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The TBP Mentoring Process and Expectations

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Expectations and Standards for TBP Practitoners

The end result of becoming certified as a Thai Bodywork Practitioner is to become a bodyworker who can deliver a fluid, integrated session that covers the whole body, yet can integrate a degree of focus in a therapeutic area if needed. We teach our clinical principles throughout our program, and all of our work is informed by these principles.

However, fluid, confident, facilitated movement is an important aspect of our Coaching the Body approach to retraining the nervous system to let go of compensatory holding. Students must develop their capacity to put together a general session, with fluid transitions between positions and a feeling of bodywork as a flowing experience rather than a strung together series of clinical techniques. This is an essential part of TBP training, mentoring and testing.

The TPB Curriculum

The courses you take during your TBP certification cover the foundational areas that contribute to these skills. Functional Anatomy and CTB Fundamentals provide you with the theory you need to understand muscles, trigger points and the clinical effects of the techniques. The Level 1 training establishes a structure for organizing a treatment that will prove useful as a template throughout your career.

Repertoire and HandsFree classes develop your technique repertoire, because no one technique is likely to work best in all situations. Therapeutic Tools and Therapeutic for the Upper and Lower Body each develop a basis for working therapeutically and add clinically focused techniques. Integrating the Practice pulls together all of the elements and provides refinement to ones practice.

It is essential and expected that throughout your training at Thai Bodywork you are developing and refining a practice of regular bodywork. As our mentoring expectations make clear, it is only the consistent practice and use of these techniques that allow one to become proficient and ultimately certify in this work. Thai Bodywork reserves the right to postpone any student's curriculum if they show no signs of a developing practice, as some of the more advanced courses require an advanced understanding of the body and assume the need for refinement of an already-established technique.

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Mentoring and Apprenticeship

Along with your coursework, we provide a mentoring and apprenticeship track to refine your learning in an individual manner. This is at least as important as your coursework. While we have established a minimum number of sessions to give (3) and receive (2) with instructors and experienced students, you may require more sessions in your particular case.

Each mentoring session will be scheduled incrementally throughout your coursework as to ensure your continued progress and keep you from developing improper technique.

The first mentoring session should be done soon after your Level 1 training, and after you have had a chance to do a few sessions on family and friends to integrate the weekend. The goals of the first mentoring session are to help you refine your basic movement, transitions, use of body weight and techniques within the context of the Level 1 sequence.

You will not be passed to your final TBP Certificate Testing until you are competent in all areas below (see TBP Final Practical Exam).

Received Sessions

The purpose of getting 2 received sessions from experienced practitioners is to have them model the concept of a general session with specific focal elements. These sessions are training sessions, they are not for the purpose of fixing your issues - although a competent therapist will know how to provide some therapeutic benefit within the context of the general session they provide. That should be your educational goal as well.

If you desire specific clinical work, you should book a professional session with one of our clinic therapists or clinical apprentices. Received sessions are not to be used for this purpose.

CTB Fundamentals Checkout

This is a 45 minute session in which Doug will oversee your assessment of our most common perpetuating factors: lateral asymmetry, hyperpronation, hemipelvic discrepancy and breathing dysfunction. You will be expected to have watched the CTB Fundamentals Online course, taken the associated test and be thoroughly prepared to demonstrate your understanding of these assessments. This is a mentoring session, so you WILL NOT be expected to demonstrate perfect assessment and will be given feedback on your approach. This checkout session should be scheduled as early in your program as possible, as it is a prerequisite to many of the more advanced courses and will greatly influence your ability to make lasting change for your clients. 

Session Documentation

In order to observe the growth in your session work, we request that you document your bodywork sessions as you go. We will be requesting your documentation throughout your coursework in advance of specific classes in order to provide response to any issues you're running into and to observe your progress. 

Please plan to provide 15 fully documented sessions one month prior to your 3rd class, your 6th class and your final class.

Document templates can be found on our Thai Bodywork Certification Facebook group.  Documentation should be brought to your Final TBP Exam for review. 

All 45-50 sessions should be documented with the following documents (or equivalent):

- Intake Forms: You can use the CTB Intake for App 1 & 2 Sessions for any of your TBP sessions in order to begin observing patterns in your client's pain and their daily lifestyle and health background.

- Session Notes: Use the TBW Sessions Log Half Sheet.pdf to log your sessions. You can include any information you find useful for your own practice, including interesting findings or decisions you made on sequencing or treatment.

- Feedback Forms: Provide Client Feedback for student Sessions.pdfto all of your clients in order to see the difference you've made and track your progress.

Preparing for the TBP Exam

Subsequent mentoring sessions should be done with the goal in mind of preparing for the TBP Certification practical exam. Students should be focused primarily on building a framework for a 90-minute session that:

- Builds an extended general session within the basic framework of the Level 1 sequence.
- Adds any additional emphasis on specific client issues with the understanding that this is still a general session, and where techniques are added, others must be removed to keep it within 90 minutes.
- Is designed with a good understanding of how and where to add or substitute additional techniques from HandsFree, the Repertoire or Therapeutic classes.
- Does not sacrifice fluidity and the general session model or become a set of disconnected clinical techniques.
- Visits at least supine and side position on both sides, adding prone techniques if appropriate, using seated position for specific purposes if warranted.
- Uses contract/relax when appropriate to resolve a specific area of therapeutic focus. This does not mean doing contract/relax on every position.
- Does not use or rely upon the use of tools such as EPS or the Muscle Liberator. These tools are part of the CTBP apprenticeship training. The emphasis within the TBP program is upon the bodywork techniques and associated theory.

Additional mentoring sessions will be REQUIRED of any students who are not able to demonstrate the above by the end of their 3 required sessions, as we do not schedule the final practical exam without the mentor's recommendation.

The TBP Final Practical Exam

You will perform a 90-minute session on a senior instructor, keeping these goals in mind. You will be expected to construct a flowing, general 90-minute sequence with areas of focus indicated by your initial conversation with the instructor. Your skills will be assessed in the following areas:

- Treatment Design: Your ability to perform a relatively balanced treatment in 90 minutes that appropriately addresses any areas of concern. For example, it is not appropriate in the TBP exam to only treat one side of the body or focus entirely on hips or shoulders, upper or lower body.
- Technique: You need to be comfortable with the foundational techniques that you were taught. The practical test is not a training session, although asking questions for clarification is permitted.
- Transitions and Flow: Your session should involve smooth transitions through the poses, considering that you are modeling for the client's nervous system the experience of smooth, pain-free movement.
- Assessment and Modification: Bodywork is not a one-way street. You must be constantly assessing quality of motion, state of tissues and how they change in response to your work. You need to be able to detect even small signs of resistance and end-range during motion and provide tactile feedback, slowing down or otherwise modifying your techniques and movements according to the body's signals.
- Body Mechanics: You need to work in a manner that is sustainable for your own body. If you work with a lot of tension or attempt to do ballistic stretches because you don't have sufficient strength, this will be a strong negative.
- Client Interaction and Setting: You need to provide a calming presence for the client, interview them prior to beginning the session for areas of concern, ensure that the room and your props are prepared in advance, be comfortable with temperature, lighting, music and other factors. During the session, you will be expected to provide an appropriate degree of interaction for this type of session. That means for example that you will interact with the client when you need more information, but you aren't constantly asking for numeric pressure feedback, talking in a distracting manner or being completely silent when you might be confused about what is happening.

The teacher will provide you with feedback after the session. This is not a teaching session, and if you require extensive training during the test you will be asked to do more mentoring and come back. If some significant areas need improvement you will be asked to book additional mentoring sessions and reschedule the exam (requires a retake fee).

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