Skip to content

Psychotherapy and The Feldenkrais Method

“What you truly learn best will appear to you later as your own discovery.” – Moshe Feldenkrais

“Change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not.” – Arnold Beisser

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” – Carl Rogers

The Feldenkrais method is a gentle and effective approach to improving quality of life. Like therapy, this work is based on trust that – given an opportunity – a person will naturally learn and trend towards what’s better for them. It can be thought of as unconditional positive regard expressed through touch and movement. By becoming more aware of how they move, each person’s movement habits naturally improve resulting in better self regulation, more freedom of movement and more balanced psychological and emotional states.

Advantages of working through movement:
– Movement reflects the state of the nervous system
– Attending to movement can be a healing experience that does not require analysis or interpretation
– It is easier to attend to movement than to thoughts and emotions.

See article Awareness Movement and Capacity for Change for a more in-depth overview of connections between the Feldenkrais method and therapy.

In a Feldenkrais session, each client is met as they are, without an attempt to correct or force any particular outcome. As a practitioner, my goal is to create an environment and facilitate an experience that supports and accelerates a person’s natural tendency towards more balanced physical and psychological states.

“Neuroscience research shows that the only way we can change the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience and learning to befriend what is going inside ourselves.” 
― Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Sessions begin with finding a position that is comfortable for the client (usually lying down). Through gentle touch and subtle movement, the practitioner provides non-intrusive feedback to help increase awareness. As awareness increases, changes naturally emerge from within the client’s nervous system: unnecessary tension is released, breathing becomes easier, and the client’s overall state becomes more balanced. Clients often describe this state as grounded, present, quiet, at ease, and in agreement with oneself.

Clients experience emergent change that happens naturally from within their own nervous system. They feel better without having had to surrender their agency, and therefore can rightfully claim credit for helping themselves.

Unforced, naturally corrective nature of this work makes it a great way to support both therapists and their clients.

Testimonials from Mental Health Professionals:
“Igor is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge of how subtle body movement can be used in healing. He reached out to me because he would like to connect with therapists who use somatic practices. During a recent phone session, I had the opportunity to experience how he gently guides people to tune into small body movements to achieve a deep sense of relaxation and release of tension. I give a heartfelt recommendation for those who are interested in using somatic practices in healing to contact Igor.”Abigail Tischler

“Igor’s gentle, curious nature puts one immediately at ease, and he is clearly committed and passionate about his work. His thoughtful comments and insights gave me a better sense of the Feldenkrais technique, and how it could be combined with psychotherapy to help people connect with themselves and their bodies. I hope to work with Igor again in the future.”Julie Schuck

Further Reading:

Awareness, Movement and Capacity For Change – drawing connections between the Feldenkrais Method and Therapy (published by The Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy)
The Body Keeps The Score – body oriented Article offering an in-depth Introduction to The Feldenkrais method.
Person Centered Therapy developed by Carl Rogers
Paradoxical Theory Of Change
 by Arnold Beisser