Psychological change and the Alexander technique

Armitage, Jocelyn Rebecca

Clinical psychology
July 2009

Thesis or dissertation

© 2009 Jocelyn Rebecca Armitage. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Objectives: The Alexander Technique (AT) is a complementary therapy and holistic approach, which aims to improve psychological and physical well-being. Very little research has assessed the effectiveness of the AT at bringing about psychological change. This exploratory study aims to investigate the psychological impact of learning and practising the AT, and how AT pupils understand the processes underpinning this impact.

Design: A qualitative, phenomenological approach was taken to explore participants' experiences.

Methods: Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants who had experience of learning and practising the AT. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) (Smith & Osborn, 2008).

Results: Participants described a wide range of psychological changes as a result of learning the AT, including increased self-awareness, calm, confidence, balance, presence, and ability to detach from problems. The process of learning the AT was rewarding but, for many participants, was also challenging.

Conclusions: The psychological benefits of the AT are understood in relation to established psychological and psychotherapeutic models. Further considerations and implications for future research are discussed.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Therapies, The University of Hull
Glover, Lesley
Qualification level
Qualification name
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