About Steve Haines

Short biography

I am a bodyworker and author who is deeply interested in pain, trauma and anxiety. I run regular clinics: a week a month in London and roughly two weeks a month in Geneva. You can book direct here

I also teach and travel all over the world. My main projects are in London, Switzerland, Ireland and Scandinavia. There are two main strands to my teaching; helping therapists developing expertise in touch and presence via ‘biodynamic craniosacral therapy’, and, promoting ‘Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises TRE®’ as a simple, but powerful self-regulation tool.

There is much more about me, my philosophy and my training below. Check the video in the footer for an overview from me on pain.


Bodywork Training

I was like a kid in a sweet shop in my late twenties. There were so many exciting courses and models to study. Yoga, led to massage, led to shiatsu, led to zen meditation, led to cranial work.

Four and half years of chiropractic study was an attempt to gain some status and expertise in a degree level course in bodywork. I learnt a lot, but did not find the certainty I craved for or a clear rational model to help people suffer less.

The meditative approach of biodynamic cranial quickly became my passion. The philosophy and practice of non-doing in biodynamics continues to entrance. My first deep understanding of trauma was via my craniosacral therapy teachers.

Understanding trauma has been clinical gold dust. Helping people negotiate dissociative states is the core of my teaching and treating. That, and, helping people navigate a way through persistent pain.

Whilst I am deeply embedded in the world of biodynamics as an author and senior teacher, I strongly feel the field needs some deep philosophical housekeeping. Articles and podcasts on my thoughts on cranial work can be accessed on these links: BCST in 200 words, What is BCST? and Cranial Podcast

TRE Training

I read about TRE in 2010 and got very excited about the changes I felt in my own body after self practice. I flew to South Africa and then Germany and then Norway to train with the founder Dr David Berceli.

I quickly trained as TRE Certification Trainer and became the main person in the UK. Initially it was me and a dog in empty halls in north London. I am now thrilled to have taught TRE to thousands of people in the UK, Ireland and Switzerland. I have trained over 100 Certified TRE Providers – people who can teach others about TRE.

For 2018-2019 I was chair of the TRE Association UK

The groups I ran in London generated amazing feedback. I learnt people search on the web a lot around trauma. www.trecollege.com is my project to develop TRE in the UK and Ireland.

Clinical practice in London and Geneva.

Session work involves light touch, meditative awareness, TRE and education. Sessions are for anybody with pain, anxiety and trauma. There is a lot of ill health and suffering around. Most people initially start with pain, emotional distress, low energy, anxiety.

Frequently stories of Adverse Childhood Experiences emerge (see https://acestoohigh.com) and the goal is learning to meet complex histories and stay embodied and keep moving.

In all the work I do, I meet many people with histories of complex developmental trauma, abuse, anxiety, poor sleep, chronic fatigue and pain. Many report benefit for finding safety in embodiment.

TRE groups and courses are open to anybody to learn skills you can use on your own. My passion for TRE is that it is a low cost self-regulation tool that people can easily learn. TRE can support any other ongoing therapeutic work.

Longer biography

I was a rubbish mechanical engineer in Glasgow and IT systems analyst in the City – I hated office work. I volunteered with people with learning difficulties when I first moved to London – this was a revelation and led to a big career change.

I worked with people with mental health issues for 8 years Mind in Camden and Islington – I did advocacy for people with mental health issues. The inequalities in the mental health system deeply informed my awareness of social injustice and power dynamics of mad vs sane

I got into yoga big time from mid twenties to early forties. This led to the study of massage, shiatsu for 3 years, chiropractic for 5 years and craniosacral therapy 2 years. I shifted in my late twenties to being a full time body worker. There has been a continued fascination on the link between mind and body.

My worldview has been deeply informed by the AIDs epidemic and the activism that emerged in the 80’s and 90’s and continues to this day. In the early days of AIDs dynamics around health advocacy and alternative medicine were life and death realities. Another big shift in me occurred at this time, from hopeful versions of eastern philosophy and energy models, to seeking an evidence base and asking ‘Can you prove that?’

I work hard these days to base all my interventions in science based models. I am a die-hard materialist, Darwinian, atheist, and love embodied cognition and complexity as a philosophical approaches. There is not much room for lazy, fluffy thinking when working with trauma and persistent pain. I am deeply influenced by the trauma models of Bessel van der Kolk and Peter Levine and biopsychosocial model of pain. I am a big reader and have done a lot of short courses and have a long clinical practice on embodied approaches to healing pain, anxiety and trauma.

I cut my teeth as a teacher and trainer in the world of craniosacral therapy. I am now senior international teacher in that world. Together with a colleague, Ged Sumner, I wrote a successful book (Cranial Intelligence, 2010) and co set up www.bodyintelligence.com – we now offer 2 year courses in over 30 cities around the world now. Very cool.

Graphic books on pain, trauma and anxiety and touch, inc award winning ‘Anxiety Is Really Strange’, have been a great success and really helped me clarify my thinking and style of teaching. My goals are: Keep it simple, learn to feel safe by engaging the body more, support people to find agency, creativity and connection.

Steve Haines has been a bodyworker for over 25 years. He is the author of the award winning ‘Anxiety Is Really Strange’, part of a series of graphic books that include ‘Pain Is Really Strange’, ‘Trauma Is Really Strange’ and 'Touch Is Really Strange'. Understanding the science of pain and trauma has transformed his approach to healing. He has studied Yoga, Shiatsu, Craniosacral Therapy, Chiropractic, and Trauma Releasing Exercises TRE®. He teaches TRE and Cranial all over the world. His treatments use movement, education, embodied awareness, and slow touch to help people move more freely and be more present. Steve lives and works between London and Geneva. www.bodycollege.net