DRAFT AGREEMENT FOR PI STUDENTS
If you are accepted into our training, you will be entering an intensive program, which can, with your commitment and discipline, start you on the way to becoming a professional body psychotherapist & bodyworker.
1) Preparations for the Training:
In preparation for the present training, each trainee will need to focus on those of the following areas where he or she is weakest:
STRENGTH AND SENSITIVITY. Deep connective tissue work requires power, endurance and sensitivity in the whole body. In using the hands for energetic transformation it is important to develop and maintain a keen sense of the practitioner’s balance throughout the whole body. Build your energy before entering the training through aerobic and isometric exercise. A minimum aerobic program is 25 to 40 minute workout three times a week in activities that exercise the whole body such as running, dancing, and swimming. In isometric exercise care should be taken not to overdevelop muscles or create an imbalance between muscle groups by working with excessive weights. But extra development is needed in the fingers, wrists, forearms, and back. Medium weights, fingers in clay, are some ways to prepare. Light masssage is excellent but only really firm petrissage will significantly strengthen your hands for deep work.
BALANCE AND MOVEMENT AWARENESS. Control and flow of our work depends on our energy coming from the whole body, and being balanced in the pelvis. Tai Chi, yoga, acrobatics, and dancing can help you find this center. The Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais method can help in using the whole body around this center.
SENSE OF TOUCH. Each person with whom you work will require a different pressure, touch, and pace. Make sensitive contact with as many different kinds of people as you can. Touch them with varying grips and pressures. Notice the degree of softness in outer and inner sleeves of body tissue. Notice which areas of the body are tenser, which are flaccid and unresponsive. Use all the massage techniques you have mastered, but do not attempt deep connective tissue work before you have entered the training.
BREATH. We will be using charging and discharging breathing along with tissue manipulation. Any yoga, Reichian work, bioenergetics you can get will be helpful. Observe the breath patterns of different body types.
EMOTIONS. As we work with the body, old emotions are released and new feelings and attitudes begin to develop. As an accepted trainee you have already had bodywork, but it is important that you get as much emotional work as possible, and at the same time focus on the emotions that surface in yourself during this work. Postural Integration, Energetic Integration, the various forms of Reichian and Neo-Reichian work, Hakomi and Rosen work, Lomi work and body¬oriented Gestalt are all valuable. Polarity, Shiatsu, Heller work and Rolfing can also be helpful if attention is paid to emotional release.
ANATOMY. During the training, traditional anatomical terminology will be used to locate and describe body structures. To follow these discussions you need to begin learning this basic vocabulary. The work itself is intuitive and when we enter the tissue we will not try to analyse anatomical structures. We will keep our descriptions, explanations, and analysis as a background support for the actual work to create a framework in which our intuition can be effective. Some trainees may find the verbal directives superfluous. Others may need more anatomical orientation until they develop self-confidence.
READING LIST. The reading list (bibliography) is not exhaustive, nor are you expected to be familiar with all these materials. This is a list of references that may be mentioned in the training and can serve not only for preparation, but also for further research.
2) Individual Agreements:
The training is a group process. We need continually to work and cooperate with each other. In addition to agreements that the group as a whole may enter into, you are, by becoming a trainee, agreeing to the following:
FINANCIAL. Your deposit is offered as a commitment to the training. You should be clear with your trainer about deposits, payments and refunds.
ATTENDANCE. Attendance for the regular hours of the course is required for obtaining a diploma. Optional review hours are designated as such. Absence of any trainee may interfere with the group being able to complete each phase of the process. Each trainee is expected to take responsibility for making up each hour of class which has been missed, in agreement with the trainer. Punctuality is also important to the group process.
SHARING. The training is experiental. We learn together by doing the work together. You are expected to share yourself, not only by being willing to be worked on by others but also to work on others. As a group we will always try to pair people who want to work together, but you are expected to recognize the limits of numbers, size, weight, time and space. You may also be asked to work when you would rather rest
As the training progresses and our bodies have received more deep work, frustration, fear and confusion may surface. During each session time will be set aside for working with these problems, and, if needed, additional time will be created.
TRAINERS. Each training group has different needs. It is better to communicate continually your expectation with the trainers, rather than waiting until the end of the course. Sometimes these expectations cannot be fulfilled within the structure of the course, but the limits can be recognized. As the training progresses, trainers will normally offer less assistance, waiting for students to ask for help. This is a way of getting you away from dependency and giving you a chance to develop your own intuition and style. Take responsibility for getting what you need.
You are entering a group of professionals devoted to guiding others by developing their own skills and sensitivity. You can help improve the quality of our group, not by behind-the-back criticism of the training and fellow practitioners, putting down other bodywork techniques, or reacting defensively to the inevitable criticisms that other groups make, but by being aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. By sharing directly what you feel, we can continually improve and respond to changing needs. The more you are self¬confident, and the more you are convinced of the worth of your work, the more you will attract positive energy, including paying clientele. You will give less attention to the criticisms of those who are afraid of the profound changes that happen in bodywork and of those who think that professional effectivess is the result of “elitist” evaluations. You can take professional pride in being a practitioner, and you can help all of us, practitioners and trainers, by communicating this every chance you get.
Here are some of the professional qualities we can share and work toward:
SELF RESPONSIBILITY AND SELF EVALUATION. We will provide you with information, examples, and the benefit of our experience. Only you can take the initiative in dealing with the feelings of inadequacy that may come up. Often you will be given examples of how to work. But finally, there is no formula. You will be guided beyond old learning patterns in which you learned the details before you could work with the whole. Often you will find yourself in a space where you can only deal with the whole person with whom you are working, no matter how confused you may be. At this point there may be no information that can help you, only your willingness to stay in the group and to look at yourself and to stay in process.
UNIQUENESS. Our work is not a copy of some other kind of bodywork, nor is it an eclectic mixture of different techniques. There are some forms of bodywork which recognize the importance of moving tissue or freeing the breath, or working with both body and mind. But in Postural Integration we see human change happening in all these aspects of our energy simultaneously. We are not actually moving fascia unless the breath is at the same time charging or discharging, unless memory, thought, and feeling are in some way being expressed, unless the whole person is creating on many levels the changes we as practitioners are guiding. Don’t try to describe what we do by comparing it to something else. Speak from your own experience. In fact, if someone asks ” Is this Reichian Therapy? Bio-energetics? Core Energetics? Rebalancing? Rolfing? Heller work? say no and talk about what you have directly experienced, felt and seen.
OPENNESS. Our trainings attract trainees who are willing to learn by doing, by experimenting, by using methods that work even when they can’t be explained. This openness contrasts with the elitism, pedantism, secrecy, and emotionally limited approaches, or with narrow intellectual knowledge. Students entering our program may or may not have an academic background or professional experience. What is important is a willingness to interact with others and to use your strength and intuition. If you are openly encountering the people with whom you work, encouraging their feedback, giving them your feelings, even the sense of your limitation, the results will speak for themselves.
GROWTH. The training is a process. Not only will you be learning and practicing skills over an extended training period, you will also be receiving many more sessions of deep work yourself. You will have a chance to confront and work through your old armour and “unfinished business” and to open yourself to new energies for yourself and others.
CONFIDENTIALITY. In the training you will be sharing intimate feelings and experiences with others. As a protection for yourself and the other people in the group, do not share the information or the feelings of other people without their expressed permission. You are encouraged to clarify and further share feelings in the group as a whole, and not in separate subgroups outside the grouproom.
ETHICS. As a student, you are expected to follow the Code of Ethics set up by the International Council for Postural Integration Trainers (ICPIT), which can be obtained from your trainer.
DIVERSITY. We have students, practitioners and trainers of varying backgrounds, ethnic groups, and nationalities. Our techniques, skills, and styles of work have evolved from the interaction and communication between all sorts of individuals: earthy, intelligent, serious, sympathetic, male , female, white, black, coloured, aggressive, passive, etc. This richness of energy gives us the chance to further evolve and refine our work by comparing divergent character and body structures.
STUDENT NOT TRAINER. Our training has developed from the training of many students worldwide. Respect its uniqueness and complexity by realizing that it takes a long training process to be able to teach this. Becoming a trainee is an agreement not to try to teach others these techniques and approaches.
Sign and return one copy to the trainer and keep a copy of it for your own records.
I have read the above and agree to its conditions and direction. I understand the spirit in which I am to join the present training group.
Signature ………………………………….. Date………………………..