Coaches and traditional psychologists must give students space to express themselves, both emotionally and physically. By giving students more space, without interpretation or correction, they are in a better position to experience more self-compassion. So they can get to know more of their competencies and positive strength. This approach provides students with psychological opportunities to gradually gain perspective and continue on a path of healing, change, and positive growth.
However, coaches must be aware of their profound impact, and exercise restraint when stepping outside of their roles. A single comment or correction can have a lasting impact on a student’s life, like throwing a stone into the stillness of a High Sierra mountain lake: many waves of meaning expand within a student’s conscious and unconscious mind, as well as within her body.
Both health psychologists and traditional teachers should avoid getting caught up in the unconscious inner drama of a student’s life. Because the psychological complications and motivations of students are incredibly complex, it is wise to respect appropriate ethical standards in the working relationship. There must be a balance between perspective and compassion.
In the end, there can be no substitute for showing we care. Not only the patient is precious but every human being and every center of human consciousness is indispensable. There is nothing conditional about the importance of our patient. Constantly quoted, you are the central character. Your journey, which began before you even had the ability to think about it, is an amazing one. It doesn’t matter where you come from. In this chaos, you’ve made millions of decisions, you’ve learned, you’ve interpreted life as you see it, and you’ve nurtured as best you can that one conscious being that is you. You may have drifted off and alone, or defeated yourself. Or you labored fruitlessly in the wrong relationship, and you seemed almost buried alive. But your aspirations, like your heart, kept beating somewhere.
Our work as traditional coaches seeks to assist students with their strengths and their struggles for better health. However, the work of maintaining and improving well-being can be frustrating periodically. As you teach, some physical or emotional symptoms begin to fade, while others take center stage.
Both psychotherapy technique and traditional Pilates instruction evolve from fluctuations in the type and degree of emotional difficulties and a person’s psychological makeup. In a parallel track, Romana would sometimes say, the method is right in front of you, when teaching a specific student — a specific body — in the sense that we can discern a deeper understanding of the traditional Joseph Pilates method than the uniqueness of each individual. Therefore, there is a sense that instructors increase their knowledge of the traditional discipline of Joseph Pilates by drawing on the individual’s distinct physical, emotional, and mental characteristics.
Another purpose for both traditional trainers and Health Psychologists is to help our students develop more inner freedom to open unconscious doors and discover diverse aspects of themselves, gaining self-knowledge. In the case of psychotherapy, this process takes place through verbalizing feelings and examining patterns of emotional or behavioral response.
In the case of traditional Pilates, this process occurs by embodying feeling in form. As a result, both disciplines help students gain more patience, tolerance, and appreciation for their life’s journey. It is less important for us to discover exactly what is behind those doors than for students to simply develop their natural propensities for self-reflection, growth, and fulfillment.