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A Short Interview with David Gorman

Broadcast live by Eddie Matthews on CJCS Radio
 in Stratford, Ontario, Canada on March 18, 2003

NOTE: This is a transcript of a short live radio interview from March 2003. It has been slightly edited to make the spoken words and meaning read more easily in print.

 

Eddie:
The author, David Gorman, is joining me this morning. There is a seminar coming up that you might be interested in because David is, from what I have understood from others, very good at helping you break some bad habits. Good morning David, how are you?

David:
I’m very good, Eddie.

Eddie:
Thanks for joining me this morning. What books have you been releasing? And you’re currently working on another one, I believe, right?

David:
I am, yes. About twenty-some years ago I wrote a big three-volume text on human anatomy and function with all the details you ever want to have. This one now that I am working on is kind of the companion volume that puts it together from all the bits into one whole so that you can integrate it and actually go out and do things in practice.

Eddie:
So how to you then go from that to helping people who have succumbed to really bad habits trying to break those bad habits?

David:
There are two parallel lines to this. Let me go back and just give you a quick bit of background. After I wrote that book people and were coming to me for help with various problems, so I was becoming a little bit of an expert at helping people. But, it became more clear to me from all the research that the amount of people having problems and the degree of those problems were increasing, all across at least the west anyway—tension, stress, depression, and so on. And you know, Eddie, with the population booming there are just not enough experts to stem the tide.

So, from the late nineteen-eighties I started to look at how to help people become their own expert. To actually be able to have the tools they need to explore their own problems and solve them without having to go to someone else.

Eddie:
And then things like, what? Quitting smoking, biting nails, anything like that? Or something else?

David:
Well, you know, actually any problem—anything that when you are going about in your daily life and you have one of those “arrrgh” moments of pain or tension or conflict or struggle, even the recognition that maybe one is smoking too much or is caught in phobias like the fear of heights. It doesn’t really matter what it is… Whatever someone might recognize in their own life is a problem to them, that they would like to change.

Eddie:
That’s a good point, just in their own life. Is it mind over matter with them?

David:
Actually, funny that you say that, because when we get down to helping people look into what is going on and what is causing their problem, it is often their way of thinking, their way of understanding how they function and how the world works. that is at the root of the problem.

Eddie:
But what you are doing, and please, I don’t mean to diminish it, but do you feel qualified with some of these cases, these people that come to you and do you recommend that they should seek further help from somebody that may be more qualified?

David:
Well, certainly at times if someone has, for instance, a more obvious kind of physical something where they need medical attention, yes, I would certainly pass them along if they haven’t already explored that. But for people going though their lives with some sort of chronic problem that they would like to change then the qualification needed is having a knowledge of the tools needed to track down the cause of their problem and how to change it.

You know, it really surprised me when I started exploring the possibility of people solving their own problems. I had no idea how possible it would be. But, it become clearer and clearer to me over the years that we all have this absolutely incredible heritage of exquisite sensitivity, perception and awareness and an amazing intelligence that allow us to understand the experiences that we are having and make sense out of them. In other words—learning.

Eddie:
But on the other side, a lot of people that do have these habits or problems, they may not realize that they are harming others around them because they seem to have the blinders on.

David:
Well that’s true and you see it is the others around them then that experience the problem. And they are the ones that recognize the problems and they will be the one that are looking for some solution or way to straighten out the relationship or whatever it is that is happening. Always someone is going to register the problem. You see, in a sense, we have a built-in problem detector that wakes us up when there is some sort of issue going on that we need to look at, and allows us to look at it and see what is causing it and see what choices or different ways of going about things might solve it.

Eddie:
But, in a way, when it comes to psychology and what is going on through somebody’s mind, sometimes it doesn’t hit them until they almost hit rock bottom.

David:
Well, that does happen, but that’s fairly extreme, like serious alcoholism or complete burn-out. But at the very least, there are millions of people going around who have problems that are enough to give them a difficulty or in some cases, quite a lot of difficulties, but who aren’t really in the extremes. And a lot of them are very interested in learning and changing.

Eddie:
That’s why it is good that there are support groups around where other people may understand and probably relate to what these people are going through.

David:
Absolutely, and if people can just even begin to share their experiences and find out about themselves and others, there are a lot of clues in what happens to people. In a sense, it is really what the LearningMethods work is. It is getting people to not only look at their own situations, but look around them and possibly even be able to help someone else who they can see things are happening for, but where the other person is a little too stuck in it to know what to do with it.

Eddie:
Is it because many times people are crying out for help and they need someone to talk to?

David:
Yes, it is certainly good to have somebody to talk to. But if somebody who is crying out for help actually had a set of tools or a way to investigate, to systematically explore what’s going on for themselves at these times, they'd be a lot better off. It is not all that difficult to solve some of these quite heavy-duty problems.

Eddie:
Well, the mind you know, is one of those things that… I don’t think we can even begin to imagine what can go on in somebody’s mind you know. We keep hearing about it, and there are so many books that came out and there are so many people that came out with their own ideas. It is just incredible that we are just tapping the surface of the mind.

David:
Well, I’ll tell you one of the most amazing facts that is sort of hidden in something that I suppose lots of people already know. That is that when they do those double-blind drug assessment tests, they give half the group a placebo and half the group the actual drug. Well, it is average that about 25% of the people are helped by the placebo and that’s pretty standard across the board. In terms of the test, the drug has to be more effective than the placebo to be licensed.

Eddie:
Once again it is the mind over matter.

David:
Yes, that’s an incredible fact when you think that one quarter of the people are helped not because of anything they took but because they believed that it is going to help them!

Eddie:
Yes that’s true.

David:
And the really big thing that is overlooked is that if one quarter of people can be helped by their belief alone, how many of problems they have might have been caused in the first place by their pre-existing unconstructive beliefs? That’s what this work is uncovering.

Eddie:
Interesting. David, you have got a seminar coming up. When is it going to be held and where?

David:
The workshop is two days over a weekend on April 12 and 13 here in Stratford. It would be of special interest for performers, actors or singers and so on, who use themselves as their own instrument and who want to learn more about how they function in what they do professionally. And also body-work people or teachers who are helping others with their physical or functional problems. But really it should appeal to anybody who wants to find out more about themselves and go beyond the bits and pieces—this muscles does this or this function happens in breathing—and really understand themselves from the whole level of the feeling, thinking, responding, choosing human being—themselves—in their daily lives.

Eddie:
It sounds very much that you are tapping the inner self.

David:
Yes, right at the level of our understanding and how that understanding is what we use to guide ourselves in life and if the understanding of how we function is off, so will all our functions be.

Eddie:
David, if people want to get information, can they give you a call?

David:
Yup, they can reach me at 519-xxx-xxxx while we are in Stratford.

Eddie:
xxx-xxxx is the number, is that right? OK, so give David Gorman a call if you would like to find out about your inner self. It may be a nice workshop to check out. And maybe take your partner with you. It will be a fun one to do. David, I appreciate your time this morning.

David:
Thank you, Eddie.

Eddie:
And we will talk with you again soon, I hope. David Gorman joins me this morning, and once again here is that phone number: xxx-xxxx. It’s 8:26 on 1240 Radio, CJCS Stratford.

~~~~~~

There is a small biography of personal details about the author below.

 

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About the Author

David Gorman developed the LearningMethods work out of over 40 years of research and teaching experiences. His background is in art and science and a fascination with exploring human structure and function. In the early 1970s he spent many nights dissecting and drawing in the human anatomy lab. In 1981 he published an illustrated 600-page work on our human musculo-skeletal system called The Body Moveable (about to enter its 6th edition) and in 1996, a collection of articles, Looking at Ourselves (now in its 2nd edition).

He happened upon the Alexander Technique in 1972 and was immediately intrigued by its power for change. After training as an Alexander Technique teacher with Walter Carrington in London, David has been teaching that work since 1980, becoming well-known worldwide for his innovations to the work and notorious for challenging the orthodoxy of the profession. He has been invited to teach all over the world in universities, conservatories and training colleges, at conferences and symposia, and with performance groups and health professionals.

In 1982, his teaching was revolutionised by his discovery of a new model of human organisation — Anatomy of Wholeness — with its profound implications about our in-built natural tendency toward balance, ease and wholeness. He extended these insights into a new way of training teachers of the Alexander Technique and from 1988 to 1997 in London, England he trained 45 teachers.

His experiences with his own students and in other training groups made it clear that a huge part of our chronic problems lay not in the 'body' but in our consciousness and habitual way of seeing things and how we misinterpret our daily experiences and then become caught in reaction to these misunderstandings. At this point it also became apparent that his discoveries revealed new premises which in turn implied new teaching methods, so David developed the LearningMethods work to teach people how to apply their in-built intelligence and clarity of perception to their daily experience in order to understand their problems, solve them and more successfully navigate their lives.

Since the beginning of this new work in 1997, David has trained a growing number of LearningMethods Teachers, many of whom are now teaching the LM work in universities and conservatories, and he has now begun a new modular training program for LearningMethods, Anatomy of Wholeness and the Alexander Technique, pioneering new ways to learn and teach via online video conferencing.

DAVID GORMAN
E-mail:     Telephone: +1 416-519-5470
78 Tilden Crescent, Etobicoke, Ontario  M9P 1V7  Canada   (map)