Written by Joanna Bates
My PLD journey began at the worst time imaginable – maybe…
Within days of committing to the Practitioner Level Diploma Course in Sound Therapy for 2020 (monetarily and psychologically) along with a good many other students in several countries around the globe – the world seemed to stop in its tracks.
February 2020 was exactly the time when COVID-19 was deemed by most governments to be a global pandemic and a ‘potential’ threat to human life on a worrying scale – but by now, your view on this will depend upon your own experience of it so far; your perspective may well be different from how it started out in early 2020.
These are some of the difficulties we faced:
- A global pandemic causing great uncertainty and fear among millions – a sense of panic for everyone was clearly felt in the early days
- No work or income for most of us
- The possibility of illness/death – I am over 60 years old and a cancer survivor – which put me in a ‘vulnerable’ category
- Restricted travel – BAST was forced to reschedule Intensive Modules several times
- Only 2/5 of the ‘hands on’ work that is usually done in Chichester was available to us; many felt very unprepared when it came time to do our case studies – including me!
- Some students’ struggled with loss and illness
- Motivation, due to the protracted length of the course was difficult
I lost my Mum in December 2019 and was using what she bequeathed to me for something purposeful – to become a sound therapist practitioner.
I think that it is precisely because of the COVID adversity that PLD20 course year developed a particularly potent group spirit; we set up several supportive WhatsApp groups – not always sweetness and light but for the vast majority of time, a real help and useful network for questions, guidance, shared revision notes and at times, emotional support.
I can say, with hand on heart, that this BAST journey has been of immense value – not only to my clients, but to myself and those around me.
There will be adventure and there will be surprises!
Apart from the incredible fact that two of my case studies believe that their lives have actually been “transformed” in some positive way, I also found that I could treat and dissipate my own pain – with my voice alone. This was a complete shock to me; the voice was the instrument that I (mistakenly) perceived to be the weakest and I didn’t believe that it would be as powerful as either my monochord or Himalayan Singing Bowls. How wrong I was: Intermittently, I have a very painful nodule on my foot which the doctor cannot help with – so, I decided to toning using a low pitched ‘ER’ sound. Although I felt a bit silly at first, after 3 minutes, I felt a tingling in that area and after 6 minutes, the pain was completely gone! I was amazed – and I have self-treated this way many times since and it works every time.
The reflective practice we use (called the 7Rs) has also helped me: during our only ‘Intensive’ down in Chichester which was only for 2 days in June 2021, I found that this process brought up a ‘truth’ for me which elicited an emotional release of tears; it was quite shocking and I needed to spend time reflecting on this so that I could hold a safe space for my case studies. I had to postpone my case studies until November and used that time to really delve into my Resistance about the truth that had been uncovered. The fact that I had taken time to know myself better, I believe, has made me a better practitioner.
My challenging but incredibly rewarding journey is just about over as I have now submitted my work for assessment.
In summary, it has not been easy for me to complete this course in some ways and that is probably true for most students; there have been struggles – but I would do it all again. A good, meaningful business is possible and the much – needed, caring service that we provide is more necessary now than ever before.
I wish you all luck with your BAST course – it’s a roller-coaster adventure with dips and curves, screams and laughter but if you STICK AT IT it will enrich your life in more ways than you can possibly imagine.
Joanna Bates – May 2022