Alexander Technique Story Project

A collection of stories from people who have experienced important psychosocial changes linked to the practice of the Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique Story Project is a piece of qualitative research examining the impact of Alexander Technique (AT) lessons on participants’ psychosocial identity.

By psychosocial changes (PC) we mean changes that have occurred in a person's self-image, relationship to oneself and relationship with others. For example, a person’s inner wellbeing, availability of emotions, healing of past traumas, ability to manage depressing or anxiety-producing stimuli, sexual orientation, work identity, introvert/extravert etc. 

 

The AT work is psychophysical, as F.M. Alexander says it is impossibleto separate “mental” and “physical” processes in any form of human activity (Alexander, Use of the Self 1932, 1985). For the sake of clarity we are using the word psychological without always reminding about the connection also to physical. Primarily the Alexander Technique practice is about the Self, but the changes it brings about often manifest also socially and in relationship to others. 

The AT is a powerful and unique educational method. We started the research with an assumption that the work can launch sometimes surprising thunderbolt-like psychosocial changes, and therefore wanted to create a source of support in the form of stories, hence the AT Story Project. Following three years of work, we created a 38- minute video of the stories and our research results, including practical information for teachers about the important psychosocial changes. 

 

Method

A short survey of 12 questions is send to Alexander Technique teachers worldwide to collect information and personal stories (1st person testimonies) about important psychosocial changes resulting from their practicing the Alexander Technique. Our intention is to publish a booklet of stories to provide insight and potential support for Alexander Technique students, trainees and their teachers. 

 

In Defense of First Person Report as a Methodology

Though once dismissed as “unscientific”, first person observation has returned to psychological legitimacy, especially in light of the work of Francisco Varella.  Study of the subjective experience of trained reporters has been the focus of the “Embodied Mind Project”, launched in recent years by Rachel Zahn. 

 

Survey

A short English-language survey is send to Alexander Technique teachers worldwide to collect stories and invitations to identify subjects for recorded Skype interviews.

LINK to the survey.

 

Procedure

People who agree to be interviewed or who are willing to send us their stories by email, will be sent an interview protocol with information about the content of the interview. They will also be asked for permission for publication. The participants/interviewees will have the final-word editing rights to their stories. In other words, nothing will be shared in any public medium until it has been approved by the participant. We give this assurance in order to create openness and trust in the respondents, since the material shared is almost certainly going to be highly personal.

 

Privacy

If we succeed in publishing stories we collect, great care will be taken to ensure the privacy of the respondent and any others mentioned. Names, home cities, and any identifying features will be changed unless the respondent prefers to be identified.

 

Publication

If the results of this survey suggest that important psychosocial changes occur amongst people who practice the Alexander Technique, and further, if the stories we collect are such that they could work as comforting examples of a personal transformation process, we are hoping to publish the data either in book, journal or online form.

 

Participating societies:

AmSAT          American Society for Alexander Technique 

ATI                  Alexander Technique International

AUSTAT          Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique 
DFLAT            Daenmark (Dansk Forening af Laerere i Alexander Teknik)
APTA              France (Association des professeurs de la Technique F.M. Alexander)
ISTAT              Israel (The Society of teachers of the Alexander Technique Israel)
NeVLAT          The Netherlands (De Nederlandse Vereninging van Leraren in de Alexander Techniek)
ATTSNZ          Alexander Technique Teacher's Society of New Zealand
NFLAT            Norway (Norsk Forening for Laerere i Alexanderteknikk)
SASTAT          South African Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
SBAT/APSTA Switzerland (Schweizerische Berufsverband der Alexander Technik)