Alexander Technique in the community
‘Teaching Alexander Technique in the community’ by Astrid Holm reports on teaching mainly women in Whitehawk, outside Brighton, an area with more poverty and crime than neighbouring areas.
 ‘Teaching Alexander Technique in the community’ by Astrid Holm in STATNews vol. 6, no. 12 edited by Ann James (STAT, January 2004), pp. 20–21.
A construct here refers to the image we construct of ourselves, our sense of self; and includes both mental and physical constructs. It includes similar terms such as self-image, postural model, body memory, body image, body-concept, body percept, body schema, and body map.
F. M. Alexander
Terms such as ‘construct’, ‘postural model’, ‘body image’ were not used by Alexander (these terms probably did not exist at the time of Alexander developing his technique). He referred to ‘sensory appreciation’, ‘concepts’ and ‘beliefs...
Teaching the Alexander Technique in other cultures
‘Sticking to principle - Teaching Alexander in Ecuador’ by Glenna Batson; on teaching a group of artists in 1993 and 1994 in Ecuador and how a different culture challenged the author’s teaching to a new approach.
‘Crossing hemispheres’ by Robin Gilmore contain reflections on teaching at the Kyoto Alexander Program, on language and culture differences which support or hinder the teaching of the Technique.
‘An Alexander way of life’ by Tommy Thompson; on discovering the need to...
‘Fascism and democracy in the human mind’ by Israel Charny compares a ‘fascist’ attitude of the mind – of power, of control, of a singular idea – with a democratic attitude, characterised by complexity, process, diversity, contradiction, paradox.
Democracy and decision-making in Alexander Technique societies
‘Coordinated decision-making’ by Catherine Kettrick and Diana Bradley on using formal consensus as developed by C. T. Butler at the business meetings of Alexander Technique International.
This entry covers driving vehicles (cars, trucks, etc.).
‘Taking inhibition onto the roads’ by Barry Collins; on applying the Technique while training to be an Instructor/Observer with the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
 ‘Taking inhibition onto the roads’ by Barry Collins in STATNews vol. 8, no. 3 edited by Jamie McDowell (STAT, May 2013), p. 19.
This entry covers the teaching of the Technique to children, privately and in schools, and includes parenting.
F. M. Alexander
See F. M. Alexander on education.
The Little School
The ‘Little School’ was first started in London (at Ashley Place) in 1924, and was run by Irene Tasker and, from 1934, Margaret Goldie. The school moved in 1934 to Alexander’s residence Penhill House, Nr. Bexley, Kent, where it provided for boarders. Around the same time The F. Matthias Alexander Trust Fund was set up to look after the educational aspects of his work. A...
F. M. Alexander
On being asked whether Alexander dealt directly with people’s emotional and psychological problems in the context of the training course, Walter Carrington answered: ‘The answer is: no, he definitely did not. He didn’t deal with them at all. I rather think he walked away from it. It was something he didn’t want to recognise or know anything about.’ [For more details see Personally Speaking.]
‘Alexander and emotion’ by Walter Carrington contains recollections of Alexander’s attitude to emotions, in himself and in other...
‘Diversity panel’ by Allyna Steinberg, Fabio Tavares, Emily Faulkner, Renee Schneider and Chyna Whyne reports on a panel discussion organised by the Alexander Technique Diversity Coalition in order to foster a critical dialogue around racial equity and other diversity issues in order to strengthen the AT community.
‘Expand your practice and increase student retention with an eye on diversity and celebrating individuality’ by Aik Hooi Lee discusses the importance of bias and how AT teachers can diversify their practices and reach out to communities in order to...
Ergonomics is here used in the restricted sense of the adaptation of humans for the workplace and the adaptation of work equipment for humans, primarily for the purpose of comfort, productivity and safety.
F. M. Alexander
F. M. Alexander criticised the concept of a ‘correct type of chair’ in MSI:
And I may note in this connection that I am continually being asked, both by friends and unknown correspondents, for my opinion concerning the correct type of chair, stool, desk or table to be used in order to prevent the bad habits which these pieces of furniture are supposed...
Alexander was concerned about education of the young, because many potentially bad habits could be prevented at an early age. He saw the future of civilisation dependent upon development of the conscious and rational powers of children. His views would be regarded as progressive for his times. He writes in MSI:
In this matter of education I am, admittedly, an iconoclast. I would fain break down the idols of tradition and set up new concepts. In no matters do we see more plainly the harmful effect of the rigid convention than in this matter of teaching. We speak commonly of training the...
F. M. Alexander
Alexander wrote on the subject of fear in several of his books, often using the term ‘fear reflexes’, but also referring to ‘nerves’, discouragement, worry, fright (including stage fright), and anxiety.
The most detailed description is Chapter VI in CCC which is titled ‘Unduly Excited Fear Reflexes, Uncontrolled Emotions, and Fixed Prejudices’.
Generally Alexander made three points: 1) that fear is often associated with fear of the unknown (and that this is an instinctual reaction and the origin of superstition), and 2) that fear...
F. M. Alexander
Marjory Barlow said that Alexander ‘thought women were terribly, terribly important. And hardly any men did in those days.’
‘The weaker sex?’ by Richard Gummere are musings on the fact that the majority of Alexander Technique teachers are women and his belief that ‘women could deepen the philosophy of the Alexander world’.
‘The role of women in the growth of the Alexander community’ by Alexander Murray pays tribute to some of the women who were instrumental in the success of the Alexander Technique...
F. M. Alexander
There is a picture of Alexander holding a pen in the slideshow on this Companion homepage. He was a keen letter writer.
In CCC Alexander describes a case with a pupil whom he recommended to take frequent breaks while writing:
A pupil of mine, an author, had been in a serious state of health for some time, and had at last reached the point where he was unable to carry on his literary work. After finishing his latest book he passed through a crisis which was described as a ‘breakdown,’ with the result that even a few hours of work caused him great fatigue...
F. M. Alexander
F. M. Alexander taught several doctors, especially in the 1920s and 1930s. In UoS Alexander dedicates a chapter to ‘Diagnosis and medical training’. Here he writes that
No diagnosis of a case can be said to be complete, unless the medical adviser gives consideration to the influence exerted upon the patient, not only by the immediate cause of the trouble (say, a germ invader), but also by the interference with functioning which is always associated with habitual wrong use of the mechanisms and helps to lower the patient’s resistance to the point where...
This entry covers three issues, using the Alexander Technique to the teaching of foreign languages, how to translate concepts and instructions, and sign language.
The teaching of foreign languages
‘Reducing the fear’ by Margaret Nicolson argues that the Alexander Technique is very useful in teaching languages to adult students, particularly in a group setting where fear and anxiety may hamper learning.
‘On relearning to walk and relearning to talk’ by Harriet Anderson; on applying the Technique to learning a foreign language as a adult; on the potential...
F. M. Alexander’s view on philosophy
At the beginning of the first chapter of MSI, Alexander states that his work is not influenced by a particular school of philosophy:
Speculation as to what first influenced that strange and wonderful development [the evolution of humans] does not come within the province of this treatise, but I should like in passing to point out that the theory and practice of my system are influenced by no particular religion nor school of philosophy, but in one sense may be said to embrace them all.
There is no record of Alexander subscribing to a...
Prison here also refers to jail, dentention centre, correctional facility and similar institutions for incarceration.
‘Changing the Pattern of Behaviour – Outline of a Therapy for Criminal Reform’ by Kenneth J. Maconochie argues that the Mark system and the Alexander Technique ‘in combination, approach nearer than any single system known to being a therapy of criminal reform’. 
Kenneth Maconochie was the great-grandson of Captain Alexander Maconochie (1787–1860), pioneer in Penology, who was the inventor of the Mark System of penal...
As F. M. Alexander maintained that the human organism is a psycho-physical whole, he did not specifically address psychology separate from the use of the self or what generally today is described as mental health issues. However, later (from the 1980s onwards) some teachers of the Technique have argued that teachers should have some knowledge of psychology or psychotherapy in order to better deal with emotional and mental issues arising from teaching.
For individual psychotherapies (and for Alexander criticism of psycho-analysis), see Psychotherapies.
F. M. Alexander on Freudian psycho-analysis
In CCC, in the section ‘Need for Substituting in all Spheres the Principle of Prevention on a General Basis for Methods of “Cure” on a Specific Basis’, Alexander criticises psycho-analysis:
Another form of treatment to which I should like to draw attention in this connection is psycho-analysis. This method has enjoyed a certain publicity in recent years, but in spite of the ‘cures’ which are claimed for it, I am prepared to demonstrate that it is based on the same specific ‘end-gaining’...
The Alexander Technique – as a process for conscious control – is non-religious, but many people have seen similarities and common themes between some religions and some philosophies.
Alexander’s view on religion
At the beginning of the first chapter of MSI, Alexander states that his technique is non-religious:
Speculation as to what first influenced that strange and wonderful development [the evolution of humans] does not come within the province of this treatise, but I should like in passing to point out that the theory and practice of my system are influenced...