How do I find and choose a Craniosacral Therapist?
I get asked this a lot. Here's how people usually find me: one of clients is talking with a friend. This friend has a chronic pain or condition, has tried many different treatments to resolve it, but hasn't found lasting relief.
My client will say, “You should try Craniosacral therapy.”
“Well, it is difficult to explain but you should try it. Give Kate a call and ask her!”
The above scenario was one of my main motivations for writing my book, From My Hands and Heart: Achieving Health and Balance with Craniosacral Therapy, and making my YouTube video, “An Introduction to Craniosacral Therapy” (watch below). Both explain and demonstrate just what Craniosacral therapy is, in plain language.
Of course, word of mouth is the best way to find a skilled Craniosacral therapist you’ll like working with—just like finding a good doctor or any other practitioner. But since Craniosacral therapy isn’t widely known everywhere, it is sometimes hard to find a practitioner by word of mouth, even after asking your friends and the complementary healthcare practitioners you know. So you can turn to the Internet, where most of us look when we need more information.
I received my Craniosacral therapy training through the Upledger Institute. Their website has a great search tool. Once there, click ‘Find a Therapist’ and follow the prompts. If you are searching for a Therapist outside of the US, click here.
After you land on the ‘Find a Therapist’ page, select 'Advanced Search" and locate ‘CranioSacral Therapy’ or ‘CranioSacral Therapy Certification’ to narrow your search. If you are searching for your child, you may also select ‘Pediatrics Speciality’. There are fields to enter your town or city, or you may elect to enter the first 3 digits of your zip code to widen your search. This can be particularly useful if you live in a rural or a large urban area.
The Upledger Institute has listed all students who have taken a class with them. To give you perspective, there are over 100,000 people who have taken classes in over 70 countries! So look at the classes therapists have taken, the levels of certification they’ve achieved, and check out their profiles to find out more about their practices.
Also, there are other schools that teach Craniosacral therapy, and you will come across them when you search on the Internet. Many of their websites have a designated page to help you find therapists they've trained.
I suggest you select two to four therapist names. Keep in mind that a therapist may have a high level of certification or have taken a great number of classes, but may not necessarily be the best fit for you.
When making a phone call or composing an email to a prospective therapist, you may want to ask:
Is Craniosacral therapy the primary service that you offer?
How long have you been practicing?
How much training have you done?
How much do you charge?
What days/hours are you available?
How long is a session?
I want to have ‘X’ treated. Do you feel comfortable working with this?
Be sure to take notice of how you feel as you talk with a prospective therapist and consider the following: Do you feel comfortable as you talk or are you on guard? What is your gut instinct? Does this therapist feel like a good match for you?
Think about qualities you look for when working with a practitioner. Is it important that they explain things clearly? Do you have particular concerns? Be sure to explain what you need to feel comfortable. Do be responsible for communicating your needs. Don’t expect the therapist to be able to know them.
If you are searching for a therapist on behalf of your child, consider a session with the therapist for yourself first. This is a great way to feel confident in the person working on your child. In most cases, the session will directly benefit your child when you receive some Craniosacral therapy, too!!
If you already have a Craniosacral therapist, let me know how you found him or her. Are there any questions you found particularly helpful while narrowing your list to find the right therapist for you? I look forward to hearing from you.