If you have spent any amount of time in the Feldenkrais community, doing the work, talking about the work, living the work, you have likely heard a refrain that goes something like this,
"Why don't more people know about Feldenkrais?"
"When will the method go viral?"
Sound familiar? As many of you know, I occasionally create and promote conferences in the world of psychotherapy and work with many students of the late Milton H. Erickson. Many of them have similar fears about Erickson's work. More than one person has told me,
"I worry that Erickson's work is fading away. Fewer people know about him today."
Personally, I think the Ericksonians are way off. Erickson's work has spread to the four corners of the world. He spawned countless modes of therapy such as Strategic Therapy, NLP, Solution-Focused Therapy, Possibility Therapy and his influence is felt by and credited by thousands of people all over the world. There are hundreds of people giving high-quality training based directly and indirectly on the work of Milton H. Erickson and an untold number of psychotherapist, coaches, psychologists and hypnotists using Erickson's work.
And in Feldenkrais community? The last time that I checked there were little more than 100 people training others to acquire the work. And, it would be hard to make the case that there are more than 1500 Feldenkrais practitioners in full time practice.
What makes the difference? Why has Erickson's work spread like wildfire and Feldenkrais' work largely languished in obscurity?
There are many factors to consider. The largest one in my view is that many Ericksonians have publicly recognized credentials that give them the right to have independent practices. That is, many Ericksonians are licensed by their respective state as psychotherapists, psychologists and the like. "Feldenkrais Practitioner" is a term that few people in the public have heard of, and the "licenses" as such, do not have any meaning in the larger world.
However, there is a larger point about the Ericksonian community that has not escaped my attention over the last few years: They write lots of books. In the online Erickson Conference that I organized and promoted last year, I counted over 87 books written by the 20 presenters! And that is just a small sample of Ericksonian presenters. I hesitate to guess how many books have been written by and about Erickson and methods that he has inspired. In a quick search on Amazon, I came up with 1400 different book listings. In the Feldenkrais world? About 200. (Just a quick perusal, my numbers are hardly scientific),
Writing books are important for many reasons. They are promotional tools for the author and the methods he or she is writing about. They keep ideas in the public eye. They keep people talking about ideas. And they establish credibility and authority.
I am not qualified to teach you how to write and publish a book on the Feldenkrais Method. But I recently attended a short, free, online overview of the process by my friend and colleague Bill O'Hanlon and I was thinking about Feldenkrais practitioners the entire time. If you think you have a book in you. And you want to get yourself and Feldenkrais ideas better known in the world, you might want to check it out. Click below to find out more:
We have some authors in the Feldenkrais community. Most notably and recently Anat Baniel. And others who have written books, but not recently, such as Ruthy Alon, Steven Shafarman and the late Jack Heggie, Yochanan Rywerant and Thomas Hanna. And some newer authors such as Lavinia Plonka, Alfons Grabher and others. But where are the rest? How will the Method get better known if it is not in the public eye? If YOU are not in the public eye?
Check out the training if you have a few minutes. It will not dissappoint. In fact, you may want to check out the style and presentation of the training as it could be useful as a way to promote your work, regardless of whether you write a book right now....
cheers - Ryan