The teachers of the online blogging class that i am enrolled in had some suggestions (Shock) and one of the suggestions was that it might be interesting to know where to find a Rolfer and how to get a good one.
I immediately got out my flashlight and my crank 2-way radio and went a-hunting. In my search, I made sure that I brought all my prejudices up and polished them as I was going along. My perceptions were all aglow for the type of Rolfer that I probably wanted to work with, one who might tinker with my serve a little bit but not make me run up to the net and smack the ball where they weren’t, a drastic change for my laid-back style of tennis playing. (That metaphor is a little weak, and more than a little of snarky.)
Then, besides that stylistic idea of a Rolfer I thought of credentials.
The biggest credential is the first place to go looking: the website of the only training school which graduates folks who can call themselves “Rolfers”.
That would be The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration, and the website—www.rolf.org. Some Rolfers are too cheap to pay the yearly $75.00 to be listed on the website; so calling the Rolf Institute and asking for someone in your neighborhood would be good, if you can’t find anyone on the site.
The site gets 4000 hits a week. You will find my name on there, also maybe one in your location or hopefully close to it. Each Rolfer has a thumbnail of themselves and their practice on that site, or perhaps a link to their own website. Each will have the basic certification which means they can deliver the goals of the standard basic ten series of Rolfing Structural Integration.
Also on the Rolf Institute site you will notice that Certified Rolfers may advance into another category: Certified Advanced Rolfer. The Standards of Practice for Rolfers intends that Rolfers in practice for 5 years take the advanced training, and if someone in practice for more than 5 years or so doesn’t have that training, I personally wouldn’t go to them. To me, that lack of advanced training signals: what other part(s) of the Standard of Practice don’t they respect? Not that I don’t respect a good anti-authoritarian, haha.
Also on the Rolf Institute site: many Rolfers have seen the light of the structure/function oneness, and gotten the Rolf Movement Practitioner certification. Once again, I would look for that as a sign of focused intention on the work, and a sign of a raised skill level.
Then, looking at the Rolfer’s personal website, is there focus on Rolfing on the front page of the site? Or, are they listing their poodle-raising or Alexander etc. work? This is probably ok if they are not listing those puppies first on the site. (Really watch out if they are quoting the poodles on the site.) On a related animal note, is their picture squirrelly looking?
I would not personally go to a Rolfer who put anything else first on their website. That says to me: there is a lack of focus on the Rolfing discipline and that will not provide focus in the Rolfing work with a client. I also don’t want to be evangelized constantly in a session about vitamins or Pilates, est, or hear some pop psychology, and I would put my antenna up for that.
Several Rolfers are credentialed psychologists or have other credentials such as physical therapists or physicians as well. The Rolfers like this that I respect have clear boundaries around the two practitionings, maybe doing one on one part of the week and the other on another day or three. To have one of these advanced degrees in a somewhat related work is okay, but not necessary to be a good Rolfer.
The next part is all you; polish up your prejudices, sharpen your perceptions, turn on your flashlight, and turn over a few rocks…..errr….websites.
Make a few phone calls. Have a session, see if you like it, and like working with that person.
If you do, stick it out for the whole standard basic 10 series if you get up to the 4th session or so, don’t stop with one foot in the old world and one foot in the new.
Happy hunting and happy Rolfing, if you choose to.