Meet Sylvia Schroer

A bit of background about me

I was brought to England by my wonderful German mother when I was six. We moved around quite a bit until we arrived in London when I was nine. I became interested in psychology in my late teens and went on to study psychology at UCL  I was given the opportunity to put what I had learned into practice at the tender age of 21 when I took on the role of co-therapist for an NHS psychotherapy outpatient group. Yikes. I felt totally out of my depth if I am honest! But I stuck with it for three years and learned a great deal. I decided I needed more life experience before embarking on a career in health.

I spent my 20’s working mainly in the corporate sector – in magazine publishing. I had a brief foray into film and photographic production. I remember joining the Samaritans towards the end of this decade, feeling a real pull towards healing work and helping people. The impetus to work with Eastern medicine came when I was 30. I tried acupuncture, having seen how it had helped a friend. I began having treatment myself and was impressed by the sense of well-being I felt. I have to say I was drawn to acupuncture from the very beginning – seeing a chart on my practitioner’s wall depicting the Five Elements and their associations, which fascinated me – I wanted to learn more about it.

My professional training

Following my practitioner, Tim Gordon’s footsteps, I trained initially in Five Element acupuncture at the College of Traditional Acupuncture in Leamington Spa. This approach relies on the identification of a person’s constitutional factor and supporting it, which can in my experience, be truly transformational. It can help a person to connect with the very best part of themselves: who they are meant to be. We all have our strengths – and this approach helps us tap into them. Please have a look at my film – the Gifts of the Five Elements.

Shortly after finishing my Licentiate acupuncture training I completed further studies with John and Angela Hicks who founded the Reading College. I then went to China myself and undertook a short course at Dongzhimen in Beijing. I have also studied in Vietnam. 

In 1996 I trained in Kampo medicine with Gretchen de Soriano who completed a 7 year apprenticeship with a renown Japanese master at the Kitasato Institute. 

Having seen Stephen Birch demonstrate non insertion needling fairly soon after qualifying at a professional conference where he was a keynote speaker, I was one of the first in Europe to sign up to train in Toyohari, with Stephen and his wife, Junko Ida – in Amsterdam and Tokyo. I love the gentle approaches of Japanese acupuncture, and with these methods I feel I get the most sense of what is going on in the meridians and channels, as they are very direct and hands on. 

Craniosacral Therapy, which I trained in at the Craniosacral Therapy Education Trust, came later. I qualified in 2013. I find it to be a beautiful form of healing, enabling clients to feel their system is being truly heard at a deep level. The work is relational and it is done in states of stillness and calm. 

Learning about research

In 2003 I moved to York to undertake a PhD researching acupuncture for depression, which was funded by the National Institute for Health Research. My motivation to learn about research came from a strong desire to help make acupuncture more accessible to those that cannot easily afford it. I see so many people given antidepressants.  Whilst they are found extremely helpful in some cases many seem to find they are only partially effective. Learning about other ways to help support mood and emotional health seemed to me to be a global priority.

Clinical work and supervision

Over the years I have supported individuals with a wide range of health conditions in many different settings including: the BBC; the Belgravia Surgery; the Stress Project; the Core Trust; the Angel Drug Project; the Hoxton Health Group and numerous complementary health clinics. For the past seven years I have worked at the Serenity Clinic in Harrogate and Miller’s Yard in York.

I have completed postgraduate training in mental health, stroke recovery,  trauma, developmental trauma, addiction, prenatal and antenatal care and fertility support and working with babies and children.

I have ongoing supervision with Franklyn Sills with whom I collaborated for the first Share Ideas film project. His script advice was invaluable and he is one of the true masters of CST. People travel from all over the world to learn at the Karuna Institute, which he co-founded.

I have made a further three healing films with Share Ideas on Five Element Acupuncture, Epigenetics and the Chinese Clock. They can be seen on You Tube on the Share Ideas channel.

I feel so fortunate to have discovered the therapies I work with and it is very humbling to do this work. The more I learn, the more I feel I don’t know – which probably makes little sense – but the fact is that these therapies are tools, ways to help people feel more whole and connected – more on their path or Tao. Each person’s path is so different and its a great privilege to be part of someone’s healing process.