Meet Sylvia Schroer

I was born in Hamburg and brought to England with my little brother via the US. My father is the mathematical physicist Bert Schroer.  I grew up in the UK with my brother and mother, as my parents separated when I was very young. I became interested in psychology in my 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 and could not believe I was given this responsible role. I decided I needed more life experience before embarking on a career in the helping professions. 

I spent my 20’s working mainly in the corporate sector – in magazine publishing with a brief foray into film and photographic production at the end. I joined the Samaritans towards the end of this decade, feeling a real pull towards healing work and helping people but not sure which way to go. The impetus to work with East Asian/Chinese medicine came when I was 30. I tried acupuncture, having seen how it had helped a friend. I began having treatment myself and felt a sense of calm well being. 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/correspondences. I wanted to learn more about it – as I felt there was something missing in conventional medicine, especially in the way mental health problems are looked at. 

My professional training

I trained initially in Five Element acupuncture at the College of Traditional Acupuncture in Leamington Spa. I completed further studies with John and Angela Hicks who founded the Reading College. I then went to China 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. 

I was amongst 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 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 with acupuncture and craniosacral therapy.

I qualified in craniosacral therapy in 2013, training in at the Craniosacral Therapy Education Trust.

In 2020 I studied Jing Fang, a style of Chinese herbal medicine.

I learned about the approach of Chinese medicine physician Jeffrey Yuen through post graduate studies with Sean Tuten in 2022 and in 2023 I completed a training with Karlton Terry on the Birth Mask.

Learning about research

I had a fantastic opportunity to study for a PhD in health sciences at the University of York, funded by the National Institute for Health Research as part of a career development programme to bring complementary therapists like me into 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. I gained my PhD in 2009 and subsequently returned to clinical work. 

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. I completed a training to be a supervisor for health professionals with Isobel Cosgrove in 1999 and facilitated supervision groups for a decade.

I have had four years of supervision with Franklyn Sills of the Karuna Institute. I continue to have supervision with Sarah Matheson and mentorship through Our Birth Journey.

Creative work

I have been working with Chinese medicine continually since 1991 but I also have other interests. I followed my mother’s footsteps in 2014 (she was a fashion entrepreneur in the 1960s and 70s) when I started working with ethical fashion and went on to start my own business with a dear friend – Karen Barter. Its called Conscious Apparel.

In 2022 I took an evening class in pottery, discovering I had a natural talent for sculpture. I will be showing my artwork as part of York Open Studios 2023.  

I have made four 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.


Making pottery!

I feel so fortunate to have discovered the therapies I work with and it is very humbling to do this work.  Each person’s path is so different and its a great privilege and honour to be part of someone’s healing process.