The Alexander Technique and Emotional Health

Article added April 20, 2008

I was interested to see an article on the TimesOnline website about the emotional and mental benefits of the Alexander Technique, in April 2008. It raised the question:

Can the Alexander Technique be a treatment for mental illness? As a psychotherapist myself, it is very clear to me how the Technique can play a significant part in the process of emotional healing. Alexander himself saw his Technique as psychophysical, and not simply as postural in nature.

Over the years, I have been privileged to work with a variety of people who have suffered from emotional struggles. They have found that the Alexander Technique has enabled them to work through their problems in an integrated way. The benefit of this approach is that it avoids the split of either working on the mind or the body. This is a false choice. The Alexander Technique works with the whole person; the psychophysical self.

The question arises as to whether an Alexander Teacher needs to be a trained psychotherapist or to have undertaken some training in psychological processes. This is not just an academic question for me, as I run my own Alexander Teacher Training School. The Teachers who go through my training course are required to participate in psychological modules that explore the mind-body relationship. However, it is important to acknowledge that even a thorough Alexander Training does not necessarily equip an Alexander Teacher for working with severe emotional issues.

Perhaps the most important question for an Alexander Teacher who wishes to work with emotional issues is whether he or she has been through their own psychological journey. In other words, has the Alexander Teacher explored their own inner world.

Without this psychological exploration, the Alexander Teacher may not necessarily be able to offer an adequate service for those seeking emotional healing.

If you are unsure about the suitabilityof the Alexander Technique as a form of therapeutic intervention and emotional work, I offer a thorough consultation here at the Alexander Studio to assess your needs. We can then discuss whether embarking on a course of Alexander lessons would be appropriate.

If the reader has any queries or comments about this topic, please feel free to contact me.

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