a community of practitioners
(Or, why does committing to this line of seminars feel like multilevel marketing?)
I think most of us have done this; start looking into a line of continuing education seminars and wonder why so many courses are needed? Then you start doing the math. “No way am I going to pay that much to learn that work, just to be classified as an expert or become certified”. Some seminar lines make it less painful ($100 a month for life) to become “certified”, and just what does certification give you? Others rely on more subtle practices of coercion, once they get you to the first class. (been there, done that). Don’t get me wrong, there is much to be learned from every teacher.
So, how many seminars WILL it take you to become an expert? For those of you who have been around for a while, you know there is no answer to this question. Some therapists pick up things (therapy or otherwise) very quickly, while others require lots of repetition (Oh, did I mention those classes you can re-take that seminar again and again for half price???). It does all feel a bit like a used car lot, at times.
Certification matters little to most therapists, unless you are the type who needs those extra initials after your name to find your self-worth. And those who see the carrot at the end of the stick as being able to call themselves an expert ______ therapist by completing all 15 seminars, I say “go for it”. To all of the rest of you, forget the titles. Learning myofascial release, or other modalities, is a process of being introduced to the work, including the importance of “Feel”, along with a few core techniques to get you started, then finding the courage to actually begin to use it. Many fail in this last aspect, and return to another seminar, hoping to regain the magic once again. It does work for some, but it need not be this way.
Remember that feeling you have when you leave many seminars, the feeling that you can help just about anyone right now? What causes that feeling to fade? It doesn’t for everyone, but does for many. I would say that it fades for those who do not immediately put the new found principles into practice. Certainly you will still have a lot to learn, both from yourself and your patients, in addition to more coursework, but you are the key, not the teacher.
I’ve gotten a few emails over the years asking if I offer a certification program or asking why I do not offer a lot more seminars. The answer is easy; I don’t think it needs to work that way. Take a training from someone you trust, someone who can teach you the basics of the work. If it feels like the first seminar is more of a sales pitch for future seminars, be wary; they often are. And, certification…certification to whom? There is no requirement to be certified to practice myofascial release, so why offer it?
The expert is typically self built, not made by spending money.