Qualifications

Joseph R. Lee’s Training

Joseph Lee is an experienced Alexander Technique  teacher trained in the tradition established by F.M.  Alexander and is certified by both the American  Society for the Alexander Technique (Am.S.A.T.,  formerly N.A.S.T.A.T.) and the Society of Teachers of  the Alexander Technique, London, U.K., (S.T.A.T.). He  is also a registered Teaching Member of Alexander  Technique International, (A.T.I.). Joseph received his  Bachelor of Fines Arts degree in Acting from the  Catholic University of America. As an Alexander  Technique teacher since 1991, Joseph has taught  numerous workshops and master classes for arts and  educational institutions throughout the Eastern US. He  is recognized for his lively, evocative and challenging  programs. Though his work successfully addresses the concerns of the public, he has developed a particular  skill in managing the performance problems of  musicians and other performing artists. In his Virginia  Beach studio he focuses his practice on  transformational work with individuals.
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with Joseph R. Lee

Sheila’s Body-Story

Sheila was a kind, actualized, psychotherapist in her  early fifties. She had no chronic complaints or nagging  pains that might have driven her toward taking a  course of Alexander Technique lessons. She was  motivated by the simple promise of expanded  awareness that the work assures. Sheila was an apt  student. The principles were easily understood and she was clearly practicing between lessons striving to  actualize what had been covered.  Within the first lessons a specific pattern of holding  became observable. Her chest was slightly and  unremittingly lifted and her chin was raised in what  commonly would have been judged as regal. This  clearly called for attention, but it was a more subtle  pattern that held my attention consistently. Sheila did  not place her heels on the ground when she walked;  she avoided what is called a "heel strike." I drew her  attention to these initial observations and gently guided  her to rest "into her body."  Lesson after lesson we watched, eased, and  investigated what seemed like a simple movement  problem, but which would not yield. I had successfully  helped clients with much more serious problems, the  client who usually attended right before Sheila was  finally free of tens years of chronic neck pain after only  six lessons. But Sheila’s unconscious habit to brace  upward would simply not yield. Even when my  bewilderment began to give way to professional  frustration, Sheila’s unflappable optimism kept us both  constructively focused.  One day we were focused on walking, again, and as I  was observing her gait as she approached me from  across the studio I realized that I was also trapped in a  habit, a habit of watching that limited my entire response  to her difficulty. My eyes dropped as I introspected.  When I raised them I saw her so clearly that the story  her body was ‘speaking’ became clear. I said, "You know  Sheila, you look like you’re creeping, like you’re afraid to  make any noise." She reeled back and froze. Her hand  
fluttered to her throat then her mouth. With her other  hand she pressed hard into her belly as she bent over  and sobbed. She sank to the floor and sat, like a child,  stifling her groans. After several anguished minutes I whispered to her,  "What’s happening? What are you remembering?" She  couldn’t speak and I waited ten more minutes. "I just  remembered three years of my life that I had  completely forgotten", she quietly spoke. "For three  years, in my early teens, my father was obsessed with  the sound of my walking. He would say, "Don’t walk  like a damn horse!" I would come home from school  and he would follow me around the house making me  balance books on my head and then monitor me to  discover if he could hear any sound from my feet.  Every day for three years!" She quietly sobbed. "How  could I forget three whole years of my life?" she asked  herself. Sheila wanted to pick up the session as soon as she  composed herself. Suddenly her body was malleable.  Her chest relaxed into her back with the gentlest  suggestion. Her neck softened and her head floated  forward like a child rather than an empress, and her  heels struck the ground, without fear or shame for the  first time in forty years.  I have marveled, over the years, at this experience.  What a mystery it is that we will hold so tenaciously to  the life stories and decisions that mold our patterns of  moving and being; the relentless tenacity of our  adaptations to the stress and pain of life that will not  let us go until we hear their story and honor their  purpose no matter how inappropriate their ongoing  demands upon us are. Sheila required only two more sessions. She freed up  and entered into the childlike buoyancy that she has  been envisioning. I still listen for the body-story of  every client. Every time I witness the power of  acknowledging those deep stories, I am humbled by  the power of this profound Work. 

“The Alexander Technique has played an important part in my life. It keeps the body alive at ages when people have resigned themselves to irreversible decline. Those committed to it find they cannot do without it.”

Robertson Davies,  Writer