A short history leading up to the formation of ATI
Founding of STAT (Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique) in London.
Founding of ACAT, The American Center for the Alexander Technique in New York.
Founding of ACAT West in San Francisco.
The majority of teachers in the US were ACAT-trained or STAT-trained teachers.
Also by the early 1980s, various national AT societies had already been formed
David Gorman, came up with the idea of forming a world-wide affiliated group of national societies which would all have a similar training “standard” and hence would all recognize each other’s teachers. However, the problem remained of what to do about the “non-traditionally” trained teachers.
David Mills suggests a certification system for the new organization allowing anyone who wanted to be certified by the organization to be evaluated by three senior teachers each of whom had to represent different training traditions.
David Gorman officially establishes North American Society of teachers of the Alexander Technique (NASTAT).
Michael Frederick organizes the First International Congress of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, Stony Brook, NY, which is open to all teachers, regardless of training.
STAT votes to change its bylaws to recognize NASTAT and other national societies as equal “affiliates.” STAT no longer has responsibility for members or trainings in any of these affiliated countries, and all the affiliated societies take over responsibility for members and trainings in their own jurisdiction.
All ACAT-trained teachers and STAT-trained teachers become members of NASTAT.
NASTAT holds its first official full membership meeting and votes in its first Board.
Many non-traditionally-trained teachers apply to join NASTAT and some are accepted. Other non-traditionally-trained teachers do not join NASTAT and are still left feeling the need for an organization they can be part of. Among these will be the people who go on later to form ATI.
2nd International Congress of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, Brighton, UK.
3rd International Congress of Teachers of the Alexander Technique takes place in Engleberg, Switzerland.
THE FORMATION OF ATI
Bruce Fertman, John Macy, Catherine Kettrick and David Mills talk about establishing an “alternative” teachers association at the 3rd International Congress. Meetings are later held in Philadelphia.
Because the Commonwealth of Massachusetts wanted to license anyone who touched a client in the course of their work, and because NASTAT told the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that NASTAT was the only legitimate body of Alexander Technique teachers in the US, Tommy Thompson contacted John Macy and Claudia Vess by phone to see if they were still interested in starting an alternative Alexander Technique professional teaching organization.
Tommy, John and Claudia agree to move forward with Catherine Kettrick, David Mills, John Macy and Bruce Fertman to create a new society based on their previous meetings with other non-NASTAT teachers. A meeting to found a new society of teachers was set for May 1992.
The founding meeting of ATI in Washington, DC. There are 28 people in attendance. Our vision/mission was:
- to continue the collegial spirit of the Congresses;
- to develop the profession of teaching the AT, in particular by defining what the AT was, how it was used, and developing a certification system that was qualitative rather than quantitative in nature;
- to explore the AT and research how it might interact with other disciplines; and
- to bring the AT into the world.
We decided that we would be an international organization, and Eckhart Schopf gave us our name, Alexander Technique International.
ATI’s second meeting, held again in Washington DC. Membership: 59; approximately 30 people attend the AGM. We establish a Conference Committee and an ad hoc Ethics Committee.
Tommy Thompson and others talk up ATI on their teaching trips, with the result that members join from France, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Canada and Ireland.
ATI’s third meeting, in Boston, Mass — Membership is 160; 66 people attend the AGM.
At this AGM, three members introduced a motion to amend the ATI bylaws to establish a system for certifying teachers. The members were deeply divided, with some members wanting to continue the process we had established at our first AGM, namely that the Professional Development Committee develop a means for certifying teachers. Other members wanted to have a certification process in place much sooner. The amendment passed, but only through the use of multiple proxies. ATI is deeply divided. Four of the five members of the Board resign immediately in protest and Tommy Thompson, as the only remaining Board member, appoints a new interim Board until the next AGM.
The U.S. Dept. of Labor recognizes ATI as a society representing the profession of teaching the Alexander Technique. ATI also formally recognizes all the Affiliated Societies.
AGM, Baltimore, Maryland — Membership is 180; 36 people attend the AGM. C.T. Butler presents a workshop on Formal Consensus. We establish an Ethics and Complaint Committee and an ad hoc committee to explore ATI’s decision-making process. The Board recommends and the members vote to make Marjorie Barstow an honorary member of ATI.
AGM, Columbus, Ohio — Membership is 225;
AGM, Phonecia, NY — Membership is 254. We establish an ad hoc committee to study how to make the sponsorship process more accessible and pass a motion to change our bylaws to adopt Formal Consensus as our decision-making process.
AGM, Temenos, PA — Membership is 303; 38 people attend the AGM. We form the Formal Consensus Process Committee.
AGM, Plymouth, MA — Membership is 311; 39 people attend the AGM. This year is ATI’s first Summit.
First meetings held in the UK among ATI, STAT and ITM (Interactive Teaching Method) to discuss regulation of AT teachers. By 2001 PAAT (Professional Association of Alexander Teachers) had decided to join and the name of the group became the Alexander Technique Voluntary Self Regulation Group (ATVSRG).
AGM, Seven Oaks, Madison, VA — Membership is 335; 30 people attend the AGM. Membership adopts a Code of Ethics, and commits to developing it further.
AGM, Spanish Point, Ireland — Membership is 324; 43 people attend the AGM. This was our first non-US AGM. We increase the number of board members from five to seven.
AGM, Spanish Point, Ireland — Membership is 287; 44 people attend. We consent to three proposals related to certification:
- of the 3 people who evaluate a candidate for certification, only one may be the candidate’s primary trainer;
- that the Sponsorship Committee draft a statement about the relationship between graduation from training programs and the ATI certification process; and
- no nominators for a potential sponsor may be a relative of the nominee, and only one person from the nominee’s training program may be a nominator.
AGM, Bon Secours, MD — Membership is 318. We accept parts Two and Three of our Code of Professional Conduct.
AGM, Spanish Point, Ireland — Membership is 336; 64 people attend. Teachers from Hungary come to their first AGM and become Teaching Members of ATI. We discuss at length a proposal from the Board (The Country Proposal) that arose out of concerns that members in different countries need to be able to respond more locally, and could we establish a membership system that takes into account the fact that some members pay dues to two organizations. We do not reach consensus on the proposal.
AGM, Oxford, UK — Membership is 336; 34 people attend. We discuss and consent to several proposals:
- becoming an ATI teaching member is divided into two parts: a demonstration of knowledge (F.M.’s writings, anatomy and ethics) and a demonstration of teaching skills;
- sponsors are now required to be elected at an AGM or other ATI event, with a 60% majority;
- we change how ad hoc committees become standing committees;
- make the ad hoc committee on sponsorship a standing committee and change its name to Certification Coordinating Committee; and
- make the following bylaw changes:
A. establish an Ethics Advisory Committee;
B. require all teaching members to be certified; and
C. commit all ATI members to the PDC process (instead of all sponsors).
AGM, Budapest, Hungary — No membership data available; 76 people attend. Our first meeting in Hungary. We have interpreters for the first time, and recognize many issues around language in ATI. We approve Part 2, Teacher-Teacher Relationship for our Code of Ethics.
AGM, Scottsdale, AZ — Membership is 389; 52 people attend. For the first time we have a pre-day where the Board and committees meet before the AGM starts.
AGM, Spanish Point, Ireland — Membership is 430; 70 people attend. We revise our Vision/Mission statement; we consent to two proposals from the International Committee, one stating that ATI resolves to explore all conceivable ways to become a genuine multilingual and multicultural organization; the second to allocate money for translations of ATI documents; we consent to a list of requirements and recommendations for anyone who wants to become a sponsor.
AGM, Lugano, Switzerland — Membership is 434; 38 people attend. We revise how we elect sponsors and completely revise our bylaws.
AGM, Cape Cod, MA — Membership is 550; 50 people attend. It is ATI’s second summit.
AGM, Madrid, Spain – Membership is 449; 49 people attend. For the first time the pre-day is an opportunity for ATI Teaching Certificate Candidates to go through the Evaluation Process to become a Certified ATI Teacher. The membership passes and adds a fourth bullet point to the ATI Mission Statement: To provide a means for recognizing Alexander Technique Teacher competence and providing certification for those teachers who qualify.
AGM, Boulder, CO, USA – Membership is 422; 57 people attend. Pre-day activities continue and become popular for ATI Teaching Certificate Candidates. A Proposal to change wording from Sponsor to Evaluator was not adopted, but was sent back to the group that submitted the proposal.
AGM, Papenburg, Germany – Membership 380, 80 people attend. The Pre-day is a great success: 17 Candidates meet 6 Sponsors for their Certification Process Sessions. The discussion on change of wording from “Sponsor” to “Evaluator” is continued. The word “Evaluator” receives mixed reviews, and we get alternative wordings, which reflect the advisory and guiding character of Sponsors (“ATI Certifying Sponsor,” “Advisor,” and “Guide”).
The Vision/Mission Committee in cooperation with the CCC proposes a language change for the title “Sponsor” to “ATI Sponsor.” This means that “Sponsor” is now defined through ATI rather than having multiple definitions based off of individuals backgrounds. The certification process itself will be called ATI Certification Process. The Board approves this change.
AGM, Toronto, Canada – Membership is 435; 58 people attend. The Membership adopts the Vision/Mission Committee Proposal to add the word “professional” to our Vision/Mission Statement: Alexander Technique International (ATI) is a world-wide professional organization created to promote and advance the work begun by F. Matthias Alexander.
2014 The Board made the decision to change the name of the AGM to ATI Annual Conference, the reasoning being that the meeting has grown from being a business meeting to a place to learn and exchange work inviting all Alexander Technique Teachers.
Annual Conference, Bordeaux, France – Membership is 395; 65 people attend. The membership votes to form a standing Committee for Continuing Education (Continuing Education Committee or CEC), which will be responsible going forward for designing a policy to provide the members with a means of recording Continuing Education practices with official recognition by ATI.
Annual Conference, Philadelphia, USA – Membership is 415; 81 people attend. A bylaw amendment is passed that allows a Board Chair hold a previous Board position.
Annual Conference, London/Ardingly College, UK – Membership is 406; 83 people attend. ATI votes to establish a set fee for the ATI Certification Process, and to allow for transparent professional payments to ATI Sponsor and to cover administrative costs for the ATI office.
ATI Charter Members
Margaret (Peg) Gummere