises, projects, supervision and group feedback sessions.  Students are required to attend a minimum of nine one-day Student Clinics.

The treatment table exchange sessions, including the student clinic days, make up more than 50% of training time. These sessions give the tutors the opportunity to support and clarify students' experiences and deepen the development of perceptual and clinical skills.

Throughout the training, the skills learnt within the Introductory workshop continue to be built upon, interwoven and deepened with the new work presented. New skills are introduced and developed as student progress allows. Teaching may be shared by the tutor team, which may be made up of the senior tutor(s), assistant tutor(s), trainee tutor(s), guest tutors and assistants who are skilled in their profession where that is supportive of the student's learning.

We provide detailed course notes and some course materials with each seminar. All topics studied include the practical and theoretical study of relevant anatomy, physiology, embryology, pathology, and nutrition.

Alongside home study, there are interviews with the tutors, practical assessments and feedback sessions scheduled throughout the training, which support the refinement of palpatory skills as well as your 'progress'.


Why is there a need for home study in the practitioner training?


Course study continues at home between seminars and includes self-assessment, projects, and a minimum number of client practice sessions that is approximately 252 over the two years.

Home study is a key aspect of the training. It is rarely an intellectual process as it supports you to grow and develop with the work in a step-by-step way. Home-study supports a gradual unfolding of understanding, week by week, month by month and client by client - like the beautiful opening of the petals of a rose. Even if you choose to join the training purely from the perspective of personal development, the home study is still a fundamental aspect of the embodiment of biodynamic principles.

Home study is essential as it is not only a requirement for graduation but also offers us the opportunity to assess your needs and is to be completed to all tutors satisfaction.

Home study promotes:

  • Areas of understanding of the work.
  • Personal development.
  • Practical application of the work.

To help you to be wholly ready to graduate it is vital to complete each aspect of the teaching as a progression throughout the training.  Avoid any belief that it is possible, or acceptable, to be ready to graduate by completing your work in a big rush at the end.


What are the professional practitioner training requirements?


All students must have a basic grounding in Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) equating to approximately 80 hours of learning. Stillness Trainings offers a foundation course in A&P that will satisfy this requirement. The course, which takes at least 16 weeks, is ideally undertaken before the training begins but in certain circumstances may be studied concurrently. Those students whose A&P is a bit rusty are also encouraged to take the course.

Most students are already a health professional; however, due to the nature of the work and training philosophy, applications are invited from students with no therapeutic background or experience as practitioner other than as a client.

Students are required to own or have access to a computer and an email address. Students are required to have a core number of textbooks.

Please email us for the current booklist of required and recommended reading:

In order to be considered for graduation the student must complete 700 hours of study and practice.


What is expected of me as a student of the Practitioner Training?


To make the most of the training, and out of respect for yourself as well as the tutors, you are expected to complete your home study on time and to communicate with your tutor as soon as you have any challenge around home study or practice client sessions.

You must undertake to have regular supervision sessions throughout the training. One such session between each seminar usually is acceptable and highly recommended.

You must undertake to have regular Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy sessions (a minimum of ten sessions although ideally one session per month) from a qualified biodynamic craniosacral therapy practitioner between seminars. These sessions support your process, health, and progress in the application of the work.

Privacy is vital, and all students and tutors commit to maintaining strict confidentiality. Therefore any sharing of information is only made with the express permission of the person or people involved.

Depending on the venue, students support the training by helping to set up the training room, helping with meal and refreshment times, and clearing away at the end of the seminar. We gratefully welcome support from students who can supply massage tables and bedding.

Stillness Trainings courses are mostly non-profit therefore as part of the application process for the practitioner training you will complete and sign a contract where you make a commitment to complete the training and that, if for any reason you decide not to continue, you will continue to pay any outstanding fees due. We recommend that students make provision for this unlikely situation. Each student's commitment ensures the viability of the training and creates safety for the student group.


How is the course organised?


Depending on the location of the training student numbers will usually be between four and a maximum of sixteen.

Most practitioner trainings are of 48 days made up of 13 three-day seminars spaced approximately two months apart with nine student clinic days either between seminars or added to the three days.  The two-day Introductory course brings the total days of training to 50.

We aim to offer vegetarian and gluten-free refreshments and, depending on the venue, a vegetarian and gluten-free light lunch may also be provided. Please let your course coordinator know if you have particular dietary requirements:
There is a “no smoking” policy within the venue and its environment.

Tutors are each assigned a small group of students to support through the training on a more individual basis. Tutor groups remain the same for the duration of the training, however the tutor may change a few times during the training to give students a variety of feedback. Tutor groups meet once during most seminars, and this meeting includes questions and feedback.

Your tutor will receive and comment on your home study, which is to be received at least two weeks before the next seminar, and he or she is the go-to person for help should the need arise between seminars.

Home study includes tracking of skills as they develop, anatomy drawings, short statements of experience and/or understanding, some assignments and presentations, e.g. Cranial Nerve and Pathology, and every month students email to their tutor three practice sessions with questions for comment.

Students give each tutor a table session several times throughout the training which provides the teaching team with an opportunity to assess and offer feedback and support around your progress in perceptual and clinical aspects.

When student numbers require only one senior tutor, then either Terry or Brendan may offer input to some seminars via Skype and may attend in person for one or more seminars.

Student interviews take place during the training where each student has the opportunity to express any concerns privately, to receive feedback and, where required, to develop a plan with the tutors to manage any perceived difficulties. The student or tutor may request an interview at other times during the training.

There is a graduation ceremony at the final seminar, planned and funded by each student group, and includes some time for input from the tutor team. All students whether graduating or not, take part in this celebration and completion ceremony.


How do I catch up if I miss any training days?


In emergencies, you are permitted to miss six days of training, which may be two full seminars, although preferably not one after the other as this seriously jeopardises your learning. These situations will be for significantly challenging issues such as personal illness, birth, or family tragedy.

A catch-up plan is put in place that may involve the help of fellow students and/or tutor(s), either directly or via Skype depending on the catch-up required.

You may be required to pay extra fees for tutor time.

Part of the catch-up is that you complete a detailed write-up of experience and understanding of the missed course work. The same catch-up is required for a missed day or two during a seminar.


Are there any exams?


There is no final exam. Instead, there are two Self-Assessment Papers to complete towards the end of the training, both of which replace the usual home study except for continuing practice client sessions.

The first self-assessment paper offers tutors the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of where you are with the work and what support/teaching you may want or require to complete.

The second self-assessment paper offers the tutor team part of a final overview of your suitability to graduate.


How will my suitability for graduation be assessed?


Final assessment for Graduation is based upon the following:

  • All financial obligations have been met.
  • Final personal and tutor appraisal and interview.
  • Satisfactory completion of all home study.
  • Self-assessment and tutor assessment process.

For those students who are not yet ready to graduate we offer an extension and completion plan that may include the refinement of clinical skills, and/or the completion of home study, and/or to finalise payment of course fees.

Ideally this extension takes place over six months and may include supervision and tutorials that usually attract a fee. Our aim is that the student's safety and skills will be sufficiently developed and that all requirements are completed within this time frame.


Can I complete the practitioner training alongside other courses of study?


We strongly recommend that students do not undertake the professional practitioner training alongside any other major courses, other than Anatomy and Physiology, where there may be a demand for significant study time or where seminar dates will conflict.


What does the practitioner training curriculum include? (All lists in alphabetical order)


Core skills include:

  • Awareness of sensation of the different tissues and fluids of the body and the ability to differentiate between them.
  • Awareness of the senses and understanding of body language as diagnostic tools.
  • Clear definition of boundaries.
  • Palpatory awareness of how the body responds as it self-heals, self-regulates, self-balances and reorganises.
  • Practical appreciation of the organisation of the body and the ability to track the unfoldment of tissue and fluid motions within the body.
  • Presence, pacing, light contact, and listening that allows a dialogue to occur between the body and the practitioner's hands, and for this to have a clinical perspective.
  • Self-responsibility and regulation.
  • The effective use of verbal dialogue, including reflective listening, as a therapeutic tool and that all dialogue embraces the principles of Nonviolent Communication.
  • Understanding transference, counter-transference, and their ramifications.
  • Working and being in resonance from a place of stillness, being and presence with the Breath of Life and the Tides.

Core teaching content, which runs throughout the training includes:

  • Body-Mind connection
  • Dialogue and Communication
  • Embryology
  • Mindfulness Meditations
  • Nutrition
  • Pathology
  • Practical professional practice skills
  • Practitioner development
  • Review and Integration
  • Sensory development
  • Shock and Trauma management
  • Skills Tracking process.
  • Stillness and Stillpoints
  • Student Clinic
  • Various forms of Self-Assessment

Presentations include:

  • Being in Practice
  • Body-Mind and Metaphysics
  • Central Nervous System
  • Chakra System
  • Connective Tissue including Muscle, Bone, Joints, and Fascia
  • Cranial Bones - their Movement and Relationships
  • Cranial Nerves
  • Creative Opposition
  • Discovering Birth
  • Embryology
  • Exercise Forms that support learning
  • Exploration of your Development
  • Face, Neck and Mouth
  • Facilitated Segments
  • Five-Pointed Star, Craniopelvic Balancing and Dr Randolph Stone
  • Human Bioenergy System
  • Immune System
  • Nervous System
  • Nutrition
  • Organs of Movement
  • Pathology Presentations
  • Reciprocal Tension Membrane System
  • Shock and Trauma Titration, Resolution and Integration
  • Spine and Pelvis
  • Sphenobasilar Junction
  • Temporomandibular Joint
  • The Mindful Brain
  • Transference, Counter-Transference
  • Transverse Diaphragms
  • Venous Sinus and Vertebral Venous Sinus Systems
  • Ventricles of the Brain
  • Viscera
  • Working with Mothers, Fathers, Babies, Children, and the Family

Core study format includes:

  • Case Histories
  • Creative Home Study Projects
  • Practice Clients and Writing Up Practice Sessions
  • Presentations
  • Reading and drawing
  • Self-Assessment
  • Tracking Knowledge, Understanding and Experience via the Skills Review

Home study is essential as it is not only a requirement for graduation but also offers us the opportunity to assess your needs.

Home study promotes:

  • Areas of understanding of the work
  • Personal development
  • Practical application of the work


How are course or workshop fees paid?


Deposits and full or Early bird fees may be paid directly through PayPal via the website or by direct debit into the Stillness Trainings account

Payment may also be made by credit card attracting a 2.39% surcharge in Australia and a 3% surcharge in New Zealand.

Monthly payments for the professional practitioner training are made by direct debit to either the Australian or New Zealand bank account.