Our Work

At the STAR Institute we recognize that health is never lost and is a deep, abiding principle of each person’s essential nature. We seek to support the inherent health and wholeness in each person at the personal, interpersonal and community levels, and assist people in settling their nervous systems in order to experience more balance, vitality and well-being. We offer a diverse assortment of classes, trainings and individual therapies for this purpose.

We also seek to support new human beings in their gestation and birth processes, recognizing that the precious gifts they bring hold the future of our world. We believe that the future is bright if little ones can be nurtured and protected so that they grow up to reach their full potential.

Core Faculty

Gary Peterson, RCST®

Gary Peterson is the founder of the STAR Institute and teaches the STAR Institute’s Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy foundation trainings around the U.S. Gary is a Registered Craniosacral Therapist (RCST ®) and approved teacher with the (BCTA/NA) Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America.

He has been teaching and practicing energetic therapies for over 30 years, and also teaches trainings in his own therapeutic modality (called Settling®). He teaches a variety of shorter workshops and classes in Settling®, Biodynamic Skills, birth imprinting and other therapeutic work with the nervous system.

Gary studied Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy with Franklyn Sills, a longtime teacher and practitioner of the “Breath of Life” model advanced by Dr. William Sutherland. Franklyn Sills is the author of The Polarity Process, Being and Becoming, and Foundations in Craniosacral Biodynamics, Volumes 1 & 2.

Gary also studied Prenatal and Birth Therapy with Dr. Ray Castellino and works with babies, children and adults in private practice. His clinical practice is inspired by his increasing desire to understand and work with the deep causes of suffering found in shock and trauma to the nervous system. To help people relieve the effects of stress and trauma, Gary founded a school and clinic with centers in California and Colorado: The Settling Touch and Resource (STAR) Institute.

Gary’s first book, due in print soon, is titled Settling: Simple Ways to Calm Your Nervous System.This self-help manual gives everyone a unique set of skills and understanding for regulating their nervous system in order to find balance and relaxation. Gary and his wife Bonnie have three grown children and live in Petaluma, California.

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