craniosacral therapy

Training in Cranio-Sacral Therapy.

Course Structure:

The complete professional training in Cranio-Sacral Therapy is available in two principal formats. The two formats are identical in content, varying only in timescale.

1 Year Diploma Course.
6 six-day stages spread over a year
together with 8 days of clinical practice.

2 Year Diploma Course (weekend format)
18 weekends (six groups of three weekends), spread over two years,
together with 8 days of clinical practice.

The full training in Cranio-Sacral Therapy, both in the 1-Year format and the 2-Year format consists of 44 days, in addition to home study and private practice, with substantial further support of optional study groups and tutorials. The training includes the essential component of a Teaching Clinic, so vital for providing students with the experience and confidence to go out into professional practice.

The courses are very carefully structured to enable fluent progress through the training; and students are strongly supported by the tutors and by the substantial support system, thereby enabling students to complete the training effectively within the allocated 1-Year or 2-Year timescale, and to graduate as competent and confident Cranio-Sacral Therapists.

The courses have a very practical orientation. They provide a clear, comprehensive and cohesive approach to treatment, systematic yet flexible, which can be readily applied in professional practice in an effective and well integrated manner. The courses also provide a clear approach to the management of a cranio-sacral session, personal development as a therapist, professional handling of treatment responses and an overall holistic perspective on the therapeutic process.

Tutors are all graduates of the College and are personally trained by Thomas Attlee. The College aims to provide a balanced variety of course tutors, with an approximately equal balance of female to male tutors and a wide variety of different backgrounds - all of which contributes to the rich tapestry of experience which stimulates the continuing evolution of the college and the course.

Study Groups and Tutorials are available throughout the training, providing valuable opportunities for practice, revision, and addressing any queries that may arise.

The Teaching Clinic is an integral, vital, and much appreciated part of the training.

Ongoing assessment is through regular practical work with the tutors and through written assessments, enabling substantial feedback and assistance in order to ensure smooth progress through the course, and support wherever it is required

Regular practice, study and background reading are essential.

The set text for the course is the comprehensive volume ‘Cranio-Sacral Integration’ by Thomas Attlee, which provides a thorough and detailed text from which to work. There are also substantial course notes.

Students who do not have a previous background in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology will need to attend the CCST course in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology (or a suitable equivalent) either before or concurrent with the CST training.

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Support Structures:

The college is renowned for its substantial level of support for students throughout their training. We aim to support students in as many ways as possible, and in order to do so, a variety of structures are in place.

Tutor Contact
During the course the tutors work with every student, circulating so that each student has the opportunity to work with each of the tutors at various times, gaining a range of different experiences and individual feedback. Tutors are available during the courses for advice and assistance, and are also available for support and advice outside of course times.

Tutorial System
There is also a tutorial system whereby each student is allocated to (or may choose) a specific tutor who will contact the student from time to time between the stages of the course to check that everything is progressing smoothly and to maintain personal contact. Students are also welcome to contact their tutor (or any of the tutors) at any time to discuss any queries or difficulties relating to the course.

Study Groups
There are regular Study Groups in London with the tutors between stages of the course. Study Groups may also be arranged at other locations when local demand is sufficient, and students are encouraged to form local units for study and practice. Tutorials, individually or in small groups, can also be arranged with the tutors as required.

Teaching Clinic
The Teaching Clinic is located at the Centre for Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Primrose Hill, London NW1. This is open to students during the second half of their training and also open to graduates. These clinics provide an opportunity to observe and participate in Cranio-Sacral treatment in a clinical setting with an experienced Cranio-Sacral Therapist. Students will progress from initial group participation to gradually taking on individual responsibility for patients, so that by the end of their training they can go out into professional practice with experience and confidence. The Teaching Clinic is an integral part of the training and students are required to attend a minimum number of sessions before graduating.

Graduate Support
Following graduation, graduates are welcome to maintain contact with the college through postgraduate activities, course revision, an annual Graduates Day, continuing professional development programmes, and through continuing personal contact with the tutors and the college. Graduates can also find support through membership of the Cranio-Sacral Therapy Association (CSTA) which coordinates practitioner support (supervision). The Association also welcomes involvement in its activities.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy Association
The Cranio-Sacral Therapy Association (CSTA) is the professional association for Cranio-Sacral Therapists in the UK. The Association monitors and maintains standards, provides practitioner support and works consistently towards greater accreditation and recognition of Cranio-Sacral Therapy, both in the UK and worldwide.

Equal Opportunities
In all the college's activities, a full Equal Opportunities policy is in operation.

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Course Objectives:

The aim of the course is to produce thoroughly trained, competent and confident Cranio-Sacral therapists, with a broad and comprehensive treatment approach and a profound awareness of the Cranio-Sacral process, and of the deeper processes involved - both within themselves and within their patients - in the therapeutic interaction.

The integration of a wide spectrum of approaches from Biodynamic to Biomechanical and much more besides, provides graduates with the resources to respond appropriately to each patient's needs, and so build and maintain a successful professional practice.

The courses also provide a clear approach to the management of a Cranio-Sacral session, professional handling of treatment responses and an overall holistic perception of the therapeutic process.

Throughout the course attention is given to the important process of personal development as a therapist, and the development of an appropriate Practitioner Presence

Successful graduation leads to a Diploma in Cranio-Sacral Therapy.


The College of Cranio-Sacral Therapy is accredited by the Cranio-Sacral Therapy Association (CSTA) and is constantly involved in the process of further accreditation within both the UK and worldwide. Graduates are eligible to join the CSTA and will then be included on the CSTA's Register of Members which is widely circulated, and will be entitled to use the letters RCST (Registered Cranio-Sacral Therapist) after their name. Members will also receive the association’s triennial magazine and are welcome to become involved in the association’s activities and become an integral part of the cranio-sacral community.

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The College:

CCST is the most established college of Cranio-Sacral Therapy in Europe. This is reflected in the experience of the tutor team, the well established support structure for the students and a wide network of previous graduates throughout the UK and in many other countries.

The College was founded in 1986 and is based in Primrose Hill, London NW1 where there is also a College Clinic.

The college offers a wide variety of trainings to suit different needs - for professional therapists from other disciplines, for student therapists, and for those wishing to become therapists as a career change. Career Development Loans are available.

Previous participants include Osteopaths, Acupuncturists, Homoeopaths, Physiotherapists Chiropractors, Shiatsu practitioners, Alexander Technique teachers, Masseurs, Doctors, Nurses, Midwives, Obstetricians, Paediatricians, Psychotherapists,  Aromatherapists and Reflexologists, as well as many excellent Cranio-Sacral Therapists from different non-therapeutic backgrounds.

The college has been pleased to welcome students from over 60 different countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Australasia.

The Founder:craniosacral therapist

The Founder and Principal of the College is Thomas Attlee. Thomas graduated from the European School of Osteopathy, where cranial work was an integral part of the four year training. He taught Anatomy, Physiology and Western Medicine at the International College of Oriental Medicine for seven years, taught Yoga for several years and has been integrating various therapies, psycho-therapeutic processes, meditation techniques and developmental processes for over 30 years. Thomas is also the author of 'Cranio-Sacral Integration' - a comprehensive volume which presents the unique integrated approach to Cranio-Sacral Therapy taught at CCST.

The Approach:

The approach to Cranio-Sacral Therapy at CCST is Integrated Cranio-Sacral Therapy. Within the field of Cranio-Sacral Therapy there are different styles, ranging from those which work primarily with the inherent healing forces of nature (sometimes described as Biodynamic and seen as being more abstract) to those which are more orientated to the application of techniques (sometimes described as Biomechanical and seen as being more grounded in basic sciences).

Broad Spectrum:
CCST is distinctive in that it integrates all of these concepts to provide a comprehensive professional training with a broad approach that can respond more effectively to each patient according to his or her needs. The course is fundamentally biodynamic in nature, and also incorporates a wide spectrum of resources in order to expand the practitioner’s perspective, enhance therapeutic effectiveness, and enable most effective clinical practice, as well as providing a firm grounding in knowledge and clinical experience.

Breath of Life:
The training is grounded in the work of William Sutherland, exploring the fundamental concepts of an underlying vitality - expressed as the Breath of Life - which creates and maintains our health and well-being, and which is expressed through the fluids, membranes, bones and other tissues of the body. It incorporates the subsequent concepts of Rollin Becker, James Jealous, and John Upledger, and other modern developments in the field, and continues to evolve and progress through Thomas Attlee's broad-based and comprehensive approach.

Comprehensive Training:
The result is a very comprehensive training, covering a wide spectrum of approaches, appreciating the importance of structural, bio-energetic, biodynamic, and emotional concepts, in developing a more complete understanding of human nature and health. The CCST approach is not limited to any particular model - preferring to provide a more flexible approach which enables access to the deepest levels of being, whilst maintaining a clear grounding in day-to-day clinical practice. This comprehensive integrated approach provides CCST graduates with the resources to respond more appropriately to each and every patient according to his or her needs.

Through this broad spectrum, each student is enabled to find their own unique way of working, rather than following a fixed formula, and this individuality is mirrored by the rich variety of therapists who make up the tutor team.

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The Tutors:

The Tutor Team consists of around 16 tutors.Tutors are all graduates of the College and are personally trained by Thomas Attlee. The College aims to provide a balanced variety of course tutors, with an approximately equal balance of female to male tutors and a wide variety of different backgrounds (including osteopathy, physiotherapy, homeopathy, shiatsu, and many others) - all of which contributes to the rich tapestry of experience which stimulates the continuing evolution of the college and the course.
Tutors at CCST.

“What I so appreciate about CCST is the openness and potential for creativity in its approach to Craniosacral work. By the end of the course each student begins to find their own unique way of working, rather than following a fixed formula. CCST fosters an atmosphere of exploration and curiosity, without ever losing sight of the ground beneath our feet.”
Gary Roba

As a student I treasured the diversity of voices and approaches that hold the reins in lectures, practical work and teaching clinics.  The various styles and manner of presenting their understanding of cranial work was wonderfully liberating.”
Lois Duquesnoy


Course Curriculum:

Stage A/Part 1

  • A practical and theoretical introduction to the cranio-sacral system.
  • Fundamental Principles of Cranio-Sacral Integration. The Inherent Treatment Process.
  • Cranio-Sacral motion, Middle-Tide, Long-Tide, Breath of Life, Dynamic Stillness, the Matrix.
  • Tuning in, development of sensitivity, self-awareness, self-grounding. Practitioner Presence.
  • Awareness of the integrated nature of the person as a whole.
  • A comprehensive framework for diagnosis and treatment through the Cranio-Sacral System.

Stage B/Part 2

  • Introduction to the Fascia.
  • Diagnosis and treatment through the integrated Fascial network.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of Spheno-Basilar patterns.
  • The Sacrum - further studies.
  • Spinal mechanics and vertebral associations.
  • The Nervous System.
  • Refining the approach to treatment.

Stage C/Part 3

  • Integration.
  • Whole body diagnosis, whole body treatment.
  • Deeper exploration of Cranio-Sacral principles.
  • The Throat, Addressing Trauma.
  • Integration of physical and emotional factors.
  • Integration of oneself as a practitioner. Personal Development.
  • Completion of the first half of the course.

Stage D/Part 4

  • The Face.
  • Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth.
  • The Temporo-Mandibular Joint. Dentistry and Dental dysfunctions.
  • Cranial Nerves.

Stage E/Part 5

  • Birth, Babies, Children, Mothers, Fathers.
  • The birth process.
  • Birth trauma.

Stage F/Part 6

  • Further diagnosis and treatment of Psycho-emotional involvement.
  • The Viscera.
  • The Psycho-Neuro-Viscero-Endocrine System.
  • Whole body unwinding.
  • Completion.

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Stage A/Part 1

  • Principles and practice of Cranio-Sacral Therapy.
  • Tuning In. Development of sensitivity. Light touch.
  • Quality, Symmetry, Motion.
  • Cranio-Sacral motion, Middle-Tide, Long-Tide, Breath of Life, Dynamic Stillness, the Matrix.
  • Self awareness. Self grounding. Establishing boundaries. Fulcrums. The Sutherland Fulcrum.
  • Levels of Engagement – Bone, Membrane, Fluid, Energy, Matrix. Quantum awareness.
  • Fulcrums. The Sutherland Fulcrum.
  • Fluidity. Energy Dynamics. Fluid Dynamics. Cerebro-Spinal Fluid.
  • Vitality. The whole person.
  • The Ventricular system. The Venous sinuses.
  • The Reciprocal Tension Membrane System.
  • Fundamental Principles of Cranio-Sacral Integration. The Inherent Treatment Process.
  • The Cranio-Sacral system - Anatomy and Physiology.
  • Contra-indications.
  • A comprehensive framework for diagnosis and treatment, including: opening up the system - preparatory fascial release - thoracic release, abdominal release, pelvic release, sub-occipital release.
  • Core treatment.
  • Tuning-in to the membrane system.
  • Release of Falx Cerebri and Falx Cerebelli, Frontal area, Parietal area.
  • The Occiput and Spine. The Sacrum and Spine
  • Sacral Release.
  • Spheno-Basilar release. Temporal release. Release of Tentorium Cerebelli.
  • Still Point Induction.
  • Approach to practice and application.

Stage B/Part 2

  • The Fascia - structure and function. Clinical application.
  • Tissue memory. The Fascia and Emotional release.
  • Diagnosis and Assessment of the Fascia.
  • Identifying focal points. Assessing depth. The Eye of the Hurricane.
  • Principles of Fascial release.
  • Fascial release in the trunk.
  • Fascial unwinding of the upper limb.
  • Fascial unwinding of the lower limb.
  • Fascial unwinding of the neck.
  • Still Point Induction - further procedures.
  • The Spheno-Basilar Synchondrosis - the importance of the Spheno-Basilar Synchondrosis. Detailed diagnosis and treatment of Spheno-Basilar patterns.
  • The Sacrum - further studies and applications.
  • The Sacrum as a major power-house of Cranio-Sacral Energy.
  • Stimulating the Cranio-Sacral System. Enhancing the power of the Cranio-Sacral System.
  • Double contacts. Spinal mechanics. Spinal integration.
  • Cranio-Sacral integration of the nervous system - somatic nervous system, autonomic nervous system - relationship to viscera.
  • A treatment approach - a comprehensive yet succinct and integrated approach to the treatment of patients through Cranio-Sacral Therapy.

Stage C/Part 3

  • Integration. Deeper exploration of Cranio-Sacral principles. Whole person diagnosis. Distinguishing primary from secondary factors.
  • Setting up a treatment plan. Case history taking. Case Studies.
  • Responses to treatment. Understanding symptoms. Integration of physical and emotional factors. Emotional responses in client and practitioner.
  • Integration of yourself as a practitioner - self care, self awareness, boundaries, personal development as a practitioner, practitionership.
  • The Throat. Addressing Trauma.
  • Two person treatment. Extensive tutorial work.
  • Completion of first half of course.

Stage D/Part 4

  • The Face - anatomy and neuro-anatomy of the Face.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of the Face - overall assessment. Mandible. Maxillae, Palatines, and Vomer. Nasal Bones. Zygomatic Bones. Ethmoid.
  • The Orbit. The Eyes. The Ears.
  • The Foramina at the base of the Skull.
  • The Cranial Nerves.
  • Clinical application of Face work - Dental problems. TMJ disorders. Sinusitis. Allergies. Visual disturbances. Squint.
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia. Bells Palsy etc.
  • Disarticulated Skull studies.

Stage E/Part 5

  • Birth, Babies, Children, Mothers, Fathers.
  • The Birth Process. Birth Trauma. Shock effects. Compressive effects.
  • Major consequences of Birth Trauma - Cerebral Palsy, Dyslexia, Learning Difficulties, Epilepsy, Autism, Behavioural Disorders, etc.
  • The Neonate Skull.
  • The importance of early diagnosis and treatment.
  • Unwinding Birth Trauma. Umbilical shock. Condylar compression.
  • Forceps, Ventouse and Caesarean Births.
  • A systematic check up for babies.
  • Special considerations in the treatment of babies.
  • Running a clinic orientated around babies and children.
  • Treatment of Mothers during pregnancy, birth and post-partum.
  • Common childhood conditions - colic, ear infections, ENT, feeding disorders, pyloric stenosis, hyperactivity, tantrums, etc.
  • Integration of Cranio-Sacral Therapy with Homoeopathy.
  • Minimising drug use in babies and children.
  • Demonstration treatments of babies.
  • Evaluation and treatment of Birth Trauma in adults.
  • Getting in touch with your own birth process.

Stage F/Part 6

  • Further diagnosis and treatment of Psycho-emotional involvement - Psycho-somatic, Somatico-psychic, Viscero-somatic, Somatico-visceral, Psycho-visceral, Viscero-psychic.
  • Cerebral drainage.
  • The Viscera - thoracic, abdominal and pelvic viscera. Anatomy, neuro-anatomy and emotional associations. Diagnosis and treatment. The abdominal wall - Psoas muscle.
  • The Endocrine System - Pineal, Pituitary, Thyroid, Thymus, Adrenal, etc. Hormonal disturbances, Menstrual disorders.
  • Ethics. Practice management.
  • Vertebral column unwinding.
  • Whole body unwinding - whole person treatment. Emotional release.
  • Further Integration of physical and emotional.
  • Completion.

Application Procedure:

In order to apply for any of the CCST courses, please complete and return the appropriate Application Form, together with a deposit. In order to obtain an application form, please contact the college by email or by phone. For details of how to contact us, please go to the page: Contact us.

If you would like to discuss the course or your circumstances in further detail, you are welcome to phone us on 020 7483 0120.

Dates and Costs:

Dates and Costs of our courses can be seen by clicking here.

Prospectus, Further Information:

For a prospectus, full Information Pack, and current dates and costs, please email or phone the college, giving your full contact details. See Contact us.
When requesting course formation, please provide your FULL POSTAL ADDRESS and TELEPHONE NUMBERS as well as your email address, so that we can send you a full prospectus and information pack in the post. Thank you.

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The College of Cranio-Sacral Therapy.
9 St George's Mews, Primrose Hill, LONDON, NW1 8XE
Tel : 020 7483 0120
Clinic: 020 7586 0148