RolfingŪ Structural Integration

Donald Soule
Certified Advanced Rolfer™

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About Donald

I first found out about the Rolfing® method in 1973, from a popular psychology magazine.  I looked for a Rolfer™ and found Maurice Paulson.  I was delighted with the results of Maurice’s work with me.  I found that the changes I had read about were happening in my body and my being.  I was lengthening and relaxing in my body, gaining suppleness and strength, and finding myself at home within myself in a way I hadn’t known before.

At that time, I was a counselor at a residential, children’s psychiatric unit, having graduated with a B.A. in psychology from the University of Chicago.  Based on this experience, I reconnected with my life-long love of working with my hands and decided I wanted to contribute to people’s well being through Rolfing.  I felt then, and still feel today, that the Rolfing method is highly replicable and reliable.  My clients’ structures open and develop along predictable lines that produce expansion and liveliness.

After Rolfing for about 10 years, I completed a Masters degree in Organization Development at Loyola University of Chicago, and took an OD position with a major corporation in the Chicago area.  I worked for that firm and maintained a small Rolfing practice for 15 years.  After these enjoyable years of consulting work, I became less interested in working to improve the function of a large business, and found renewed interest in working with my individual clients.  I now have a full-time Rolfing practice with offices in Evanston and the Chicago Loop.

Training and Certifications

Rolf Institute of Structural Integration®

 I first completed the Rolf Institute basic training in 1978, and the Advanced Rolfer certification in 1980.  In addition to continuing education workshops at the Rolf Institute, I have also pursued training in craniosacral therapy and visceral manipulation.  

  • In 2002 I completed the Rolf Institute Advanced Training®.  This was the second time I participated in this 6-week course.  In this course we covered all of the material that had been added since I first completed the Advanced Training in 1980.
  • In 2003 and 2004, I participated in a series of 5, 4-day courses offered by Liz Gaggini where she presents a specific and detailed method she has developed for analyzing and addressing patterns of structural imbalance and compensation. 
  • In 2007 and 2008, I reviewed Gaggini’s 5 courses in Structural Integration.
  • In 2010, I took the first in a series of seminars in Neural Mobilization with Jon Martine, Advanced Faculty at the Rolf Institute.  The work Jon is teaching is an exciting advancement for Rolfing Structural Integration; these techniques facilitate more specific, and gentler manipulation for many of the structural problems that trouble us.

Craniosacral Therapy and Visceral Manipulation

  • In 1980, I took two of the very early Craniosacral courses offered by the Upledger Institute
  • In 2002 and 2003, I completed courses in visceral manipulation with the Upledger Institute and with Liz Gaggini.  Liz is a long-time member of the Rolf Institute and brings her perspective on Structural Integration to the application of visceral manipulation techniques.
  • In March of 2004 I started a 3-year program leading to certification in the biodynamic craniosacral therapy method studying with Dr. Michael Shea.  Many of my Rolfing colleagues and I have studied the craniosacral methods of therapeutic manipulation and include this method as appropriate in the regular series of Rolfing sessions.  Craniosacral therapy is also available as a separate session or series of sessions in addition to Rolfing sessions that are done.  We use the craniosacral method to work with patterns of strain or trauma that have become embedded in layers of structure or nervous system that are out of reach of the usual Rolfing methods.  This 3-year program includes 10, 5-day seminars, 150 documented practice sessions and 3 case studies with individuals who each receive a series of 8 craniosacral therapy sessions.  I completed this program in September 2006.  I am a Registered CranioSacral Therapist (RCST) and member of the Cranial Sacral Therapy Association of North America.
  • In July of 2008 I completed an advanced cranial seminar with Franklin Sills in cranial methods for working with viscera
  • In 2009, I reviewed the visceral manipulation courses with Liz Gaggini.

Founding Member of the Certification Board for Structural Integration(sm)

I was one of the founding members of the Certification Board for Structural Integration(sm).  Starting in 2006, we led a large group of senior Structural Integrators in the effort to write and offer an exam to test the entry level knowledge needed for the practice of SI.  The exam was first offered in October, 2007, and has been offered six times per year since then. 

Reflex Integration

I participated in the training for the licensure with Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology (INPP) and completed their course of study and practice during 2010. 

My introduction to Neuro-Developmental Remediation came several years ago. Two clients were referred to me for the Rolfing series who had been diagnosed with neuro-developmental delay.  They had found great benefit from participating in the program of  Neuro-Developmental Remediation. Their success inspired me to refer one of my children to the NDR program. When he also came away with significant improvements to his capacities in writing, reading and study, I decided to learn this process.

In the UK, where INPP is based, the NDR program is principally used with school-aged children for a variety of learning, coordination, fine motor (i.e. hand writing), and social adjustment problems.  In the US, the NDR program is used with children and adults who live with this same array of problems. More specifically, the NDR program has proven useful for individuals who have learning and coordination problems caused by poor synchronization of visual, auditory and postural functions.  We identify poor synchrony by examining the state of the reflexes.  We are born with “primitive” reflexes that should mainly be inhibited in the first 18 months of life.  “Mature” postural reflexes should be developed as the primitive reflexes are inhibited.  The NDR program works by identifying and inhibiting those primitive reflexes that for one reason or another failed to be inhibited, and by then helping the body to develop  postural reflexes associated with the mature nervous system.

In addition to the benefits already documented by INPP, I have reason to believe that this program will benefit adults with chronically-low muscle tone who have attendant musculo-skeletal/postural problems, and adults with poor and deteriorating balance problems.  If this proves to be the case, the NDR program will be an invaluable adjunct for many clients working with me in the Rolfing method.

I am currently working with my first small group of Reflex Integration clients and they are reporting a range of  highly satisfactory results.  A new website featuring Reflex Integration with be launched soon.