How to find and select a qualified Clinical or Hanna Somatic Educator

Because Somatics is such a hot word these days, you want to be sure to do your homework when seeking a qualified practitioner. Start by searching for a Clinical, Hanna or Essential Somatic Educator. 

Since I have studied at two schools that teach the work of Thomas Hanna, and consulted with graduates of other programs, I can say with confidence that graduates of Essential Somatics are well vetted and well trained in the philosophy and practice of Thomas Hanna's work. Novato Institute does a good job too.

There are many other programs out there that I find lacking in the true understanding of Hanna's work. Before I went through my training I sought out a practitioner in my home town. There wasn't anyone. There were a few people who listed Hanna Somatics in their bios, but they had only taken a weekend workshop, at most. Weekend workshops are great but they are not intended to certify anyone to work with the public. The schools that host such events say so as much in their course materials.

When I have worked with graduates of other schools and online programs they are very surprised by the difference between what I've been trained to do with students vs what they were taught to do with their own students. They personally find our work together much more profound in the results and awareness of what they personally are experiencing in their own bodies. Really, if a practitioner is significantly lacking in awareness of their own soma*, they are less likely to be able to step into the soma of a client. Something to think about when seeking a practitioner. 

*Soma is what we refer to as the first person experience of ones self. No other person can sense what you feel within yourself. This what separates Somatics from bodywork. Bodywork looks at you from the outside and aims to "fix" your body by working on your parts. Somatics addresses the whole being that is you, by working with the soma and nervous system. 

I personally think it is a good idea to work with more than one practitioner. While we are teaching the same work, we all deliver it slightly differently, so you may pick up some nuances that you missed from another practitioner. 

Also note that in your research, you may come across two types of CSE practitioners. There are those trained to teach just the movements (pandiculations). They may be called somatic movement teachers or somatic exercise instructors.  Those with 3-year clinical training offering hands-on work and movement lessons are referred to as Clinical Somatic Educators, Essential Somatic Educators, or Hanna Somatic Educators. 
Here are two directories to help you find a practitioner. 


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