“On the Development of Habit..
- from the viewpoint of the Alexander Technique and early neuromotor patterns of development”
by Gitte Dollerup Fjordbo
- now available again!
isbn 978-87-992025-0-8; EAN 9788799202508
This book is 112 pages and includes forewords by Walter Carrington, Raymond Evans and Lucy L. Brown, Ph.D.
In a foreword for the 2005 re-print of Gitte Dollerup Fjordbo’s thesis on the Alexander technique professor of neuro-science, Lucy L. Brown, Ph.D., wrote :
“Some of us like to analyze our world and ourselves; it is part of our awareness that helps us to adjust to change. Also, some of us wish to extend the Alexander Technique to help those who need rehabilitation as well as to help those who desire ease of normal performance. Finally, many of us find that being attuned to individual differences is important to us as teachers.
This book is for those people.”
The premise of this thesis was Gitte’s experience that the use of `conscious choice´ is not always an option.. – Her experience was both personal after a severe car-accident and professional as she was observing and working with people in rehabilitation. – Although she had been greatly helped herself by the `traditional Alexander-approach´ she felt urged by Alexander’s statement : “I know, I am only scratching the surface..”. Gitte felt the need to search at the edges of the Technique. – In 1992 this search lead her to contend that, if habitual use is built around some sort of delay in neuro-development - or some sort of shock or trauma - the person may be left with only one `choice´ i.e. the automatic, un-reflected, autonomic reaction.
The Heart of all of Gitte’s work has always been and still is : using her own limitations and blockages to understanding more about Human Potential and through helping herself through these and integrating her own experiences, to become better at understanding, helping and supporting people whom she previously couldn’t help. In other words: to be able to utilize personal experiences in a general way and from that to develop a new approach that embraces the wholeness in the human process. Through studying many different aspects of being human, i.e. the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects, Gitte’s approach is one of humility, wholeness and holiness.
Lucy Brown, a curious neuro-scientist herself, is very supportive of Gitte’s work and very appreciative of the newness and visionary thinking that runs through Gitte’s work starting with this thesis. Lucy Brown wrote in her 2005-foreword :
“I think it is an important step to begin to think about the Alexander Technique in modern developmental psychology terms, which can have an impact on rehabilitation practices. What if an abnormal reflex is the movement that is released when the neck is freed in some people? Are these people destined to be poor Alexander students, and maybe never learn? Fjordbo is concerned about people who are “difficult students,” whose development might not have been completely normal, but appears quite normal. Do we all really develop so predictably that practicing undoing results in normal reflexes that support efficient movement? A strength of her writing here is her questions.”
The field of shock, trauma and stress-research is a new and expanding field of research that clearly shows the necessity of embracing both neuro-biological, neuro-motor and emotional development. For a number of years research has proven the close connection between our different aspects; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. - When our functioning is controlled by the oldest parts of our brain - the reptilian and limbic parts, which are the parts that are concerned with mere survival, the newer and more sophisticated parts of the brain - the neocortex and esp. the pre-frontal cortex cannot function properly if at all. – This rules out the possibility of a `conscious choice´ in a given situation and thus in those cases the letting go of a compensatory tension in an Alexander-way may be at best a very difficult task.
Alexander-teacher and Neuro-Developmental Therapist, Ray Evans, wrote in his foreword for the 2005-version of this thesis:
“As far as I know it is the only book that relates the effects that persistent primitive reflexes and subsequent compensatory mechanisms can have on the formation of habits of behavioural response, as we meet them in the practice of the Alexander Technique. It was the result of profound personal experience and a great deal of further research.”
In line with the work of professor Raymond Dart, Gitte has done extensive practical and theoretical work with what she names the `de-rotation approach´ in the Alexander-work. Her approach consciously encompasses all the above mentioned aspects of our being and opens up new path-ways to change and transformation, and addresses possible underlying imbalances in the nervous-system.
In this thesis Gitte introduces the `de-rotation approach´ which she has expanded on ever since, through training as a Neuro-developmental Therapist, certification as a Philosophical Counsellor on the basis of Spiritual and Soul-based Psychology and working in the field of shock & trauma. She trained as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP). – The “promise” of this thesis is that there is “light at the end of the tunnel” also when a `conscious choice´ seems to be beyond our reach. - Already in 1992 Gitte proposed what she called “a New Alexander-approach” and suggested that people with neurological imbalances can be helped through theoretically and practically addressing the nervous-system in its own language and at its own pace. Both philosophy and the latest brain-heart-body research only supports this proposal from 1992. – The contents of this thesis is thus highly actualised today and it seems that the world is now ready to take on board what Gitte wrote in 1992. – Due to several requests Gitte has made the thesis available again as a book after several years of it being out of print; this time with the added bonus of two new forewords by Lucy L. Brown and Ray Evans.
Gitte now travels internationally doing workshops and giving individual sessions in this expanded approach. It is her wish and passion to share her insights and spread the interest in the importance of both the developmental and the emotional aspects of the Alexander-work.
You are always welcome to contact Gitte with questions or comments to the contents of her writings.Gitte travels internationally with workshops and individual sessions. If you wish to have her come to your area, please contact her for more information.
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How to acquire materials from More Dimensions Publishings :
The written materials from More Dimensions Publishings are available through Gitte D. Fjordbo and they are a part of the courses and workshops she gives and can also be acquired through individual contact.
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