Alexander Technique teachers show people how to develop their posture and coordination to help bring about improvements in their general health, physical fitness and mental wellbeing.
As a teacher, you would generally work with clients on a one-to-one basis. The technique would involve:
- gently using your hands (known as re-coordination work) to encourage clients to let go of tensions they are creating in their body
- explaining how the technique relates to the client’s condition
- helping clients understand how and why they are not using their body efficiently
- teaching clients how to incorporate the technique into their everyday life.
You could work with clients who simply want to learn the technique for personal development, as well as those who want to address a range of issues, including:
- muscle tension, back, neck or shoulder pain
- posture or balance problems
- poor confidence or high stress-levels
- breathing or voice problems.
Your clients may also include:
- music and drama students who need to improve their vocal technique or posture
- people involved in different sports activities who want to maximise their efforts and improve their flexibility and timing
- pregnant women who need help coping with the rapid physical changes associated with pregnancy.
What qualifications and experience will employers look for?
The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT), the Professional Association of Alexander Teachers (PAAT) and the Interactive Teaching Method (ITM) have details of training opportunities at introductory/foundation and practitioner level. Check the training and development section below for more details.
- Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
- Professional Association of Alexander Teachers
- Interactive Teaching Method
Although there are no set academic entry requirements for STAT, PAAT or ITM approved practitioner-level courses, you will usually need practical knowledge and understanding of the technique gained through individual lessons with a qualified practitioner. Many people become interested in this area of work after personally benefiting from the therapy.
It could be an advantage to have a good general secondary education â€“ an understanding of subjects like biology, anatomy, physiology and pathology would be particularly useful. Previous experience or qualifications in counselling, health and social care or a career related to medicine could also be a good preparation for this work.
Organisations from a variety of complementary therapies, including the Alexander Technique, have worked to create a single (voluntary) regulatory body, known as the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). The aim of the CNHC is to protect the public by registering practitioners, setting standards for safe practice and providing a means of redress if things go wrong.
The register opened to Alexander Technique teachers in 2009, and several professional bodies from within this field have joined together to form the Alexander Technique Professional Association Forum (ATVSRG) to support the CNHC in creating a single register for teachers in the UK. You can apply to join through your professional body or directly through the CNHC website.
- Alexander Technique Professional Association Forum
- Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council
What further training and development can I do?
On a STAT, PAAT or ITM run or approved training programme, you will study subjects such as anatomy, physiology, psychology and the science of movement, and take part in supervised practical work. Courses take between three and four years to complete (check their websites for further details, including a list of course providers).
Once you have completed your training, you can register as a practising member. Being a member of the STAT or PAAT will also give you access to a range of continuing professional development opportunities.
You may also benefit professionally and gain global networking opportunities by joining the Alexander Technique International (ATI).
- Alexander Technique International