Poise Project Professional Development Team Training for Alexander Technique Teachers & Trainees

Group Class - reaching #1.jpg
Dr. Katz Powerpoint - AT for PD.jpg
Group Class - reaching #1.jpg
Dr. Katz Powerpoint - AT for PD.jpg

Poise Project Professional Development Team Training for Alexander Technique Teachers & Trainees


Click on Course Title for full details

The Poise Project's "AT for Parkinson's" International Initiative: Adapting AT for People Living with Parkinson's and their Care Partners
DATES: Monday, July 1 - Tuesday, July 2, 2019
TIME: 10:00am-7:30pm both days (includes breaks, with an hour and a half for lunch)
LOCATION: La Mama Studios, 47 Great Jones Street, NY NY 10012
FEE: $325 AT Teachers $225 AT Trainees


Space is limited

To train you in the mission and strategic model of The Poise Project so that you can be on regional teams involved in expanding our AT4PD initiative, and also to help launch new target population initiatives.

Please consider joining our long-range efforts! Even if your main interest may be with other target populations than the Parkinson’s community, we want you to join our team effort by being trained in The Poise Project strategic model. It has been three years since our launch, and these two-day trainings are one of the ways that we will be sustainable for this ambitious project. Your participation not only offers you training in best practices for AT for Parkinson’s, but it will support financially our programs and outreach and ongoing research efforts.

To register email monika.gross@thepoiseproject.org


For AT professionals to learn about the particular needs of people living with Parkinson's disease (PlwPD) and their care partners, and to suggest the most successful ways to apply Alexander principles when working with this population.

We will introduce you to some best practices that we've been researching and how they can be presented in group settings. If you are interested in working with PlwPD in your private practice, you will have in depth information about PD and about the one-to-one AT applications for this population..

The training will include a two-hour workshop with PlwPD and care partners from the local NYC community who we will be invited to attend an informal 120-minute workshop during the training day.

In this way the training day participants will be able to have the opportunity to both observe the leader’s work with them as well as have time to work with the group themselves. We will all share feedback with one another afterwards. There will be training sections of shared video clips from people living with Parkinson's and their care partners who have benefitted from AT and are advocating for it as part of our AT4PD initiative, as well as videos from public workshops and from our new “Poised for Parkinson’s” course for PlwPD that we did a recent pilot study of at three sites in North Carolina. We will share the results from that research that was just presented at the World Parkinson Congress in Kyoto in early June.

Participants in this team building day will be able to be part of our regional teams and future program trainings as we roll out programming in 2019 and moving forward.

The training will be led by Monika Gross, Executive Director of The Poise Project, and co-designer of the “Poised for Parkinson’s” AT-based course for PLwPD and their care partners.

Our focus during this training will be on how AT can help PlwPD develop practical skills for more independent self-management of motor symptoms affecting their balance, gait and postural tone, including falls, freezing, forward neck posture and slowed movement, as well as non-motor symptoms such as anxiety, apathy, low volume speech, swallowing, and sleep interruption.

AT can offer PlwPD hope and increase their confidence, independence, and overall quality of life. AT can help them chose optimal postural tone and improve their overall functioning during iADLs (instrumental activities of daily living). It can also give tremendous support and a more positive outlook to the spouses and other family members and care partners of PlwPD and greatly reduce caregiver burden and burnout. Training their care partners at the same time helps them learn how to cue PlwPD when cognitive decline may be present, which is often a later stage aspect of PD.

The last part of the training will include a focus on the particular needs of care partners of PlwPD, and can be generalized to how AT can support care partners in many situations, especially when the care receivers have cognitive decline. It will focus on how to deliver AT in a way that gives practical ongoing skills for care partners to manage the physical and emotional demands of caregiving.

We will cover:

  • Definition of Parkinson's and its symptoms

  • Current research in AT for PD

  • How traditional AT educational methodology can be adapted for this population and some best practices as recommended by AT teachers with expertise in the field

  • Working with middle and late stage PlwPD, particularly when there is cognitive decline.

  • Emotional and psychological considerations when working with individuals with a degenerative disease, both for participants and for teachers

  • The realities of financial concerns when delivering AT for PlwPD and a discussion of how we can work together to find future solutions to remove barriers to access

  • How best to talk about AT to the medical care providers, allied health professionals, and research scientists that you may come in contact with in the field of Parkinson's disease and when advocating for AT for this population

  • Report on THE POISE PROJECT AT for PD initiative and our targeted team presence at conferences and events, including the 4th World Parkinson Congress in Portland in 2016 and the 5th World Parkinson Congress in Kyoto in 2019.

  • How to include care partners to support learning and increase retention of AT principles for PlwPD, as well as to give them self-management skills to address the serious stresses of their own circumstances. Report on THE POISE PROJECT "Partnering with Poise" care partner courses that have been delivered at eight sites across North Carolina funded by the Parkinson's Foundation, and it's IRB research study through the University of Idaho managed by AT teacher and research scientist, Dr. Rajal Cohen.



10:00am-1:30pm Briefing on The Poise Project mission and strategic model, and the AT for Parkinson’s initiative to date (15 minute break included)

1:30pm-3:00pm Lunch break

3:00pm-7:30PM Background on Parkinson’s symptoms and pathology, and current research on AT for Parkinson’s. Begin training in best practices in working with PlwPD (15 minute break included)


10:00am-1:30pm Basic training in best practices in working with PlwPD.

1:30pm-2:45pm Lunch break

3:00pm-5:00pm Workshop with members of the local Parkinson’s community

5:15pm - 5:45pm Debriefing & Discussion re workshop

5:45pm-6:30pm Basic training for working with Care Partners -- not only specifically of PwP but also in general the physical and emotional demands on caregivers, especially in cases of care receivers with physical and cognitive decline

6:30pm-7:30pm Questions, Sharing and Next Steps


The Poise Project administered our first grant from the Parkinson's Foundation in 2017-2018 to deliver an AT-based course for care partners of PlwPD, “Partnering with Poise”, at eight sites in North Carolina. We received a second grant in early 2018 to expand this program into Washington DC. We are currently administering a third grant we received from the Parkinson's Foundation in mid-2018 to design and deliver a new AT-based course for PlwPD, “Poised for Parkinson’s”, at three sites in North Carolina, and a fourth grant in 2019 to expand it to three more locations in North Carolina.

In relation to these programs, we did research projects to measure the efficacy and long term retention of AT training for PlwPD and care partners.

Teachers who participate in this AT for Parkinson’s initiative training will be considered part of the pool of teachers we will draw from for our future class programming and research projects for PlwPD and care partners as new classes are created and regional expansion occurs, as well as being part of the pool of AT professionals trained in our strategic model to assist in community outreach for all our future initiatives.

We are planning 2019 trainings in these courses in North Carolina in July; in California in August; in Budapest and in Basel in September; and in Chicago in October/November.