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The Constructive Teaching Centre

Walter Carrington began his training with Alexander in 1936 and worked with him for the next two decades.

He established the Constructive teaching Centre (CTC) in 1960 and together with his wife Dilys built it into a worldwide centre for Alexander teacher training. It became a magnet for new trainees, post-graduates and visiting teachers and many of its graduates have gone on to set up their own training courses.

The school moved to a new home at Imperial Wharf in Chelsea in 2012. It maintains a worldwide list of all its trainees. As a graduate and continuing teacher at the school, I am no doubt prejudiced, but it remains my first point of contact when I am asked to find a teacher in a particular area.

CTC

Links to AT professional organisations

ATE

ITM

PAAT

STAT

ATI

 

 

Finding an Alexander Teacher is easy. The internet, your library, local listings and directories, notice boards can all provide you with the names and addresses of teachers in your area. The question is how to choose the right one for you.

The best way is through a word of mouth recommendation from someone you trust. That is not always possible and this page gives some background information to help you in making the choice for yourself.

One reassuring thing is that the Alexander Technique in itself poses no danger whatsoever. Alexander teaching is extremely gentle. But it is important to remember that Alexander teachers have no medical training. If you have anything that might be symptomatic of a serious medical condition get it checked with a competent medical professional.

It is crucial that you feel comfortable with your Alexander teacher. This can only be established by having a trial lesson. Be prepared to try a couple of different teachers before you make a choice.

It is useful but by no means essential to read something about the Technique before having your first lesson.

Lessons in Chiswick

I give lessons to private pupils at my home in Chiswick. The fee is £30 per lesson of 40 minutes, with concessions where appropriate.

Address: 12 Whitehall Gardens, Chiswick,
London W4 3LT

Phone: 0208 994 1276
Email: here

Nearest Tube stations: Gunnersbury. Chiswick Park
London Overground: Chiswick

How are Alexander teachers trained?

Alexander teachers receive their training at privately-run training schools. The curriculum and style of teaching in each school depend on the head and staff of the school and the professional organisation to which it is affiliated.

All claim to be following in the tradition established by Alexander and transmitted through those teachers whom he personally trained. There were significant personality differences between these early teachers and these are reflected in the styles of teaching of their successors. A little book entitled Principles of the Alexander Technique by Jeremy Chance published in 1998 - but now out of print - discusses the differences between these styles.

Becoming an Alexander teacher is demanding. The usual training course runs for three years. Some schools spread their training over a longer period. A widely accepted rule is that training should include a minimum of 1600 hours. The required standard and method of assessing whether trainee teachers have reached it also varies between schools.

None of this need concern a person looking for an Alexander teacher. But if you are interested in the training and background of teachers, most are perfectly happy to discuss it.

There are also plenty of books about the Technique available. For a discussion of information sources on the Technique click here.

Alexander professional organisations

Alexander teachers have a variety of professional organisations to choose between. Some extremely good teachers belong to none.

The largest professional body is the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT). It is based in London and has links to associated societies in a dozen or so countries. The Professional Association of Alexander Teachers (PAAT) and the Interactive Teaching Method (ITM), are both small UK-based organisations. The Alexander Technique International (ATI) is an American-based organisation with a worldwide membership.

In the UK, despite many differences in their approach to training and practice, these four organisations have agreed to join a common register of Alexander teachers within the government-sponsored Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). A set of National Occupational Standards (NOS) for the Alexander Technique has been drawn up.

In the view of many teachers, the NOS philosophy, which, in its own words, is to "describe competent performance in terms of outcomes", is quite unsuited for Alexander teaching. People coming for lessons vary from top-class athletes to people deeply handicapped as a result of accident or disease. Their needs and aspirations vary so widely that any attempt to reduce them to a common set of "outcomes" is meaningless.

Alexander Technique Education (ATE) is an Australian-based organisation. It has resolutely refused to be drawn down the road of state-sponsored or outcome-oriented regulation. It sees the Alexander Technique as an educational resource, a way of educating people into a better way of using themselves rather than an alternative therapy.

It would be contrary to my aspirations for the objectivity of this site if I did not declare my own membership and support of ATE.