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2 minute read - Therapy

Normal is the rarest of all states

Apr 19, 2017

TLDR; if you blindly copy an expert you do not learn context, you replicate mannerisms and lose their subtlety. Consciously analyse their actions, learn their skills, and apply them individually in a coordinated fashion.

When you learn about ‘context’ what disciplines do you learn from?

I like to learn from ’therapy’ books because an effective therapist learns to treat each client individually.

“There can be no such thing as a ‘correct standing position’ for each and every person.”

F. Matthias Alexander in “Man’s Supreme Inheritance” 1910

The therapist is also aware that they form part of the context and that their skill sets can limit their ability to help the client when the trained expert “fails to note the distortions which are upsetting the whole economy”.

In order to offset this the therapist has to take the view that “normal is the rarest of all states” and that in some way their observations and models are flawed and not deep enough, and they need to help the client understand their situation more fully and expand their awareness.

The therapist also has to provide their client with the flexibility to handle all the variability that situations and ’non-therapy’ environments will provide because the “question isn’t one of correct position, but of correct coordination… Moreover anyone who has acquired the power of co-ordinating correctly can readjust the parts of his body to meet the requirements of almost any position”.

Working contextually requires that rather than copying what we see and hear (even if it are observing an expert), we consciously analyse what they do. Identify ‘why’ the action they take might be appropriate, what led to the decision to take the action, what other actions might have been taken, could the results of the action be achieved in any other way?

And we also need to master all the skills required in a discipline (“the power of coordinating correctly”) to absorb the variety in the environment and contextually respond effectively and individually.

Quotes from pages 167 to 176 ofthe 1945 Third Edition of “Man’s Supreme Inheritance” by F. Matthias Alexander