Healing Touch Program Level 4 and 5 Curriculum: Solidifying Your Professional Practice
Originally published in Energy Magazine: The official Publication of the Healing Touch Program April issue. Healing Touch Program Level 4 and 5 Curriculum:
Learn about what HTP offers at the Level 4 and 5 classes…
Overview: Healing Touch Program’s standardized curriculum has been enhanced on all five levels of the core curriculum over the last several years, particularly with the final two courses, Levels 4 and 5. With our twenty-one year American Holistic Nurses’ Association endorsement status and many years of providing continuing education contact hours for nurses and massage therapists, HTP is moving toward adding national accreditation as the next “gold standard” for validating the professionalism of our adult education program.
Two years ago we published revised Level 4/5 curricular notebooks that have rounded out the comprehensive presentation of articles and material to support students’ growth toward becoming professional energy medicine practitioners. The courses, each offering 30 continuing education contact hours, have an additional block of time to cover topics which assure that graduates have a firm foundation in their studies as they move toward HTP graduation and then onto international certification.
Students who complete Level 3 have learned how to apply the ten step Healing Touch session sequence using nearly thirty HT methods and various sequences depending on the client. They have learned the essentials of an ethical practice operating within their individual scope of practice.
In Level 4, students deepen and widen their understanding of Healing Touch as an energy therapy along with a review of techniques/sequences, discussions about creating a professional practice, understanding detailed elements of the Code of Ethics and Scope of Practice, and learning the case study process by having four documented sessions with a specific client (classmate) which includes an intake interview, full length sessions and a discharge plan. Two final methods of the core curriculum are taught — the Full Body Connection and the Etheric Vitality Meditation. A description of homework (“growthwork”) required for Level 5 and course graduation is provided in terms of not only what is expected, but why and how. A sample of case studies from students are presented for review which help the Level 4 students to understand the flow and necessity of the intake interview, the ten steps of the HT sequence, the discharge, when to refer and how to identify and document specific energetic patterns related to a particular client.
Traditionally, Level 4 and 5 classes, are held in a retreat center over the course of four days. Being in a quiet environment surrounded by nature, not having distractions from work or home responsibilities, enjoying prepared meals and having a series of days together allows Level 4 students to settle into the depths of learning and integrating at an individual level. In addition, students develop/deepen collegial relationships and friendships, and have the opportunity to hear from fellow students and faculty during each of the nine blocks of time together on specific topics related to personal and professional development as an HT practitioner.
Level 4 is the place where students make a commitment to themselves for a powerful year or so of learning, corresponding to Level 5 assignments. Homework includes (1) documentation of 100 client sessions using the ten step HT Sequence, (2) a reading program, (3) receiving ten various holistic modalities of the students’ choice, (4) selecting and working with a mentor (HTCP) who will support and guide the apprentice’s progress, (5) networking and community service, (6) presentation of a professional profile notebook created by the student about her/himself, and (8) writing a draft case study for presentation at Level 5.
When a Level 4 class takes place simultaneously with a Level 5 class, some time is spent with the graduating class so that the Level 5 students can share their personal experiences regarding their apprenticeship year between Levels 4 and 5. Their shared testimonials of personal and professional growth experienced while completing the eight assignments for Level 5 universally attest to the wisdom of the assignments themselves and how each assignment meaningfully contributed toward growth of the student toward a professional status of energy medicine practitioner with a specialty in Healing Touch. Students participate in class meditations each day to set the tone and intention for group learning, individual growth/healing, and creation of friendships and collegial relationships that often get birthed or established at Level 4.
This final course of the HTP core curriculum brings together a rich culmination of all the previous courses through each student’s sharing of the eight areas of homework that were completed in preparation for Level 5. The mood we promote for this last course is one of integration, self-direction for moving into the future and celebration of our growth and uniqueness as individual practitioners. In addition to sharing the experiences of “growthwork” (whether the apprenticeship period took one year or several years), students continue their learning through deeper discussion of ethics in the practice of HT, detailed study of fellow students’ case studies for refinement in preparation for the certification process, and a bonding and powerful experience of group healing. Students are prepared for the certification process – for which application may be made after successful completion of all the homework for Level 5. Those who might attend Level 5 without total completion of assignments or who need to refine or correct one or more assignments complete an agreement with the instructor for when and how the final pieces will be done so that the graduation certificate can be awarded at a later date.
Especially fulfilling is the block of time when Level 5 students meet with the group of Level 4 students (provided both are taking place simultaneously) to share their experiences and words of wisdom to the new HT practitioner apprentices. A true appreciation of where they were at their Level 4 class is always acknowledged and honored. Being able to guide those on the path behind them is gratifying and a welcomed voice of “cheerleading” for the students embarking toward Level 5. Course completion and graduation are celebrated in a meaningful and honoring way for each attendee, whether s/he has successfully completed all assignments and qualifies for graduation or is at the “incomplete” status.
Level 4 and 5 students often make lifelong, soulful friendships during these classes due to the fact that HTP courses are not just academic or technique oriented, but truly address the life of the soul, personal growth, commitment to self-care and an ability to identify one’s strengths and areas of needed growth.
Graduates of HTP are invited to add their names and a biographical sketch to the HTP Practitioner Directory, which is a public directory that is a source of new clients finding practitioners in their area. Practitioners are encouraged to become increasingly active in the HT Professional Association (HTPA) (LINK HERE), where their voiced can be heard in the many areas of HT practice worldwide, nationally and locally. HTPA hopes you will be able to participate in committee work or volunteer some of your time to the growth of HT.
Once a student completes Level 3, s/he may apply for liability insurance for one’s private practice or institutional practice offered through HTPA. After graduation is accomplished, the next step and credentials are not far away — international certification through HTP’s autonomous certification body, Healing Touch Certification (HTC). At this level of accomplishment, more doors are opened for the HT practitioner who wants to establish an active private practice or health care facility practice or to work toward becoming an instructor.
Many HTCPs offer to serve as helpers at Level 4/5 classes to support the students going through their upper level coursework. Some attend Level 5 for a day to help read the homework brought in for course completion. There are many opportunities to “pay it forward” once you receive your HTCP. We hope those of you who are Level 1,2 and 3 students will be inspired by reading this overview of Levels 4 and 5 and will choose to take the next step toward your personal, professional and spiritual growth.
About the author:
Cynthia Hutchison is the Director of the Healing Touch Program™. Beginning over twenty years ago, she began studying natural medicine and energy therapies. She has studied world religions and is an avid student of spirituality. As a doctorally-prepared nurse from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (1987), Cynthia is also knowledgeable in the mainstream health sciences and the nursing profession. With a master’s degree as a clinical specialist in mental health, she has maintained a private practice in both Healing Touch and transpersonal psychotherapy for many years. She teaches all levels of the HT curriculum, including Advanced Practice 1 and 2. Cynthia loves teaching and brings much positivity, enthusiasm, and creativity to her classes. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her three “awesome” daughters who are all attending college.