Professional Training Program

Traditionally a Feldenkrais Professional Training Program takes four years to complete. With the increasing pace and challenge of the 21st century, the Feldenkrais Institute of Australia is offering an innovative option to maximise quality, whilst minimising expense and time away from work or home. The first South Eastern Australian (SEAUS) Training will offer one module each calendar year in Melbourne. The remainder of the face to face content for each program year will be offered in each of Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Between these modules, students will participate in ongoing learning comprising individual study, study groups and online discussions. There will be an optional fifth year as a transition to practice SeeSchedule for each city for dates and details.

The program follows international guidelines and is approved by the Australian Feldenkrais Guild Inc. and accredited by the Australian Training and Accreditation Board (AusTAB). Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be eligible for certification and membership of the Australian Feldenkrais Guild, or any other Feldenkrais Guild worldwide.

After successful completion of the first two years of the program you will be authorized to teach groupAwareness Through Movementlessons, on a provisional basis. You will be authorized to teach individual Functional Integrationlessons after successful graduation from the full course.

Applicants may apply to attend the program with a “personal use” stream. We offer this option in recognition that some people may wish to engage in the unique learning environment of a Feldenkrais Method program for personal development, without the aim of attaining Practitioner status. In these instances a personal learning contract and level of engagement, will be negotiated between the student and the Educational Director.

Feldenkrais Practitioners who wish to review the whole or part of the program may also apply to do so at half the full fee.

Year One

In the first year of the program, the primary theme is embodied learning – that is learning through the direct experience of thinking, feeling, sensing and acting. To develop your appreciation of the work from the inside out, you are immersed in Awareness Through Movement (ATM). We present the basic tenets of the Feldenkrais Method (FM) and fundamental ideas from associated disciplines ­will be introduced through experiential learning.

You begin by working on sensing yourself – to develop your ability to sense or observe movement and understand the movements. Observing yourself and then other trainees, you will begin to recognize how individuals organize similar actions differently.

Functional Integration (FI) training will introduce the art of making contact and the various ways of touching. Exercises will emphasize developing tactile sensitivity, working with awareness through touch, learning basic skeletal anatomy through experiential exercises, and understanding the principles of movement.

Some of the fundamentals of the Feldenkrais Method will be explored in light of current understandings such as the balance between implicit and explicit learning, developmental themes and the concept of multiple frameworks of understanding.

The online learning modules will cover fundamental knowledge such as human structure and function (anatomy and physiology) to support the experiential learning gained in the ATM lessons.

By the end of the first year, you will appreciate the facets of embodied learning as a self-referential system and begin to apply this implicit learning in your engagement with others.

Year Two

In the second year, the theme broadens to learning to facilitate embodied learning in others via language. You develop an understanding of the grammar and syntax of ATM lessons. You look in depth at a number of classic ATM lessons. You review and elaborate on the themes from Year One. Personal experience and discussion will guide you in reflecting upon what constitutes the underlying structure of a lesson.

You learn how to use your voice as a compelling instrument, how to give instructions and guide a class, as well as how to relate the lessons to activity in daily life. You will teach lessons to each other while being supervised by teaching staff.

In this year, you will also begin to explore the relationship between ATM and FI. “Hands-on” work is introduced through guided activities in pairs and small groups, and from the beginning you learn to translate the embodied learning gained from ATM into powerful and safe self-use, as well as clear observational skills of another person’s organisation.

As your understanding of the Feldenkrais Method develops, you will practice articulating its unique distinctions. Online learning will support your understanding of ATM structure via appreciating the mechanics of movement plus relevant motor control and learning theory.

At the end of the second year you will be authorised to teach ATM to the public on a provisional basis. This will be supported by the development of appropriate professional skills and behaviours.

Year Three

In the third year the theme is facilitating embodied learning via other modalities, in particular using touch as another means of communication. You clarify concepts and refine the hands-on skills needed to achieve competence in FI. These skills develop through active learning and problem solving – a looped process of questioning, exploring, evaluating and directing.

Your perceptual skills (both visual and tactile) will continue to develop as you shift between ‘the ideal’ and ‘the reality’ of an individual’s organisation and movement. Both hands-on and group teaching skills will continue to be developed throughout the year. Inquiry into the teaching of ATM continues into the third and fourth year.

Through a supported project in your own community, you begin to apply what you have learned in real-life ATM classes. As you begin to teach ATM outside the program, we will provide forums for questions, discussions, and evaluations. Other online learning continues to add to your knowledge base in the cognitive and behavioural domains.

You will be giving Functional Integration lessons to other trainees and working with a client from outside the program. In a private tutorial we work closely with you to identify your areas of need and to develop specific, personalized solutions. Continued discussion of the fundamental principles of the FM occurs throughout the next two years, along with the growth of professional skills.

By the end of year three you will have gained experience as an ATM teacher and be developing competencies in the basics of FI.

Year Four

In the fourth year the theme is one of integration – of all the composite skills and knowledge required to be a professional practitioner; of both intrinsic and extrinsic learning; of socialising your work into the context of the broader community. Some more unusual and challenging positions and situations will be introduced in both the group lessons and in the hands-on work. You will continue to explore what constitutes a lesson and to develop your understanding of how it works. You will observe the teachers giving two to three lessons with the same outside person.

The ideas behind a series of lessons will be developed. Special attention will be given to the beginning and ending of lessons and interviewing will be practised. You will be paying special attention to your ability to articulate and present the work at this stage. Your ability to track learning in your lessons and to facilitate the appropriate transfer into function will be developed. Ongoing attention to congruent self-use is facilitated by feedback, ATM and self-monitoring. During year four you will be supervised giving lessons to the general public.

Online learning will support your understanding of the structure of FI (and ATM) and re-visit foundation knowledge gained in earlier years. Specific professional aspects will be explored such as ethics, responsibilities, boundaries and safety, as well as skills related to marketing and business management.

At the completion of this year you will be eligible to graduate as a Feldenkrais Practitioner and the process of lifelong learning starts afresh. To provide a supported transition to fully independent practice and learning an optional fifth year program will be offered.

This will include ongoing online communication and a short face to face component in the middle of the year where you can reflect on your progress and fill the gaps in skills and knowledge that have emerged in your practice. The content will be based on the expressed needs of the participants.