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    Western Mass: 413-586-2555
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Training Student Testimonials

Testimonials from students and graduates of our Clinical Somatics Professional Training Program.

Steven Aronstein is an exceptional teacher, of that there is no question. He delivers a passionate and undiluted method of teaching the most direct Thomas Hanna material as humanly and somatically possible, and for that and his unrelenting way of having us get it, we are all becoming amazing Somatics practitioners and educators with each new piece that is revealed and integrated.

This course is not for just anyone. It is for those that want to make a bona fide difference in their own bodies as well as working with others. And it delivers in ways unexpected and unprecedented apart from any other movement modality in the way it is presented, digested, experienced and taught.

I only seek my body work training from direct sources, and for me Steven Aronstein is the next generation, a true disciple of what Thomas Hanna was cultivating, delivering and teaching in terms of movement, anatomy, philosophy and the neuro-biology of coming back to our brilliant human design.

Steve’s methodology may at first glance be unorthodox, but it works. His incredible (and often cinematic) analogies land, and if they don’t he will tirelessly find a way for it to not only stick, but be part of your lexicon and delivery through your hands.

We are grateful that this team of amazing mentorship is truly hand-picked and carefully selected. They share as generously as Steve does and the community has never been so rich and fertile with all the experience and expertise.

If I am already this effective after Year 1 of my training, I can’t imagine what I will be able to offer and how I will be able to navigate a person’s body by the end of Year 3. I am blessed and so are the people that I work with and will be working with for years to come.

Quite insufficiently, thank you so very much.

Orangeville, Ontario

I have used Clinical Somatic Education to overcome not only the first and last time I “threw my back out” but to manage and eventually eliminate migraines from my life.

I first met Steven and the gang in 2008 when I began the practitioner training at Somatic Systems Institute the first time.

Yes, I said the first time. I wasn't able to continue after the first module so I stopped.

I finally came back to begin again in 2012 and then finished my class hours a little over two years later. He welcomed me back as if I had been there all along.

We get along well, and he is ready and willing to answer any questions you might have. If he doesn't have the answer already he will do his best to find it. Unless of course it is better that you find it on your own. :)

You might think the repetition of some of the principles of the work is excessive. Believe me it is not. When you begin the training you will likely have a way of seeing things and an understanding of how you and others operate that is almost the exact opposite of what you will learn and experience. Because it is your habit to think and perceive that way it might take a while for you to get out of it and then into the habit of seeing and experiencing differently. That is into realizing how you've been seeing and experiencing all along but just haven't been so clearly aware of it and then getting into the habit of going about each day so that you always remember.

I'm not sure whether I can say enough about how valuable Clinical Somatic Education is for you yourself, not to mention to all those you could help in a profound way. CSE literally has to do with the quality of our life. If we are not Somatically "literate," we suffer from the things that are going on under our conscious radar or attention that unchecked compromise the way we function. The moment we start to become aware of those things our quality of life begins to improve. Over time you will experience relief and change that you never imagined possible and--if you go through with this training or even point others to CSE practitioners or classes or self-guided resources--you will be able to direct others toward the exact same thing.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I have personally benefited tremendously from the use of Clinical Somatic Education and I have been through the training. In addition to the two ways I've benefited that I mentioned at the beginning of this review I have been able to maintain my eyesight (at approximately 20/20.25), avoid constipation, overcome and avoid hemorrhoids, and eliminate my constant runny nose issue. There are plenty of other ways I've improved with the help of Clinical Somatics including several that would normally be considered psychological, but that will do for now.

All the best to you, whatever you choose.


(This testimonial reprinted with permission from an independent online review site.)

Fostoria, Ohio

The training I received from Somatic Systems Institute for my full Certification in Clinical Somatic Education was nothing short of excellent. I could go on and on about my experience, however, I'll keep it contained...

  1. Steven Aronstein is an excellent educator. He shared his years of knowledge in Clinical Somatics with us, holding nothing back. He took his time, made sure we understood principles, concepts and the hands on training. There was never a problem reviewing to clarify. His assistant, Patience Bousel, was also excellent, sharing her knowledge and helping us clarify and grow in our personal and professional practice.
  2. The clinics were a great hands on experience. Yes, they were nerve-wracking. However the learning from the clients and the feedback from teachers, trainers and peers was invaluable. There was never any harsh criticism, only beneficial feedback that we were able to put into practice immediately. Some of my biggest takeaways to apply to my work came from those experiences. You learn from feedback and the teachers that gave their time during the Trainers Clinic, were great. They know the work, so they could guide us along, letting us know what we were doing well and what could use improvement. The public clinics allowed us to do hands-on work while being observed by other teachers and our peers. Again, very valuable feedback.
  3. I came into the program as a Certified Yoga Therapist, very proud of what I had accomplished and what I learned from that experience. Once in the program, I very quickly started referring to my self as a Clinical Somatics Educator-in-training. That is how valuable I found the work, for myself and for my clients. Very quickly into the program I was able to apply the skills I learned to my personal practice and my clients and the results I was getting, even early on as a newbie, were so much more effective than all the training I had prior to starting with Somatic Systems and Steven Aronstein. The Yoga Therapy Certification I completed was very thorough and is a highly regarded school!
  4. The program is run with our results in mind. They don't want to crank out a bunch of graduates, they want us to excel and get excellent results. It was very important for us to give feedback, so Steven and Patience would know how they could improve the program and how they would need to teach us. I always felt comfortable giving feedback, even negative, as I knew it would be taken seriously and implemented immediately. The entire training felt very democratic.
  5. The icing on the cake, or the cherry on the top, was the friendships that developed during the training. I do believe we will stay lifelong friends and colleagues.

Yes, the training is a 2+year commitment and it may be more costly than other trainings that are out there, however, hands down, I would consider it being an advanced degree training and well-worth every penny I spent. As I said earlier, I was able to quickly apply what I learned into my business, which increased my business over what I had been experiencing. I've more than made my money back in a very short period of time. You can't beat experience and Steven has that experience. He knows the work inside out, he is excellent at the work. He still sees clients, so his knowledge stays fresh.

I highly recommend the program to anyone who is considering it. You will be so happy you did!

Certified Yoga Instructor, Certified Yoga Therapist
Naperville, Illinois

‘Where did this come from?’ I kept asking myself, after recently participating in a Clinical Somatics movement weekend workshop. I was more than surprised — shocked! — to find that I immediately experienced an almost miraculous recovery from chronic long-term tight muscles and pain! That‘s all it took: The following week I restructured my whole life to take this training [to become a professional Clinical Somatics practitioner].

A week later I found myself standing in front of the Somatic Systems Institute getting up the nerve to take that first steps into my beginning semester of training, to become a Clinical Somatic Educator myself.

The training was profound, precise. The academics were well thought out, organized, and paced in way that allowed me, with ‘only a martial arts background’ to get more than I could ever have imagined. It was the fastest 9 days I have experienced, and ended too soon. But I was ready to practice what I was given. I now have the beginning tools to explore and ‘hone’ new skills, before the next module of studies. I was a little torn having to leave newfound friends and the support of the teaching staff, but was happy to find the support staff are also our personal mentors in between semesters, and fellow students are just an email or phone call away, to chat, talk about our experiences, or resolve the ‘Big Question’... Which is the best restaurant in Northampton?

Providence, Rhode Island

I've been a Physical Therapy Assistant for 24 yrs and a Massage Therapist for 2. This is the first course I've taken where I was able to and expected to apply the knowledge and techniques I was learning on the instructors. As a result it's totally changed the way I've approached working with my clients. I can actually go out feeling solid and comfortable working on people right away, rather than wondering if I'm applying the techniques properly.

Physical Therapy Assistant, 24 Years
Keene, New Hampshire

The Somatic Systems Institute Clinical Somatic Education professional training program was an unbelievable experience. I was amazed at the unbelievable sense of freedom I experienced in my own body after only the first 9-day module. It was fascinating to experience even my thoughts shifting to a greater sense of freedom and feeling open to solutions and avenues that I didn‘t even see before. I don‘t know if I could ever fully explain this — everyone just needs to experience it for themselves. Looking back, it feels like I was living my life with my emergency brake on before this training.

From a professional standpoint, the training module was excellent. I left with a solid foundation of understanding the basis for the work of Clinical Somatic Education and complete confidence in performing a Clinical Somatics session with a client. I completely recommend this course to anyone looking to improve their own lives and those looking to help others improve the quality of their lives.

Biotechnology Researcher
Upton, Massachusetts

One of the students said that not only had he discovered a wonderful healing tool but also he had found a new family. I feel the same way. [There were] wonderful conversations and bonding moments during meals and during practice sessions.

The faculty’s teaching skills are superb.

I feel it an honor and a privilege to be a part of such wonderful exciting education.

This new field has such potential to ease human suffering in such a huge way. I am thrilled to be a part of such a spiritual and monumentally important learning field. I feel as though I am a pioneer woman of the 21st century.

It was worth all the pain and suffering that I went through so that I could discover how powerful Clinical Somatics really is. I only hope that I can master and live up to this great calling — to ease suffering in the world and to promote health, healing and a sense of well-being to millions.

Yoga Teacher

[Since returning from my very first module of the Clinical Somatic Education Training Program,] I've done about 10 protocols this first week. Reactions have ranged from moderately pleasant surprise to unrestrained elation. I've worked with two ladies with significant chronic pain and they danced around shaking their hips (one said she hasn't been able to do that since 1991).

I'm looking forward to [the next module in] January. We have a great class and it will be fun to help everyone else develop into world class practitioners.

Engineer and Pain Management Clinic Manager
Rapid City, South Dakota

Training in Clinical Somatic Education at the Somatic Systems Institute was by far one of the most valuable educations and blessings of my life. After a second time being rear-ended while driving, my dancer's body impaired by so-called "soft tissue injury", nothing I tried came close to the empowering, curative reality of Somatics. What good fortune to then be able to learn as a practitioner!

Little seems of greater import than to deeply understand, and be able to impart to others, what I call the next step in human evolution. There is nothing else like this work on earth, and I believe there is no better place to study it.

I cannot recommend training with Somatic Systems Institute enough. I strongly encourage anyone who wants to truly help human beings to train at Somatic Systems Institute.

Dancer, Movement Educator

Wendell, Massachusetts

How has Somatic Systems Institute affected my practice? Heavens! How has it not? The mentoring I had from my faculty advisor was one of the most important tools I received. I started working right out of the box after the first semester....and I had some difficult cases. I sent her photos online and she sent back her input as to what my assessment was — it was like clinic with her watching. Had that not been in place, I would have had more trouble learning to ‘see’ the client.

Somatic Systems Institute has sent me out into the world highly trained, supported by ON-GOING mentorship (how often have I called the Director for help and guidance?!?!) and deeply rooted in the principles of Clinical Somatic Education. Because we do so much work with ourselves somatically (in daily movement class), I’m better able to ‘see’ what is going on with clients and to guide them to sense their bodies, movement and progress. The passion and enthusiasm, not to mention the technical expertise in training on behalf of the staff, has everything to do with the success of my practice.

Clinical Somatics has changed my life; the way I perceive what happens with and to my body and the way in which I use my body. It has given me back my sense of physical independence and Somatic Systems Institute has helped me to get there!

Massage Therapist, 18 years
Maplewood, New Jersey

The training staff is excellent. Good chemistry between them and a well balanced sharing of the teaching labor. Everyone is fun and personable which makes for an excellent learning environment. I'm feeling confident and well prepared to offer my services in the community as a Clinical Somatics Educator, even as a student-in-training. I'm seeing more clients (paying clients mind you) than I would have imagined at this stage of learning. And I'm getting results. Clients are referring others in for sessions. I can't wait to learn more.

Martial Arts Teacher, 35 years
Cohasset, Massachusetts

It's difficult to sum up my time at SSI because there were so many dimensions to it. I guess the first thing is to say that it was transformative on many levels for me. It has been, hands down, the most supportive academic environment that i have ever encountered — and I have studied at institutions in several countries. Steve Aronstein is funny, engaging, passionate and truly brilliant in the way he has developed the curriculum, where the learning process flows organically and suddenly you realize you know some things you didn't know before and that knowledge is visceral as well as intellectual. Patience Bousel brings a different energy and lens to the teaching environment which rounds out the experience with case studies and support in developing as a movement teacher.

And then there is the work of Somatics itself. This work is not always easy, but the transformations that have happened in my own body as well as what i observe in the bodies of my clients has been immeasurable. When I found this work in 2013, i could barely stand or walk and was in excruciating pain. I found some Somatic exercises online and tried them out and EVERYTHING CHANGED, in one day. It was very strange but in the months afterwards i found SSI and began my studies to become a practitioner as well as continuing my own practice. I continue to evolve with it every day.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania