Building the Foundation

Starting FALL 2019 • New York City


“There is more than 85 years of gathered experience behind the teachings…it is the finest held group space for personally understanding the experience of the work I have ever attended.”
—Paul Norden, BCST

Instructors: Shannon Dailey, Clara Favale, Christina Morrow & Franklyn Sills (remote)

The Craniosacral Therapy taught in this course is based upon a profound biodynamic understanding of the Breath of Life and how it expresses healing intentions. The deep and varied experiences of multiple teachers deeply enriches the teachings in this training. A structure of support is in place that meets the needs of the students as a group and on an individual basis, through mentoring between modules and small tutor groups in class.

Students learn to establish a truly empathetic and negotiated listening field in which the deeper forces and clinical issues within the client’s system can safely emerge. This is also a journey into our own wounding, what keeps us away from intimacy and joy in life, and the nature of our own self-organization.

Students learn to perceive the subtle rhythmic pulsations and motions that primary respiration generates, and to respond to the healing intentions of the human system. They learn to orient to the client’s history, which is expressed in the dynamics of the fluids, cells, and tissues of the body. Students also learn to relate clinically to patterns of trauma, distress, and illness within the context of intrinsic health. The intention is to encourage new levels of order and balance in mind and body.

Session work is comprised of a gentle listening touch, which is both diagnostic and therapeutic. Clients may feel deep relaxation and become aware of alterations in fluid pressures, tissue motions, heat, tingling, feeling-states, and energy movement. The client’s awareness of his or her personal process is an integral part of this work, as BCST is an experiential exploration that encompasses not only physical sensations, but also our mental processes, feelings, and emotions.

Goals of the Training

  • To provide an integrated training in Craniosacral Biodynamics that is oriented to the healing principles of the Breath of Life and its manifestation in the human system

  • To provide an in-depth understanding and appreciation of these principles, with the ability to safely apply them within a clinical context

  • To teach, within this context, clearly defined palpation and therapeutic skills

  • To include the insights of many practitioners in the field, with influences from other relevant fields

  • To nurture and encourage the personal development of both tutor and student alike

  • To graduate skilled, safe, and therapeutically effective practitioners

Schedule & Syllabus

+ Module 1: October 16-20, 2019
Relationship, the Neutral & the Breath of Life

The intention of this first module is to create a ground for the rest of the training. The development of awareness, the growing ability to rest in stillness, and relational and perceptual skills are the heart of course work. Interpersonal relational skills are introduced in module one, as are concepts of the nature of being and self. Within this context, students learn to enter a neutral “being” state from which to meet and relate to the client’s system, and from which to establish a safe and empathetic listening field. The nature of empathy within relational contact is discussed and explored. Skills of negotiation of contact and of palpation are introduced. The encouragement of both practitioner and client resources is also explored. The importance and skill of maintaining a wide perceptual field is introduced and the perception of primary respiration and its various tidal manifestations is also introduced. Within this context, a perceptual awareness of the fluid tide is initially emphasized. The role of stillness within the work is also introduced as a fundamental concept, perception and skill within Craniosacral Biodynamics.

+ Module 2: January 8-12, 2020
The Holistic Shift, the Mid-tide and Motility

The intention o to begin to appreciate the specific manifestations of the Breath of Life and the Health inherent within the body. The module begins with the theme of health. Students learn to orient to change in state within the client’s system called the holistic shift. This is an important shift from the conditions present in the system, to primary respiration and inherent resources. Students also explore the stillpoint concept in order to help a client’s system access the holistic shift and inherent resources. The main emphasis of this module orients students to the mid-tide and tissue motility. The action of primary respiration generates a palpable inner motility, or inherent motion, within all tissues and tissue structures. Initially, awareness of intra-osseous motility is explored within the major bony structures of the cranium and pelvis. Specific palpation sessions relating to the reciprocal tension membranes and the temporal, frontal, parietal, occipital and sphenoid bones and the sacrum are undertaken. The dynamics of the sphenobasilar junction is also introduced. Within this context, the importance of embryologically derived organizing fulcrums is also introduced. Verbal skills are introduced via the Focusing process, as developed by Dr. Eugene Gendlin.

+ Module 3: March 11-15, 2020
The Neutral and the State of Balance

The potency of the Breath of Life naturally expresses itself within states of wholeness and equilibrium. This module introduces some of the most important clinical concepts within craniosacral biodynamics: the neutral, the state of balance and the role of stillness. These are explored within the understanding of the inherent treatment plan. Rather than having to resort to the use of analysis or diagnosis to gain information, students are oriented to perceptual processes that directly allow them to observe the arising of healing intentions from within the client’s system. The concept and perceptual experience of natural, automatic shifting fulcrums is explored along with reciprocal tension motion within the tissue field. Students are taught initial processes that help them orient to inertial fulcrums from which an awareness of inertia and inertial issues is developed. From this base, students learn to appreciate the state of balance, a systemic neutral oriented to particular inertial issues in the system. It is within this state that the healing forces of primary respiration can manifest within particular conditions. An introduction to Dynamic Stillness as a ground of emergence for healing processes is also undertaken. Focusing skills are reviewed and their use within a therapeutic context is explored.

+ Module 4: June 3-7, 2020
Augmentation Skills

In this module students learn additional clinical skills. The work from the previous module is continued as students explore further ways of relating to inertia and conditional forces. The concept of the state of balance as a gateway to deeper embryological organizing forces and the Long Tide is explored. Various clinical approaches to fluids and tissues are taught as skills that resonate with and augment naturally occurring processes and organizing forces. As this process deepens, students learn to offer options within the natural pacing of healing processes and to help the system access its innate potential for health. These skills include the augmentation of space within the forces and conditions present; and fluid augmentation skills such as amplification of fluid drive and the use of lateral fluctuations in clinical process. Additional attention is also placed on the therapeutic role of deepening states of balance and stillpoints. Students explore the nature of inhalation and exhalation oriented stillpoints. Trauma skills based on the work of Dr. Peter Levine are also introduced.

+ Module 5: September 9-13
Birth Process and the Coalescence of Structure

In this module, students are oriented to the shifting of potency within the fluids as a particular focus in clinical work. The main emphasis of the module is birth dynamics and the impact of birth process. This is introduced as a theme that continues throughout the second year. The pre- and perinatal experience is discussed as a formative ground for personality development. In this context, the dynamics of the occiput, atlas and axis are explored via palpation. Cranial distortion patterns are explored and clinical approaches presented. The influence of birthing forces, trauma impacts and clinical issues relating to cranial base patterns are presented. Trauma skills relating to hyper-arousal states are discussed.

+ Module 6: November 18-22, 2020
The Midline and Vertebral Axis

In this module, orientation to the Long Tide as a stating point in session work is introduced. Concepts of midline phenomena and embryology are also explored as a vehicle for understanding the organisation and health of the human system. The midline as an archetypal concept is explored. The primal midline, an embryological ordering principle at the heart of tissue organization, is introduced via direct perception. Within this context, the motility and mobility dynamics of the dural tube, pelvis and vertebral column are explored. The embryology of the vertebral column and its relationship to the notochord is emphasised. Students are introduced to clinical approaches to fixation and inertia within these dynamics. Trauma skills are continued as clinical approaches to states of hypo-arousal, immobilization and freezing states are introduced.

+ Module 7: DATE TBA
Introduction to the Central Nervous System and Birthing Impacts further Explored

In this module Dynamic Stillness is explored as a starting point in session work and the innate ground from which all healing processes emerge. The main emphasis then focuses on the dynamics of the central nervous system. CNS motility is explored from an embryological viewpoint and the palpation of its motility is emphasised. Issues of CNS facilitation and hypersensitivity are explored clinically. Students learn to orient to CNS shock affect and shock discharge within healing processes. Students also learn to further orient to the Long Tide and to field phenomena that it generates as initiating forces in healing processes. Birth related issues are also further explored. The concept of birth forces as traumatic impacts that lodge within bony tissues is introduced, and the intraosseous dynamics of the occiput, temporal bone and sphenoid bone are explored. Clinical trauma skills in relationship to dissociative states are also introduced.

+ Module 8: DATE TBA
The Face, Hard Palate and TMJ Dynamics

Students are introduced to the dynamics of the face, hard palate and TMJ. The relationships of the face and hard palate are presented as a unified dynamic. Students gradually build up a complete picture of these relationships as they explore the specific motility of the frontal bone, ethmoid bone, sphenoid, vomer, palatines, maxillae and TMJ. These are seen to be a unit of function whose dynamics are totally inter-dependent. Clinical skills already learned are applied to these relationships and to the inertial patterns found within them.

+ Module 9: DATE TBA
Connective Tissues, Joints and Viscera

Students explore the fascial dynamics of the body via its fascial tracts and transverse diaphragms. Clinical approaches to joint dynamics and relationships throughout the body are explored within the context of skills already learned. An introduction to the organ system and visceral relationships is explored via palpation sessions. An introduction to heart ignition is also undertaken in this context. Dynamic Stillness is further oriented to in the context of “reciprocal balanced interchange”.

+ Module 10: DATE TBA
Ignition Processes and Completions

Sutherland oriented practitioners to a dynamic ignition of potency within the fluids of the body. Three primal ignition processes emerge during embryological development and birth process. The first primal ignition occurs at conception, with the ignition of the energetic blueprint that supports the generation of the form of the embryo. A second primal ignition occurs at the end of the first month in utero, as the embryonic heart enfolds into the form of the embryo and meets the midline. This is called heart ignition and signals the embodiment of being, or spirit, in form. An amplification of the ignition process naturally occurs at birth, where there is an intensification of potency within the fluids of the infant which empowers the new being to be an independent physical entity. The augmentation of the ignition process at birth is explored as a clinical priority. Issues related to umbilical shock are introduced in this context. Clinical sessions oriented to conception issues are undertaken. Approaches to work with infants and children are also reviewed. Practice management skills and ethical issues are discussed within the context of a professional craniosacral clinical practice.

Training Format

  • Training methods include lectures, visual aids, demonstrations, guided sessions, visualization work, small group exploration and feedback, table exchange sessions, supervision feedback—all with an emphasis on student observation and exploration.

  • Practical clinical applications are emphasized, with over 50% of class time given to practical work.

  • A minimum student-tutor ratio of 5:1 is maintained in order to provide in-depth feedback on palpation and clinical skills during practical sessions.

  • Tutorial and supervision sessions are included in each training module. Each student is assigned a tutor who may be consulted for personal feedback.

  • Small and large group feedback generally occurs after practical sessions.

  • Students are encouraged to meet as a peer group during each module and to elect a student representative. This representative is nominated to give course feedback and suggestions from the peer group to the course coordinator. Students are also encouraged to individually give course feedback at any time. Written course feedback forms are part of some homework assignments.

Course Work & Student Evaluation

  • Homework is assigned for each training module. This includes both written work and reading. Students are asked to write up a minimum of two practice sessions as part of each assignment. Students are expected to complete all homework on time.

  • Students are expected to undertake a minimum of two practice sessions per week outside of class time. These sessions are with practice clients who enter into a non-paying, non-professional relationship with the student. Practice clients must understand that the purpose of the sessions is solely to support the student’s learning process. If a practice client needs professional help, they are referred to a qualified practitioner. Students will receive supervision feedback in small groups during module time.

  • Students are evaluated in an on-going fashion throughout the course. Tutors track relational, palpation, and clinical skills, as well as the student’s personal readiness to practice. Appropriate feedback and help are offered.

  • Two formal practical assessment/feedback sessions are scheduled during course time, towards the end of each training year. These are individual sessions where students practice the work on tutors for approximately 30 minutes, focussing on clinical palpation skills. Students’ skills are assessed, and they are given tutorial feedback.

  • A written clinical project takes place in the second year of the training.

  • A final exam is given as a closing homework assignment at the end of the training.

  • Students are encouraged to form local study groups to meet between modules. Study groups with tutors can also be arranged at extra cost.

  • Students are required to experience at least ten sessions from a qualified practitioner within the two years of course time.


Tuition: $9,250 tuition for the ten module training. Payment of $925 is required upon acceptance into the program. Nine additional payments of $925 are due one month prior to the start of the first nine modules.

Admission Requirements:

  • Good physical and psychological health

  • Submission of the application form

  • Knowledge of anatomy and physiology*

  • A Skype or in person interview required


  • Experience in a body oriented therapy form

  • Personal experience of Craniosacral Therapy

  • Experience of other holistic forms of therapy

* If you are interested in the training but have not filled these prerequisites,
please contact Stillpoint to discuss possible options