on 17 September 2012
As students in training years ago we had to compare this book (along with others by other authors) to what FM Alexander wrote about his Technique. I found many flaws and errors of understanding and places where the author contradicts herself. Now as an experienced teacher of the Alexander Technique I judge this book to be a very poor one. Liz Hodgkinson describes the Alexander Technique as "primarily a physical therapy which instead of working on the mind, works on the body."
FMA describes the Alexander Technique in "Man's Supreme Inheritance" as a practical tried and tested psycho-therapy which will in time supersede the restricted methods of somato-therapy ie body therapy. He said the exact opposite to what the author suggests. She also describes it as posture therapy rather than a system of learning based on the principle of psycho-physical unity.
Hodginson writes that through concentrating on the body and forgetting about the mind, we can rid ourselves of negative attitudes. So the author suggests that it is some sort of miracle cure for negative attitudes that requires no change of point of view.
This is deeply flawed book and mis-represents the Alexander Technique. I believe that the author was a journalist who had a few Alexander lessons. It's clear from the book that she didn't have anything other than a superficial grasp. The book is just plain wrong in so many places. There are now so many far better written and less misleading books. The best are written by Alexander teachers. This book is probably one to avoid unless you want to read some of the wrong interpretations of the Alexander Technique! Alexander's clearest definition of the Alexander Technique is "My technique is based on the inhibition of undesirable unwanted responses to stimuli, and hence it is primarily a technique for the development of the control of human behaviour". Does this sound like a posture therapy?