PACT:  Hi Terry, thanks for your time.  We’re looking forward to introduce you to our members who don’t know you.  We’ve got a couple of questions for you from our committee, but first can you tell us a little bit about your back ground.  How long you’ve been a BCST therapist and when did you start teaching?

 

TERRY: In the UK I was at University studying Soil Science although my passion was to be a nurse.  There I met a Physiotherapy student and, realising that this therapy would probably involve more direct ‘curing’ than nursing offered, I began my Physio training in Edinburgh, graduating in 1972. Married and three children later, plus several years in Physio practice, in 1979 we emigrated to Tasmania (apparently part of NZ as one Sydney-based professional indemnity insurance rep assured me!!).  


During my time in both public and private practice in Tasmania I specialised in women’s and men’s health and began teaching students, lecturing to the medical community, teaching childbirth education classes to couples, attended many births including that of my first grandchild, and was consultant for the Nursing Mothers Association.  


From a foundation of belief and practice in listening to people’s health needs and offering well-health services and advice, our small team of “Women’s Health Group” physios helped to revitalise Physiotherapy as a worthwhile profession in the wider Australian community as well as empowering women and their partners in their birth choices and therapy choices.  


Towards the end of my time in Tasmania my colleague, Judy Reeman, introduced me to a few Upledger techniques, which we used successfully with difficult-to-“cure” patients.  Around that time another colleague, whom some of you may know (the amazing Joan Marshall) introduced me to reiki - and the die was cast.  


I returned to the UK in 1996, decided to train in a CST module with ‘Upledger’, but as fate would have it I spoke with Maureen Vogt (Franklyn Sills’ coordinator and my now long-time friend, supervisor and teacher) and instead began the one-year training in London and Karuna graduating in 1997 with Franklyn Sills and CTET.  At that time the training was packed into one year, or 10 months in our case, where the biodynamic approach and delivery were very much in their infancy and not named as such.  Paul Vick was Franklyn’s co-tutor and during the training his mindful meditations offered me a space of being and presence that married so well with my experience of reiki and ‘observing’ the body making its healing decisions.  


I continued in CST practice in London and returned to Australia (Sydney) in 1998 where I gradually developed my own version of a biodynamic approach. So far I have been in ‘cranio’ practice for 20 years.  


I assisted on the first introductory workshop held in Wellington, NZ with Ged Sumner and Jenny Kehoe and it was with some trepidation that I accepted an invitation to be an assistant at the first practitioner training in New Zealand with Paul Vick and his school, then called the ‘ABC’ or Academy of Biocranial Resonance, later changed to Resonance Trainings.  It was a relief to discover all of the protocols gone and that my own development of the work largely resonated with Paul’s teaching.  My ‘teaching’ journey had begun.


At this first NZ graduation Colin Perrow (a senior tutor/Course Director at Karuna and one of the training tutors with Paul) made a simple but meaningful statement about the profound contribution that Paul’s teaching had made to his personal practice, teaching and the development of the work.  I subsequently assisted Paul with the first Australian practitioner training after intro courses by both Paul and Ged and one I taught in Tasmania.  


Whilst trying to find a viable financial solution to bring over UK tutors, Paul proposed I taught the next training with one or two visits from him or Sheila Kean but the cost was still too much to create a viable training.  Stillness Trainings was born in 2006 out of this challenge.  Encouraged by Paul’s confidence in me, and the mutuality of intention with the teaching, Brendan Pittwood and I committed to continue Paul’s teaching in Australasia.    


PACT:  How has your approach to the work evolved?


TERRY: At first I found the work confusing as my training was protocol-oriented which went against the powerful influence of reiki that had shown me how the body heals itself without doing or trying to fix.  I needed a different approach and intention to support the body’s drive to health and wellness.  I was professionally isolated in Sydney as there were no other CST practitioners in Australia trained as I had been, so I began to develop my own way of practice that seemed to suit the patients.  These very patient patients got better, often in some unusual ways that were totally unexpected in my Physio brain, though fitted well with the reiki experiences I had witnessed.  My experiences of the potency of unconditional love and humility through my experience of reiki and so many aspects of its teaching by Barbara McGregor, have been significant in the development of my work and teaching.  As a Physio it has been tricky to let go of ‘do-ing’, being the boss and knowing what’s best.  The body is a patient teacher!


PACT:  We had a number of us wanted to know about your experiences with clients.  Any particular cases that stand out for you or have particularly inspired you?  

 

TERRY:  After 20 years in practice there are so many quite astonishing ‘cases’ that have inspired me.  For many years I was completely skeptical about the work as my scientific brain and sensate brain competed for who was right.  Can the body really heal in the presence of someone who can listen and support in the way we do?  Due to the intensity of my CST training there was much experience in supporting trauma and this area continues to present with most patients.  My experience of the resolution of some or all symptoms of PTSD in children and adults with this work is amazing, however a few early experiences while I was still a student and new practitioner remain those that continue to inspire.  


The primary school boy, attending a special school in London for dyslexic children, after six sessions could clearly read, write, maths became easy and he could compete in sport with ease.  None of these were possible before the sessions.  His parents were ecstatic but he was furious as his recovery meant he would be transferred to a “normal” school.  


Then there was the retired widow of a GP.  I was treating her for a Colles fracture at a local private hospital, and she agreed to have 10 CST student sessions with me to work with her Bell’s Palsy that she had suffered 10 years earlier when her husband suddenly died.  She said he would turn in his grave if he knew she was dabbling in witchcraft but her wrist had begun to improve so there was some trust.  At no time did she speak or close her eyes or did I feel anything.  I thought I must be doing something wrong.  However her face was improving so we continued.  At the last session, with an almost normal-looking face she announced that she had stopped dribbling, could whistle once more and was going out to socialise after 10 years of ‘hiding’ at home.  I had to answer one question first - how did I make the ceiling turn yellow!  This experience gave me permission to open my sensorium that had been so closed for many years.


On my return to Australia, less than a year after graduating I set up in Physio practice in Sydney, but no one wanted Physio - it was almost a rude word!  Everyone wanted to try that sacro-whatsit stuff I’d learnt in the UK.  A willing friend who was a well-respected head-of-department teacher at a local private school, volunteered though there was “nothing wrong” with him. After about four sessions he called me to say he would not continue.  He was very angry.  Something had gone seriously wrong with his eyes and he was off to see the Optometrist.  I was in a panic and wondered what I had done.  The next day he called to apologise because his vision had improved so much he had returned to his first teenage prescription and was proudly sporting his 60’s style heavy black-rimmed glasses that he had kept for sentimental reasons……  Wow!  What was this work about?  I was by this time so inspired by so many similar stories from patients that I wanted to share the work and inspire others to learn and practice this work.  


I worked with many babies and children, particularly autistic children and one early session completely changed the way I worked.  The patient, “Jenny” was about 13 years old, tall and clumsy in gait and actions.  She was also non-verbal, brain damaged at birth through lack of oxygen, although there was little to no spacticity.  After a short history and hearing her mother’s needs for her, Jenny willingly lay still on the table. I made contact via the modified vault.  Nothing much seemed to be happening when I began to flood with tears for no apparent reason.  She turned round and patted my left hand and said clearly “it’s all right Terry”.  Remember - up to those words she had been non-verbal.  It was astonishing, and the grief I sensed in her was intense.  She had a brother who had died at the age of five when she was just a baby.  He was never spoken about, but here was Jenny clearly expressing her grief.  She talked a lot after that, she also knew his name and what he was like.  Jenny’s health and abilities improved and we developed a strong bond.


PACT:  Are the any gems that you feel you can pass on to our members about working with clients or any challenges you’ve overcome?

 

TERRY:  The lack of trust in the work that occasionally showed up is an aspect that has been a challenge.  At my graduation it was a surprise when Franklyn handed out the Diplomas in a rather functional way - after all the blood, sweat and tears we had gone through too!  The pride of place was taken by a plain white A4 piece of paper on which was printed in large letters, “Trust the Tide”.  This, Franklyn advised, was to be hung in our therapy space in plain sight to remind us of this important directive.  I had barely discovered any Tide at that stage, apart from a freaky hands-on a T-Rex skull session in the Natural History Museum during a break. Over the years that statement has built in its significance and importance in both my practice and teaching. Out of this has come my understanding that to be the “best” practitioner requires not only not do-ing or fixing but also letting go of judgment and working with honesty, integrity, humility and love.  
Another gem happened a few years ago - something a patient (a writer) shared after meeting with Peter Levine at a gathering in Europe.  This patient initially wanted to enjoy all of his sessions in silence, Long Tide (he had done his research) as he believed this would help him resolve his issues.  Through many years of experience in trauma work this is not my way so although it was very nice to sit in Long Tide throughout the sessions I observed often a two-steps-forward and two-steps-back progress with some temporary lessening of issues.  It was hard for me not to insist on my way being the right way - my old Physio “hat” was trying to come out!  However after Peter Levine’s advice to my patient on the importance of engaging with the patient through various forms of dialogue, he agreed to trust my style of work, which brought significant improvement to his health and life.  Trust the Tide!


PACT:  Who do you admire in the BCST world and why?

 

TERRY:  I admire pretty well everyone who practices this work or who has even been courageous enough to complete the training.  I admire the early pioneers, the writers, practitioners and teachers who all have much to offer.  I admire the practitioners and teachers who are willing to work on their own process and recognise the importance of doing this for not only their own benefit but also that of their patients, colleagues, students and the future of this beautiful work.