What is a 'Womb Surround' Process Workshop?
A 'Womb Surround' Process Workshop is a small group format developed and refined by Raymond Castellino since 1992. It creates a safe, welcoming environment in which to explore early imprinting from preverbal life that is affecting your present life. Typically there are 7 participants in a workshop. Dr. Castellino is often assisted by trainees or graduates from his Foundation Training.
The format for this was created by Dr. Castellino because he has found by experience that complete and lasting transformations most often happen in a small group setting. The span of four days or an evening plus four days allows the work to occur in a spacious way that supports the integration of material from your own and others' work.
Dr. Castellino begins each workshop reviewing basic interactive, empathy and contact skills so that participants are actively able to support each other during the workshop with the intention of creating a safe and nurturing "womb surround." Each participant receives a 1.5 - 3.5 hour session with Dr. Castellino with group support during which he or she explores physical and emotional patterns of prenatal, birth or infancy origin. Each session is followed by individual and group debriefing, integrative processing and discussion. Tools used include group interactive processes, energy awareness, craniosacral work and other touch and empathy skills.
The purpose is to heal and re-pattern early trauma and to create more options for current behavior and ways of being in relationship. In addition to healing prenatal, birth and other early trauma, this process has the principle impact of encouraging loving bonding within primary relationships. Participants commonly state that the process is transformational on a deep level.
The Format of the 'Womb Surround' Process Workshop
The actual format is as follows: The first segment of the workshop (approximately 3 to 4 hours) is spent with participants sharing intentions and Ray establishing the principles and structure that will make it possible to share and receive at a deep resourced level. Then, over the course of the workshop, each person has a turn, one at a time, during which the whole group, led by Ray, focuses on supporting the participant to explore some aspect of preverbal life. Each step is taken with consciousness, permission from the turn person and with a goal of supporting the turn person's intention as they explore this early material. In this format Dr. Castellino is facilitating not only the individual turn person, but also the other members of the group and interactions between everyone present.
The methods used to facilitate each turn are determined by the intention and needs of the turn person. Here is what is consistent: First there is a group process to determine who will be the turn person. The rest of the group will be the surround. The whole group is involved in this decision in order to insure that everyone is on board to support the turn person. Once the turn person is determined, Ray rereads the turn person's forms and the turn person affirms his or her turn. Ray and the group then listen to the turn person's story. Ray asks questions pertinent to the person's exploration, coaches the person through slow movement patterns, uses gentle touch and makes suggestions to the turn person and the group for interactive exercises.
During sessions Dr. Castellino coaches the surround members to support each other and the turn person. He suggests that surround members use the same kind of attention that they would as if they were holding a newborn baby.
Dr. Castellino's intention for the turn person is to support him or her to relax into body memories from some aspect of his or her early experience: for example, birth. Dr. Castellino guides the turn person and the group to interact at a very slow tempo so that each person present and especially the turn person are supported to integrate or make sense of the early body memories. For example, as the turn person relaxes into a memory, his or her body begins to move in such a way as to allow the unique movement patterns that the person may have actually moved through during his or her birth. The group quietly and gently holds the turn person so that he or she can move through the birth pattern in a very conscious and integrated way. Doing this at a slow tempo, with warmth, contact and support, repatterns the experience for the turn person. The whole group is working together as a team in a very respectful gentle atmosphere as if they were at a birth.
In choosing suggestions to make during sessions, Dr. Castellino draws from four decades of experience in craniosacral therapy, polarity therapy, group and family dynamics, somatic experiencing (a body-oriented approach to trauma resolution), play therapy, movement therapy, working with repatterning ancestral imprints and body biomechanics. He has combed through midwifery and obstetrics literature from before the turn of the 20th Century to the present studying birthing procedures from midwifery, nursing and obstetric points of view. In addition he has facilitated thousands of adults and children in exploring their early lives.
As the turn person reveals his or her history, Dr. Castellino uses this knowledge to help the turn person develop a plausible and coherent story out of his or her history. As this happens, Ray helps the turn person realize how these early imprints led to adaptive behaviors that have affected him or her throughout his or her life and how these adaptations to the original trauma have been useful. Participants often discover the limitation of the adaptive behaviors. The process itself opens new possibilities for a broader spectrum of choices in their lives.
Not all participants explore their birth process. Some explore an aspect of ancestral influences, conception, pregnancy, hospitalization after birth, the twin experience, family dynamics of their birth family, adoption or any other events or family patterns that affected them strongly.
At the end of each turn, the surround members are asked to share a brief essence statement of how the turn person's work touched them.
It is usual for the sessions to end with the whole group in awe and reverence for the sanctity of the turn person's journey and for life itself.
Each morning there is a group check-in and a debriefing of the previous day's session by Dr. Castellino. (The last day's sessions are debriefed during closure). The purpose of these discussions is to facilitate the integration of the sessions. When the group is in session, the participants are in experiential right-brain mode. During the debriefing following the sessions, participants are in more of a cognitive left-brain mode.
During closure, Dr. Castellino recommends specific activities for the next month to support the participants in the integration of their experiences from the workshop. These include contact with other members of the group, professional support, and suggestions for ways to integrate their new perceptions, needs and ways of being with their families and communities.
At the end of the workshop as part of the closure activities Dr. Castellino shows a slide show with music that includes pictures taken during the workshop.
Who Attends a 'Womb Surround' Process Workshop?
For the foreseeable future, anyone who is ready for or who has experience with group process work is welcome to attend.
This workshop is also recommended for professionals as a means to personally experience the profound changes possible with this approach. Those who come with particular skills are encouraged to use them in the group setting. Participants leave with deeper levels of awareness, directly related to prenatal and birth processes, applicable to any professional practice. Many report using their new perceptions and skills in their practices.
This workshop is equally valuable to persons who chose to take it primarily for personal growth and healing.
Couples, pregnant mothers, mothers/fathers and their adult children often take this workshop as well as professionals.
Individuals who are not ready for group process work are best served by individual sessions with Dr. Castellino, therapy in another setting or both. Parents of infants/young children will find private sessions more appropriate.
One womb surround process workshop is a prerequisite to applying to the Castellino Prenatal and Birth Therapy Foundation Training that is completed over a two-year period in eight six-day modules. In addition to the eight training modules, four womb surround process workshops are required to graduate from the Foundation Training.
Finally! After 35 years as a professional counselor, I found the integration of modalities, body-centered and more that give real solution to lifelong, destructive patterns of meeting life. Dr. Castellino is a gifted master teacher and therapist.
Cristina Casanova, psychotherapist
Ray's Process Workshop is one of the most profound, healing and informative workshops I've ever experienced. His principles ensured the safety and integrity of the experience. The way he prepares the surround to receive and support the participant is masterful. His structure for checking in negotiating turns and sharing after each turn informed and deepened the process. This is an experience I will never forget. I look forward to seeing how my INTENTIONS unfold into everyday practice.
Priscilla Chaveyz-Reilly, M.S., retired head of NYC guidance counselors
The workshop has led me to parts of me which have remained hidden and I am grateful to have the space in which to name them. The change within me is more than I can name.
John Aufterheide, BEBA father
I have no words to describe what this workshop did. It is still settling. But I feel like I peeled off another layer of my mask and I am a more real person. I feel so empowered from deep within me, like I found my fulcrum.
Annapurna Jonnalagedda, SE student and homemaker
Honestly, I didn't and haven't seen any way in which the experience could have been better, more complete, more thorough, deeper, more inspiring, revealing, more incisive, intimate, evocative or fun. I can assure you, this is a first for this guy, who wants everything to be the best it can possibly be and always sees where improvement is possible.
Mike Brenner, MD
This workshop gets to layers of healing and connection in a deeper, safer, and more effective way than I have ever experienced. You really "get" how to be fully human.
Ariella Morris, LCSW, MSW
Upcoming 'Womb Surround' Process Workshops
The workshops listed below are led by Raymond Castellino except the December 4-8 with is co-facilitated by Ray and Anna Chitty. This is a complete list of all womb surrounds through January Timing, location, directions and other information are in 'logistics' next to the workshop.
For workshops by graduates of Ray's training, see the bottom of this page.
To receive periodic updates about upcoming Process Workshops, please subscribe to our mailing list:
December 4-8, 2013
4 full days + 2/3 day:
Starts 8:45 am, Wednesday
Ends by 2 pm, Sunday
For 7 people.
Co-facilitated by Ray Castellino and Anna Chitty
Wait List Only
||$1150 / $1050*|
January 1-5, 2014
4 full days + 2/3 day:
Starts 8:45 am, Wednesday
Ends by 2 pm, Sunday
For 7 people.
Wait List Only
January 18-22, 2014
4 full days + 2/3 day:
Starts 8:45 am, Saturday
Ends by 2 pm, Wednesday
For 7 people.
Co-led by Ray Castellino and Mary Jackson, midwife extraordinaire
Flat Rock, NC
1 space may be available
July 14-18, 2014
4 full days + 2/3 day:
Starts 8:45 am, Monday
Ends by 2 pm, Friday
For 7 people.
Co-facilitated by Ray Castellino and Mary Seamster
La Center, WA, near Portland, OR
at least 5 spaces available
$208/$200 non-refundable deposit holds your place: $208 if paying via credit card or paypal, $200 if paying via cash, check or MO.
$50 discount for early payment in full
for those signing up less than 2 months in advance:
- if payment in full by credit card or paypal the day of signing up
- OR if check or money order for full price is postmarked by the day after signing up.
for those signing up more than 2 months in advance:
- if payment in full is received by 2 months ahead
- OR if check or money order is POSTMARKED by:
- four days before that if sending from within the United States
- OR one week before that if sending from outside the United States
- for those signing up less than 2 months in advance:
- Additional $50 discount ($40 for German workshops, $45 for 2014 workshops) if all payments to Castellino training, Corp. are made in cash, check, or money order. See the Logistics sheet for that particular workshop for specific details.
The $210 ($208 starting Dec) / $200 deposit (or 260 euros for German womb surrounds) is non-refundable. If you cancel, the cost to you depends on whether we can fill the workshop and when you cancel. Please give Sandra as much notice as possible. She may be able to find someone to fill the workshop and thus save you money as well as provide opportunities for others who wish to attend a workshop.
The date of cancellation is considered the date that Sandra (or Regina for German workshops) processes and confirms your cancellation. This is best done via a direct phone call to 805-687-2897. You may send a cancellation via email if you like, but it may take up to several days to be processed, if Sandra is out of email contact temporarily.
For US workshops, if the workshop fills, $100 (check) + cc difference is a cancellation charge and $100 credit will be given toward a future process workshop with Ray. At your request, anything you have paid beyond that will be refunded within 2 weeks of the first day of the workshop at the discounted (non-cc) rate, i.e. for those who paid by cc, we keep the difference between the amount you paid and the discounted amount. For example, if you paid $900 by cc, you could receive a refund of $650 ($900-200 -50) plus a credit of $100 toward a future workshop with Ray.
If the workshop doesn't fill, the cost to you is as follows. If you have paid more, at your request it will be refunded within 2 weeks of the first day of the workshop, OR you can apply your refund to a future Process Workshop, OR contribute it to BEBA. If you have not paid what is due, it will be due within 2 weeks of the beginning of the workshop.
|If you give us...||Then you will owe us...|
|6 weeks' or more notice||$200 if paid by check|
|Less than 6 weeks' notice||$300 if paid by check|
|Less than 1 month's notice||$400 if paid by check|
|Less than 3 weeks' notice||60% of discounted price if paid by check|
|Less than 2 weeks' notice||80% of discounted price if paid by check|
|Less than 1 weeks' notice||The full discounted price of the workshop if paid by check|
|For credit card payments, add 5% of payment received by cc up to $50 (4% starting Dec, 2013)|
If you have a refund due, let us know whether you'd like it mailed to you, credited to a future workshop, or donated to BEBA, the non-profit clinic for working with babies, children and their parents that Ray co-founded and directs.
Please make all checks or money orders payable to Castellino Training, Corp. Please write the dates of the workshop on the lower left corner of the check. That way, I'll know you have the dates correct. Please mail your check to Castellino Training, Corp., 1105 N Ontare Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
We charge a $25 fee for all returned checks, even if they clear upon redepositing. Please make sure you have adequate funds in your account to cover your checks. Thank you.
Application & Registration
To apply & register for a 'Womb Surround' Process Workshop:
Contact Sandra Castellino:
- by phone at (805) 687-2897
- or by email at Sandra@CastellinoTraining.com
Make sure that you meet our acceptance criteria. We do not accept applications from anyone who:
- Smokes or uses nicotine in any form
- Is addicted to anything other than caffeine
- Is dependent on or uses a lot of alcohol or recreational drugs
- Is taking mental health medications (we sometimes make individual exceptions for this)
To reserve a place in a particular workshop, we require all of the following within one week of speaking to you:
Payment of at least a deposit, or in full, as priced above:
- Via credit card when speaking to Sandra.
- Via a check postmarked by the day after you speak to Sandra.
Your Birth History Form.
We will tentatively reserve your place in the workshop for one week after speaking to you while awaiting these things. If we do not receive all of these within one week, your place will be given to the next interested person who requests to take that workshop.
Priority for taking Dr. Castellino's Process Workshops
A process workshop is a prerequisite for applying to the Foundation Training. Since each workshop has only 7 participants, we will need to provide opportunities for those considering the training to attend a process workshop and priority will given to professionals in the healing arts (those who make a living as health care providers: nurses, doctors, massage therapists, craniosacral therapists, PTs, OTs, SE practitioners, Rolfers, etc, or those who work with babies/children) who meet one of the following criteria:
- Trainees in the current training who have not yet taken 4 process workshops with Ray
- Non-trainees who have not yet taken one process workshop
- Non-trainees who have taken one process workshop AND at least a 5-day introduction to biodynamic, fluid tide craniosacral therapy
- Non-trainees who have taken one process workshop, and are seriously considering apply to the training.
So participants may be restricted to those on our 'priority list'. If wish to take a process workshop and do not meet our 'priority list' criteria, please contact Sandra anyway to be put on a list of interested persons. Each full workshop has its own waitlist and each workshop with space in it has an 'interested' list for those wishing to be considered if it doesn't fill one month ahead. You may ask to be on the waitlist and/or interested list of as many workshops as you wish.
Process Workshop Forms and your Picture
Please email a PICTURE of yourself, preferably a casual 'head shot' - this goes only in our database so Sandra and Ray know / remember who you are when communicating.
Please send the birth history form within 1 week of signing up and paying for the workshop. Sooner is even better but we want you to have time to contact your parent(s) if appropriate. We appreciate your taking the time to let us know about yourself. All material is kept confidential. Only Raymond and Sandra Castellino read the form. Sandra's assistant may read enough to check for proper formatting and to print it. If Ray has assistants for the process workshop, he may verbally share relevent information with them so they can better support you.
You can either mail your form to 1105 North Ontare Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, fax it to (805) 687-4719, or email it to Sandra@CastellinoTraining.com. If you email it, please email a MS Word document, not scanned images, and please bold your answers so we can tell them apart from the questions more easily. We cannot accept forms in word processing formats other than MS Word (e.g. WordPerfect, MS Works, Pages, or AppleWorks).
Ray needs to review this to confirm your place. If you want a copy of the form for yourself, either fax or email it so you have the original, or make a copy before mailing it. Thank you.
- Long Form:
- Short Form:
Please download and fill out only ONE of the birth history forms above: the long version if you have not taken a workshop with Ray before or filled in a birth history for private sessions; or the short version if you have.
For logistical information sheets, please see the table above.
After the workshop, we would appreciate if you would fill out both:
For each workshop, information about accommodations is included under 'logistics' next to the dates of the workshop. You will also find there the contact information for the host(ess), directions, etc.
For workshops hosted in Ojai, Sandra Castellino is the contact person. Those attending Ojai workshops may want to consider staying at Sandra Castellino's home in Santa Barbara (about 55 min away) before or after the workshop. She rents 2 rooms. Pictures are available at www.castellinotraining.com/accommodations. These rooms are rented throughout the year so are available for those who would like a place to stay while enjoying Santa Barbara..
Certified Workshop Facilitators
Process Workshops whose faciliators are certified by Ray may be taken as alternatives to Ray's as prerequisite or required process workshops for trainees and potential trainees and are open to anyone for personal and/or professional growth. For information, please contact the relevant facilitator directly. They travel to offer process workshops, including to the USA. They all also offer other courses/workshops and work with families and individuals.
In order to be certified, each has demonstrated competence, graduated from a Foundation Training, assisted another Foundation Training, is an R.C.S.T. (registered craniosacral therapist) or the equivalent, has taken at least 6 Process Workshops, has assisted at least 4 process workshops, has taken at least 2 Practitioner Training workshops including at least one as a practioner, and has successfully offered at least 5 process workshops on their own or 10 co-led with phone supervision afterwards with Ray.
|Name and Email or Website||Location||Phone|
Alison Greene-Barton, RCST®
|+1 805 640-0710|
Chantek McNeilage, R.C.S.T.
|+44 1799 527084|
Charisse Basquin, D.C.
|+44 1333 450 302|
Claudia Koehler, P.T.
David Haas, B.Sc.(Hons), R.P.P., R.C.S.T.
|+44 1483 423352|
Judith Lee Cohen, R.N., M.Th., RCST®
|Savannah, GA (United States)||+1 520 241-8335|
Judyth Weaver, Ph.D., RCST®, S.E.P., S.A.L., R.M.P.
|Seattle, Washington (United States)
Cortes Island, British Columbia (Canada)
|+1 206 361-4124
+1 250 935-8500
Klaus Kaeppeli, dipl.psych.FSP
|+41 7122 34891|
Mary Jackson, RN, LM, RCST®
|+1 805 649-3063|
Myrna Martin, MN, RCC, RCST®
|Nelson, British Columbia
|+1 250 352-1655|
Regina Buecher, RPP, RCST, dipl.Heilpaed
|+49 7668 950764|
Susan Lange, O.M.D., L.Ac.
|Santa Monica, California
|+1 310 395-9525 x2#|
Tara Blasco, PhD, RCST®
|+1 805 646-1269|