Dr. Ida Rolf Institute

Bulletin of Structural Integration Ida P. Rolf


Notes for New Technicians

By Mary Bond

Change is a process, not an event; not a single hour of Rolf work or series of ten, but a lifetime. The new Rolf technician knows this, but I would suggest that the events which occur in the course of the work tend to be so spectacular that the process as a whole is sometimes pushed out of perspective.

The events of change were flying fast and furious in Room 206 of the Bel Air Sands Hotel, but the process of change requires time to be lived through. How short a time is the six weeks training period in the lifetime of a technician, to say nothing of the mereness of 10 hours for the models. Of course it is the depth and power of those shorter moments that counts, but the momentum of a lifetime generates a power that we cannot afford to ignore.

We remember that there are no buttons to push for instant awareness; yet we seemed to touch those buttons; we truly saw the lights go on, and felt the inspirations and expirations of undeniable power. But those moments were events which must yet be lived through by each individual in relation to the entire process of his own changing life.

How often we heard ourselves say to one of the models: “You just aren’t the same person at all”. And we were pleased if he didn’t feel like the same person. But this reveals some arrogance on our part, that the practitioner by his sleight of hand or elbow could work a complete transformation from one person into another. The client has spent a number of years living himself into the state he is in. What the Rolf work does is to shift this life process onto another track which then continues as the educated and enlightened process of the same individual. It seems to me far less presumptuous therefore to think of the work not as a transformation but as a revelation: as a revealing of a new portion of the possibilities of an individual to himself. In this case the technician becomes a guide and friend, and not a powerful sorcerer.

It is easy to forget, in our zeal to produce integrated individuals, how vital to the work is the technician’s human sensitivity, in addition to the sensitivity of his eyes and hands. The person who comes in for hour one is certainly aware of a need for changes to take place in his being. But this does not alter the fact that the person as he stands there is all that he knows of himself for certain up to that present moment, and that that person, as he is, is very important and special to himself. For the trust that is necessary for the Rolf work to be a positive experience, there must be a sensitive respect on the part of the technician for the client as he is in the present moment. Such respect precludes the existence of any preconception as to how he will become. 1’he technician is then able to receive the client’s responses; the work becomes a two-way communication, a real sharing of the client’s revelation.

Without the ingredients of respect, sensitivity and trust there can be no communication; the work becomes a therapy, a cold fix-it job, effective nerhaos, but without a positive relation to the whole process of the client’s life.



By Doris W. Davis

Following is a partial, edited record of a conversation with C***** W****, musician, who participated in the recent golf seminar as a model. Before she went in for the series of 10 sessions she had expressed that as a cultural Jew she felt that she was about to undergo a ritualistic rite of cleansing, some sort of expectative exercise. Several weeks after the sessions were over she felt she wanted to speak specifically to that point.

D You were saying that there was something more you wanted to say about your experience.

C Yes. I wanted to tie up that little string. It shouldn’t be left dangling. THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN. That issue didn’t come up. It wasn’t really relevant to having Rolf treatments. It was because the particular situation we were in was such a group therapy, where one could reach out, where one could need, where one would know there was understanding, where there was a very focused vibration and I was focused on the task of going through the “Rolling”. The results of this were that I would question what was happening. For example, when I found that my walk was different, I felt that that was real great; then I would worry, “Jill I be able to maintain it? ” Why was my shoulder hurting when I held my flute?
There was a whole cultural thing that I had brought in to it: that I would suffer pain, and that I would be cleansed, and that I would be starting over. Like fasting.

D Like undergoing some grim exercise?

C Right. But the exercise wasn’t grim! With all those loving people, and Dr. Rolf herself. You just can’t consider that quite a punishment.

But you become aware of areas where you have locked information out, where you have locked your level of development, and where you have to be released. You want to feel a sense of release, as artificial as that whole concept may be, people need to have this sort of sense of unlocking and release in order to be able to go on. There can’t really be a floating evolution, a mindless development and growth, for as soon as we begin organizing these things, then we have little stops turning it on and turning it off. In organizing how we’ve crown, we see it as little spurts and stops. And there can be a stop, and a HOLD and you’re just idling, with that organization, until you shift out of it. I can’t say it in an original way, but it’s like … it doesn’t matter whether you paint or sculpt, it’s all an expression, just using different tools; and I think the Rolf treatments, the chanting, Scientology, being psychoanalyzed, and going to Mary Whitehouse’s, (these had alt been referred to in the earlier Dart of the conversation) are all just ways toward the same thing discovering yourself.

D They all have this in common: you’re reaching out for help. You’re saying, “Then left to myself, sometimes I get stuck”. You’re not trying to do it all by yourself, as though you were on a little desert island.

C Well, we didn’t crow up by ourselves, we weren’t born by ourselves we didn’t form by ourselves. If we had, then it would be valid to say “I’m just going to evolve myself according to how I conceive of my own existence.

D That’s a good point.

C I don’t believe in happiness, or in a state of happiness. I believe in pleasure, and I believe in satisfaction. But I ended up saying (as a result of the sessions) that what I wanted was to be able to give and to receive love, and that’s really what I wanted most. It’s the same kind of simplicity that we’ve been talking about.

But I do have to object so strenuously to these “in group” in groups, with separatism, and “US” and “THEM” because my thing is dependent upon “not groups” except for one thing.

D What’s that.

C I wouldn’t marry a gentile.( L A U G H T E R )

Anyway, what I said before. That was the important thing.

D The simple acknowledgement: “I want to love and be loved2”

C It was a hard thing to say.

D And you’re one step closer to being there once you set yourself on to it. You say “Yes!” How devious the patterns are otherwise! You’re always hitting around the bulls eye, you’re never hitting it, or really aiming for it. If you hit it by chance have to deny that you did.

C Oh, yes.Workshop Talk

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