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Dublin - Alexander Technique Teacher Training: Working with People Living with Parkinson's and their Care Partners

  • Rua Red South Dublin Art Centre, County Hall, Belgard Square North Dublin 24 Ireland (map)
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Continuing Ed Training Day
Alexander Technique Teachers & Trainees

AT for Parkinson's:
Working with People living with Parkinson's disease (PlwPD) and their Carers


Date: Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Time:  9:00am-5:00pm with an hour break for lunch (Teachers/trainees participants are advised to bring lunch with them if possible)

Who: AT Teachers and Trainees

Led by: Monika Gross & Glenna Batson

Where:  Rua Red, South Dublin Art Centre, County Hall,Belgard Square North, Dublin 24


Cost:  €120 Teachers; €90 Trainees.  

The main objective of this course will be to learn about the particular needs of People Living with Parkinson's (PlwPD) and to suggest the most successful ways to apply Alexander principles when working with this population both in one-to-one and group settings. 

You will learn about the motor and non-motor symptoms of PD as well as the wide variety of PD diagnosis.

Our focus will be on how AT can help PlwPD develop practical skills for self-management of motor symptoms affecting 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 speech volume, 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).

For the second part of the training day, you will learn about the particular needs of care partners of PlwPD. AT can also give tremendous support and a more positive outlook for the spouses and other family members and care partners of PlwPD. Training care partners at the same time as their care receivers helps them be able to better cue PlwPD when cognitive decline may be present, which is a late stage aspect of PD. This training will focus on how to deliver AT in a way that gives practical ongoing skills for care partners to better take care of themselves as they navigate the special physical and emotional demands of caregiving. This training can be generalized to how AT can support care partners in many other caring situations as well, especially when the care receivers have cognitive decline. Outcomes will be shared from The Poise Project's current research study on "Partnering with Poise," an AT-based course for care partners that is being funded by the Parkinson's Foundation.

All participants will have the opportunity to practice working with people living with Parkinson's and their care partners during this Tuesday training day.  Individuals from the local Parkinson's community are being invited to attend an hour and a half workshop with us during the training day. This will give teacher participants the opportunity to practice both one-to-one and group interactions and share and receive feedback from workshop participants.

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The training will be led by Monika Gross, Executive Director of The Poise Project, along with Glenna Batson ScD., PT and Research Consultant for The Poise Project. We will also be viewing two training videos of Dr. Maya Katz, a movement disorder specialist at UCSF, who is a collaborator in our teacher trainings in the US. The first covers basic information about all the stages and symptoms of Parkinson's and the areas that she feels AT can be of particular help. It will include illustrative video clips of particular patient cases. The second covers the special needs of care partners in the Parkinson's setting.

The Poise Project has partnered with Dr. Katz to set up a patient referral program for PlwPD to work with AT teachers in the Bay Area. Teachers who participate in this Dublin training day will be considered to be trained to become part of a pool of teachers we will draw from for any similar patient referral projects and future AT-based group class programming that we are able to establish in Ireland moving forward.

The purpose of this training day in Dublin is to offer AT teachers and trainees in Ireland a specialized training in basic information about working with PlwPD and their carers, both for their private practice enrichment, but more importantly as part of The Poise Project's AT for Parkinson's initiative. We will use the funds from the training fees for administration to help develop future programming in Ireland.

The Poise Project has been developing specific programming for PlwPD and their carers in the US, including patient referral programs, funded group courses and short term workshops. We have received two grants so far from the Parkinson's Foundation to deliver AT-based courses specifically for care partners. Over the next year we will be working to initiate similar programming in other countries.

Monies collected for this training day will assist in making this possible in Ireland. Monika will share the structures created for successful workshops The Poise Project hosted in the US that gathered together the greater Parkinson's community for learning together about AT, including PlwPD and their care partners, as well as medical and allied health professionals, research scientists, exercise trainers, and leaders in local Parkinson's communities.



Space is very limited, so please book early!


Parkinson's Foundation Moving Day® Chicago participant shares his AT "Take Away" in October 2017

Parkinson's Foundation Moving Day® Chicago participant shares his AT "Take Away" in October 2017

Diana Glenn gives an AT "Tune Up" to a care partner at the Parkinson's Foundation Moving Day® Boston in October 2017

Diana Glenn gives an AT "Tune Up" to a care partner at the Parkinson's Foundation Moving Day® Boston in October 2017



Introductions and background on The Poise Project & the AT for Parkinson's initiative in the US, UK and internationally


Basic training for working with PlwPD


Basic training for working with Care Partners (Not only specifically carers of PlwPD, but also the common physical and emotional demands on carers, especially in cases where care receivers have physical and cognitive decline)

1:30pm-2:30pm: Lunch break


Working with small group of invited PlwPD and their carers


Debriefing/sharing about what was observed when working with the PlwPD; Questions & Answers time; Looking towards the future


Some of the topics we will cover:

  • Definition of Parkinson's and symptoms

  • Current research in AT for PD

  • Report on THE POISE PROJECT AT for PD initiative and our targeted team presence at the 4th World Parkinson Congress in Portland OR in September 2016 as well as our continued broad outreach across the US. There were 4500+ international delegates at the WPC in Portland and we want the AT community to feel well prepared to meet the demand when interest in AT is successfully generated amongst this population and more funding is in place for subsidizing programs

  • 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

  • How to include care partners to support learning and increase retention of AT principles for PwP, as well as to give them self-management skills to address the serious stresses of their own circumstances

  • Working with middle and late stage PwP, 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 PwP and a discussion of how we can work together to find future solutions to removing 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


The Poise Project teacher team at the Parkinson's Foundation Moving Day® NC Triangle

The Poise Project teacher team at the Parkinson's Foundation Moving Day® NC Triangle

The Poise Project teacher team at the Parkinson's Foundation Moving Day® Chicago

The Poise Project teacher team at the Parkinson's Foundation Moving Day® Chicago


Your participation in this training day in Dublin is part of the launch of a year-long international project: AT4PD - Alexander Technique for Parkinson's Awareness Initiative. Dan Shepherd, a trainee in Anthony Kingsley's teacher training program in London, reached out to Monika a few months ago to see if The Poise Project could join him in creating a series of "AT for Parkinson's Disease Awareness" (AT4PD) events for media promotion. Together they are leading a teacher training day in London on Saturday, 3 February followed by a 4.5 hour public workshop on Sunday, 4 February.

Beyond this weekend of events in London and Dublin, the longterm goal is to see 2018 as a year for increasing the international awareness of, and access to, AT services for PlwPD and their care partners. If you are interested in supporting Dan's AT4PD project, please contact Dan Shepherd directly by phone in London at  +447714465170  or by email at

To learn more about The Poise Project® and our current and future initiatives to bring AT to broader socio-economic groups and new populations and industries, go to or contact Monika Gross at 1-828-254-3102 (EST GMT -5) or by email at


Questions about the training day?

Dublin Contacts: 

Richard Kinsella 

Tina Kiely 083 1223919

Monika Gross leading workshop for PlwPD and their carers. Constructive Teaching Centre, London. October 2016.

Monika Gross leading workshop for PlwPD and their carers.
Constructive Teaching Centre, London. October 2016.

MONIKA GROSS is Executive Director of The Poise Project, a nonprofit with the mission of maintaining natural poise and continuous personal growth throughout all stages and challenges of life through the principles of Alexander technique (AT).  

The Poise Project is committed to removing barriers and making AT available across socio-economic groups and to those with chronic conditions. It received a $25,000 Parkinson's Foundation 2017 Moving Day® Community Grant to deliver "Partnering with Poise," an AT-based course for care partners of people living with Parkinson's disease, at six sites across North Carolina. We have just been awarded a second Parkinson's Foundation Moving Day® Community Grant for $10,000 to expand our "Partnering with Poise" care partner course to the Washington DC area in Fall 2018.

Monika had her first AT lesson in 1976 and was certified in 1985 in Lydia Yohay's (ACAT) teacher training program in NYC. She is a teaching member of the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT) and Alexander Technique International (ATI), as well as a member of the local regional AT teacher consortium Alexander Teachers of the Mountain Region (ATMR). She is also a Registered Somatic Movement Educator with the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA). Monika holds a BFA in Drama from the North Carolina School of the Arts. 

Monika is co-owner of Form Fitness & Functiona, and has a private AT practice in Asheville and in Charlotte NC. She also offers AT training via Skype or Zoom. 

Phone:  (USA) 1-828-254-3102 (EST)              
Skype: thepoiseproject


GLENNA BATSON, ScD., MA, M.AmSAT, M.ISATT is a Research Consultant for The Poise Project. Glenna is a graduate of Hahnemann Medical University in Physical Therapy. She holds a Masters in dance education and received her doctorate in clinical neurology in 2006. Glenna certified as an Alexander technique instructor in 1989. For twenty-two years, she was a professor of physiotherapy (Masters and Doctor of Science) in America for the North Carolina State University system, where she pioneered a number of research projects in integrative medicine, studying the effects on balance of these different complementary approaches: Alexander Technique and motor imagery for the community elderly and elite dancers, and improvisational dance for Parkinson’s disease. She is Professor Emeritus at Winston-Salem State University and Research Associate Professor in Health & Exercise Science at Wake Forest University.  A Fulbright Senior Specialist, Glenna completed residencies in dance science and Somatics at Trinity-Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London, and the Universities of Tallinn and Tartu in Estonia. Her career has taken her down four intertwined paths: dance, body-mind education (Somatics), human movement science, and rehabilitation medicine. Seeing the art in science and the science in the arts, Glenna has written many articles to unify concepts from these distant disciplines as to ignite interest in the crossing tributaries of knowledge. In 2014, two of her books were published: Body and Mind in Motion: Dance and Neuroscience in Conversation and (as co-editor and contributor) Dance, Somatics and Spiritualities: Contemporary Sacred Narratives. Glenna has advocated for Alexander technique work for many years and has taught in over 13 countries worldwide. In 2015, she co-directed the 10th World Congress for the Alexander Technique at the University of Limerick in 2015. Glenna lives with her husband in Newbridge, Co. Kildaire, Ireland

Phone: +353 085 2549010 (GMT)

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DR. MAYA KATZ is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the UCSF Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation Center. She specializes in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia and other movement disorders. Her research interests include identifying disease modification strategies and improving outcomes for patients treated with deep brain stimulation. She is also interested in developing multidisciplinary clinical approaches that incorporate palliative care principles. 

Dr. Katz obtained her medical degree at Cornell University. She completed her residency in Neurology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she served as chief resident. She then completed her Movement Disorders Fellowship at UCSF in 2013. Dr. Katz is board certified in Neurology and is an active member of the American Academy of Neurology and the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

Phone: 917-374-7649 (PST GMT -8)
Fax: 415-353-9060
Research and Publications:

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THE POISE PROJECT® is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization launched in 2016 to bring Alexander technique principles to new populations, and to increase accessibility across broad socio-economic groups.

Our Mission is maintaining natural poise and personal growth throughout all stages and challenges of life through the principles of Alexander technique (AT).

Our Mission is realized through promotion of the profession, creation of programs adapted for specific populations and industries, and support of cutting edge research in the field.

We use a coordinated team approach uniting individuals who have benefited from AT, industry expert advocates, and AT professionals.