Alba Emoting was first used to train actors during its initial development in the late 1900s. It is now a sought-after and highly valuable technique for use in various professional fields, including coaching and therapy. The Alba Method can be used to facilitate emotion awareness, regulation and transformation. It can also be used to help coaches and therapists better recognize their own and their clients’ emotions.
Alba training workshops focus on teaching participants how to replicate the six respiratory-postural-facial emotional patterns. This is a slow and intensive training process (typically taught over 5-7 days with 4-6 hours of study each day) where participants learn to replicate specific breathing patterns and also isolate muscles in the face and body that organically trigger the basic emotions. Once these patterns are successfully applied by the participant, an emotional induction is felt. Participants then learn to control and master these patterns, as well as apply them to simple daily activities like walking, sitting, speaking, and interacting with others. Throughout this training process participants gain a clear and de-personalized knowledge of how emotions are felt throughout the entire body and how they are expressed in various activities. Mixed emotional states are demystified, because practitioners can now de-construct these complex expressions down to their basic components and recognize where and how the mixes are coming in and being expressed. Participants gain incredible personal insight on their own expressive habits, as well as learn how to read the emotions expressed by others so much more clearly.
Training in the Alba Method can be achieved on various levels, and Alba Associations and Boards indentify their practitioner’s knowledge and allowable use of the technique in the form of certifications. Certification Levels (CL) are awarded from Level One (Personal Use) all the way up to Level Five (Academic Level and Teacher Trainer). After each workshop, participants are informed of their certification level and provided with clarifications on their qualifications and abilities for using, sharing, coaching, and/or teaching the patterns to others. However, it is ultimately up to the individual to determine how they would use this method within their own profession, and ascertain its appropriateness. Nancy Mercer, a therapist and CL1 Alba Practitioner, offers that “both therapists and coaches have strong ethical guidelines that precludes them practicing in a discipline for which they have no training. Navigating this grey area seems to be a normal part of practice. The therapist has an ethical responsibility to use techniques and methods that are appropriate and relevant to the client’s needs and related goals of therapy—so the Alba Method would be used only in this context.”[i]
The Alba method, and the science behind it, is a stand-alone technique that can be used by coaches and therapists toward meeting their unique and discrete goals and objectives. Psychotherapy and coaching naturally overlap and it is up to the coach to be clear where the line might be crossed into therapy.
Coaching can be distinguished from therapy in a number of ways, explains Deanne Prymek, Newfield Network Director of Programs and CL2 trained Alba practitioner.
“Coaching, as defined by the International Coach Federation[i], is a profession that supports personal and professional growth and development based on individual-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is forward moving and future focused. Therapy, on the other hand, deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past which hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with present life and work circumstances in more emotionally healthy ways. Therapy outcomes often include improved emotional/feeling states. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life.”[ii]
Nancy Mercer further explains the distinctions between these two professions by stating, “Therapy can be defined as the treatment of mental and emotional disorders through the use of psychological techniques designed to encourage communication of conflicts and insight into problems, with the goal being relief of symptoms, personality growth, and behavior modification.”
The study of emotions and its direct application to therapy is a fairly new development in psychotherapy practices. Therapist and CL5 certified Alba Practitioner, Juan Pablo Kalawski explains “For decades psychological theories viewed emotions as third-class phenomena, after behavior and cognition. In recent years, psychological science has finally began to acknowledge that emotions are not just epiphenomena but rather serve important functions in organizing thoughts and behavior. Understandably, theories of psychotherapy have lagged behind in integrating the science of emotions into clinical practice. Lacking a theoretical understanding of emotions and specific methods to work with them, therapists fall back on what they know, that is, working with behaviors and thoughts and hoping that emotions follow suit. Slowly, however, theorists have begun to present coherent approaches to working with emotions in psychotherapy.” [iii]
Nancy Mercer offers that good therapy practices incorporate many different approaches, “There are multiple models and approaches to psychotherapy and some are borrowed from other disciplines. The use of Alba in therapy would be an example of this. (Other examples might be Mindfulness, Yoga, Expressive Arts).”
In the domain of ontological coaching, Deanne Prymek clarifies how the coach might use the Alba Method, “The ontological coach embodies powerful distinctions in language, moods & emotions, and somatics. The Alba method is strongly effective in supporting clients designing they’re way forward with specific practices in how they want to show up in emotion & postural stance as they prepare for that meeting with their boss, the board members, or their employees without needing to go in to the past in a therapeutic way.”Newfield Coach and CL1 certified Alba practitioner Carol Harris-Fike, further explains[iv] “Our emotions are influenced by our breath, body disposition, and especially facial muscles. It gets one out of the story and supports a shift if the client wants to go there. I support Alba as another tool for the coach in understanding and identifying emotions (in themselves as well as the client)”
Emotional awareness skills are greatly enhanced by studying the Alba Method. Not only will learning the method help coaches and therapists more clearly understand how they and their clients are expressing themselves, but after more advanced training a coach or therapist can work with a client to become more clear on what they are really feeling and expressing. Juan Pablo Kalawski clarifies this need by explaining, “Some clients can easily identify their feelings, whereas others have great difficulty. Often, clients may only be able to identify being ‘upset’ or ‘stressed’ without further elaboration. A finer distinction among emotions may help clients better identify their associated needs and action tendencies. Alba Emoting provides a clear and physical way to distinguish among different emotions. When a client has experienced the respiratory postural-facial patterns of the basic emotions, he or she is subsequently better able to recognize when those patterns are spontaneously aroused.”
A CL3 trained Alba practitioner can take the Alba Method and its use to a higher level in their practice, if they determine its use as appropriate, and actually coach a client in and out of different emotions and help them become aware of how the emotion really feels in their breath and muscles. At this level of their expertise an Alba practitioner can not only deconstruct the emotional expressions of their clients and more clearly identify if a client is blocking, suppressing, or avoiding emotions, but they can also help guide a client through experiencing the differences between emotional states. Juan Pablo Kalawski points out, “Emotional awareness necessitates actual emotional experience. This process, however, can be blocked by emotional avoidance. Often, clients avoid experiencing painful feelings due to fears of being overwhelmed by them, of being out of control or of not being able to calm down afterwards. Alba Emoting can be a valuable resource in helping clients deal with these concerns. Alba Emoting is empowering, as it provides clients with a tool to step in and out of an emotion at will.”
Therapist, Ontological Coach, and CL1 trained Alba practitioner, Ondine Norman, describes the objective, and non-therapeutic, learning environment established within Alba trainings, “Anytime you explore the emotional realm it can potentially bring up “real life” feelings for people. But the exploration is not a form of psychotherapy nor are any of the teachers of alba emoting therapists. Just as in coaching, Alba Emoting workshops may have a therapeutic impact on people because it creates a safe place to explore emotions and how to express them in the body, but that is not the point of the workshop. The purpose is to be able to explore the emotional realm in a somatic and objective way without a lot of story attached.” [i]
The Alba Method is an incredibly valuable technique that can be used in various ways to support the work of coaches and therapists as they deem appropriate to their practice and within the boundaries of their profession. Laura’s Alba Method workshops in 2015 and 2016 are approved by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) for Continuing Coaching Education Credits (CCEs). Learn more about upcoming Alba workshops here.
(This post is a segment from a larger article found through this link – Alba_for Coaches and Therapists)
[i] Email interview conducted in September, 2015
[i] International Coaching Federation web page and FAQs http://www.coachfederation.org/need/landing.cfm?ItemNumber=978&navItemNumber=567
[ii] Email interview conducted in September, 2015
[iii] Using alba emoting to work with emotions in psychotherapy, Juan Pablo Kalawski, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Wiley Online Library, DOI:10.1002/cpp.790
[iv] Email interview conducted in September, 2015
[i] Email interview conducted in September, 2015
Laura Bond’s Alba Method Workshops approved for Education Credits!
The International Coach Federation has approved Laura Bond’s summer 2015 Alba Method workshops for coaching education credits. This opportunity has been made possible through a joint venture of BreathXpress and Nested Solutions LLC. Two programs of study are available as Part One and Part Two. Participants who complete the program(s) and required supplemental session(s) will receive a certificate for each program they attend from Nested Solutions LLC.
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3-days of introduction, practice, and general application to posture and movement of all six Alba patterns, Neutral, and Step Out. This module will be taught in a mixed group of people having different interests in the Alba Method. Coaches, therapists, performing artists, and people interested in personal growth will attend this training to gain an introduction of the method and acquire a personal understanding and practice of the method for future application to their specialty, profession, or interests.
Coaches use the Alba Method in many ways working with clients, but it is a method which is learned first by the coach in their own body, and most of the learning is somatic and experiential rather than cognitive. The Part One Introductory Course is an introduction to the basics of the Alba method Effector Patterns. Coaches will learn to recognize the way emotions change, and to begin to observe physical cues for moods and emotions, and then how to consciously regulate them. The neutral breathing and step out patterns are specific skills which are easily transferable to clients and are available for coaches to use after this introductory workshop.
Approved by the International Coach Federation ( ICF) for 18 CCE’s for ICF certified coaches. Continuing education credits will require an additional 90 Minute Session in addition to the course to discuss applications of the Alba Method to coaching at the beginner level.
Two different dates and locations for taking the Part One course:
Part Two: Intermediate Alba Course
5 days of intermediate training with detailed application of the Alba Method in a specialty track designed for Coaches and Therapists. This module will start with a mixed group of people having different interests in Alba Method, and will transition into a specialty group comprised of Coaches and Therapists who will work on exercises designed to apply the Alba Method to their professions.
Part two of the training provides Alba patterns in live interactions and direct communications with others. Much of this can be used to design and create somatic methods for use with clients. Participants will also start to recognize more complex mixed emotions than are experienced in the basic emotion patterns learned in part one.
Approved by the ICF for 29 CCE’s for ICF certified coaches. Continuing education credits will require an additional 90 Minute Session in addition to the course to discuss applications of the Alba Method to coaching at the intermediate level.
If you do not need to earn education credits, but want to learn the Alba Method of Emotion Regulation, click here to register for the June workshops or visit http://www.breathxpress.com. And for the May Introductory workshop, click here to register or visit www.robertfertman.com
Want to Learn More?
Robert Fertman has scheduled two free conference calls where you can talk to Laura Bond directly and ask questions about the workshops and the Alba Method. Come join the call!
Wednesday April 1, 2015 at 4:00 PM (EST)
Wednesday April 29, 2015 at 7:00 PM (EST)
All are welcome to learn about the Alba Method and the upcoming workshops.
Join the call: https://www.uberconference.com/rfertman
Optional dial in number: 610-615-1222
No PIN needed
The Alba Method for Emotional Regulation
A Weekend Workshop held at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Philadelphia, PA
May 22, 23, 24 2014
- Shift your emotions in any situation by simply changing patterns in your breath and muscles
- Recognize the emotions you express that negatively affect your health and relationships
- Increase your expressive range and free yourself of limiting habits and persisting moods
The Alba Method is a technique informed by scientific research. It is a safe and purely physical method for emotion regulation. It is reliable, specific and will help open up your emotional availability.
Developed originally in working with actors, the method is also used by many coaches and therapists to help client’s effect life altering transformations. Now, it is also available to the general public, as anyone can use this safe and effective method in their personal and professional life. In this short weekend program, you will learn the basics of the Method including:
- Increase awareness of limiting emotional habits and entangled “ mixed” emotions
- The ability to transform any emotion to a neutral state where no emotion is present
- The ability to turn up or turn down the intensity of your emotions
- The bodily experience of Tenderness, Joy, and Desire as well as Anger, Sadness, and Fear and the ability to shift between these emotions at will
- A body-centered practice that allows you to release emotional energy held in the body
- The ability to confidently observe the emotions, in one’s self and in others, based on breathing and muscular cues
The Alba Method is not a form of therapy and does not address life issues or provide counseling. It is a somatic technique that focuses entirely on the ability to control your own body as the access to your emotions. The program is taught in a series of short experiential sessions that focus on practice of the technique through our direct experience in our bodies.
This program is ideal for anyone interested in greater self-awareness, self-expression, or personal transformation. It will also be especially valuable for actors, coaches, therapists, and body-workers.
Application in-process for CCE credits
Hotel Reservations: A limited number of hotel rooms at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Philadelphia have been reserved for this event.
Acclaimed Australian actress, Louise Siversen, has been studying and practicing Alba for three years now and was recently interviewed by NPR on how she uses Alba in her acting and in her life. To read a summary of the interview, go to this link. To listen to the entire interview go to this link, and listen to “What the Body Knows.” Louise is interviewed in the last 1/3 of the broadcast.
Louise Siversen is working towards her Alba teacher certification and hopes to be the first certified Alba instructor in Australia, at which time she plans to offer workshops and private lessons for those interested in learning the technique. As part of her teacher training development, she plans to work as a teaching assistant in the June 21-27 2015 Alba workshop in Asheville, NC where she has completed most of her training in the technique. Louise would like to extend an invitation to Australians interested in learning Alba to contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to learn the Alba Method, come join us in Asheville, North Carolina this June 21-27 2015. Contact Laura Bond at email@example.com for more information, or subscribe (for free) to this web page and follow us for regular updates on the Alba Method, workshop plans and registration procedures.
The dates are set for the 2015 Asheville, NC Alba workshops!
This year we are offering various levels of instruction, study tracks for specialty areas, and the option to take a short course, full course, intermediate course, and/or participate in Level 1 and Level 2 work within the same week. The workshop will be open to beginners through intermediates (Beginners, CL1 & CL2).
Two Summer 2014 Alba Workshops in Asheville, NC
A BODY OF EMOTION: ALBA/FELDENKRAIS WORKSHOP
Monday, July 21-Friday, July 25, 2014
Instructors: Laura Bond and Lavinia Plonka
This unique collaboration of two complimentary techniques provides an experience like no other workshop offered in either singular method. This workshop is designed for those interested in learning how the Alba and Feldenkrais methods increase an individual’s ability to manage and regulate emotions and achieve full embodiment of personal expression.
Cost: $650 if registered by June 6, 2014, or $700 after June 6
INTERMEDIATE ALBA TRAINING (Limited to people with CL1 Alba Certification or higher)
Monday, July 21 – Friday, July 25, 2014 July Intermediate Alba Workshop_Instructional Hours
Instructors: Laura Bond and Jessica Beck
For those who have had at least 30 hours of Alba training and are interested in refining their pattern work and learning intricate methods for applying the Alba Method to their professional work and life.
Cost: $600 if registered by June 6, 2014 or $650 after June 6th
Location for both workshops: On the University of North Carolina, Asheville campus in the new Sherrill Center 3,933 square foot Dance Studio. UNCA is just one mile from the downtown area of the beautiful destination city of Asheville, NC.
Inexpensive university dorm housing available as well as recommendations for other off-campus housing options Dorm and Dining Information
For more information, click here or contact Laura Bond at breathxpress at yahoo.com
Here is an excerpt from a book I am writing about Alba Emoting. I refer to the patterns with number and letter labels, so as to allow individuals to provide their own subjective wording for the emotional pattern. For purposes of helping you follow through this excerpt of a larger work, 1A is referring to a pattern that evokes a sense of tenderness and has proven to lower blood pressure. The 1B pattern brings about feelings of anger, but in low levels can be read as determined and serious.
Book Excerpt (expected publication date, Fall 2014)
I was having a phone conversation with my cousin and she asked if there was an Alba pattern that might help create a calm environment in her household. She is married and has two young children. She said that breakfast time is particularly tense while she is trying to get everyone fed and out the door. Every morning it turns into a tense atmosphere with the baby crying, her five year old wining, and her husband acting grumpy. I told her about the calming benefits of the 1A pattern and then instructed her on how to do the pattern. I told her to try using this pattern in her own behavior and interactions with her family and see if it made a difference. I told her, “At least it will provide you with an inner state of calm during this hectic morning routine.”
She called me a week later and reported the following:
I practiced the 1A pattern on my own for a few days, until I felt that I had all the elements clearly integrated. Then, I thought I would give it a try around my family. Yesterday morning I started the pattern during my own morning routine and kept the pattern going while I was waking up the children, making breakfast for everyone, and getting us all ready for the day. Would you believe that there was absolutely no wining, crying, or grumpy behavior the entire morning? The baby was smiling, the five year old was singing some favorite school songs, and my husband was telling jokes. I found that I was actually enjoying the entire morning as well! Incredible!
My cousin’s morning household routine was transformed by her own emotional adjustment and changed perspective on the situation. Emotional transformations can also come from learning how to channel aspects of B-patterns as well.
When I first learned Alba Emoting, the 1B pattern was the most elusive of all the patterns for me. I could not feel a true and honest connection with this emotion. I would apply all the aspects of the pattern, but did not feel an emotional induction of this pattern. I actually found that once I moved to high levels of 1B that I had a strong entanglement of sadness. This frustrated me even more, for I did not want to cry through my anger. I desperately wanted to experience pure strong and serious 1B, without tears. It took a couple years of practice and coaching from a certified Alba instructor, but eventually I was able to produce a pure 1B pattern. I felt so liberated by this new-found clarity in my expression of all levels of 1B without any entanglements. Finally I was able to express states of aggression, ambition, insistence, and a “take me seriously” attitude that was not easily available to me in the past. With this newly refined expressive element in my life I definitely felt more confident and had a better ability to stand up for myself when needed.
Did you Know…?
Your perspective on the world around you can change dramatically depending on if you are in an A-pattern state or B-pattern state. Emotion can actually alter our focus and attention. Attention is a valuable instrument that serves as a telescope through which we select, bring into focus, and magnify the stimuli we experience in our world. Executive attention (also referred to as selective and focused attention) reflects the individual’s capacity to select relevant information and to ignore irrelevant information. Certain A-pattern emotions broaden scope of attention and widen the array of thoughts and actions that come to mind in a given situation, providing a person with the “big picture” view of things. However if a person remains constantly in this broad scope of attention it can impair their executive attention, or the ability to focus on specific details. Certain levels of B-pattern emotions provide detailed observation, concentration, introspection, analysis and may promote aspects of emotional growth.
 Wallace, B. A. (1999). The Buddhist tradition of Samatha: Methods for refining and examining consciousness. Journal of ConsciousnessStudies, 6, 175-187.
 Posner, M. I., & Rothbart, M. K. (2007). Research on attention: Networks as a model for the integration of psychological science. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 1-23.
 Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 300-310. Fredrickson, B. L. (2002). Positive emotions. In C. R. Synder & S. L. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 120-134). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Fredrickson, B. L., & Branigan, C. (2005). Positive emotions broaden the scope of attention and thought-action repertoires. Cognition and Emotion, 19, 313-332.
 Mitchell, R. L. C., & Phillips, L. H. (2007). The psychological, neurochemical and functional neuroanatomical mediators of the effects of positive and negative mood on executive functions. Neuropsychologia, 45, 617–629
 Wadlinger,Heather A and Derek M. Isaacowitz (2011). Fixing our focus: training attention to regulate emotion. Pers Soc Psychol Rev.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons and the We Feel Fine Project
I am currently writing and researching for my next book about emotion regulation. As I read about recent studies to support my writing, I find all kinds of interesting information to support why the basic emotions are so clear from person to person, and why our mixed emotions are intricately complex and highly subjective from one individual to the next. For example…
Did you know…?
Not everyone has the same number of facial muscles. Although some research claims there are 43 muscles in the face, recent research has found that many people actually have 40 percent fewer. A study published in the American Psychological Journal found that all humans have the same set of five core facial muscles to express the basic emotions. Then, there are at least 14 additional facial muscles that some may or may not have. This variation of muscles from person to person can explain why the more complex emotions are expressed in so many different ways.
We just completed the summer 2013 Alba Emoting intensive training in Asheville, North Carolina. We had an incredible group of people coming in from various parts of the USA, as well as from Germany, Holland, Denmark, Canada, and Australia! Below are some of their comments, provided by our participants upon completion of the seven-day workshop.
Quotes from Participants of the 2013 Summer Workshop
“Laura is an extremely skilled and sensitive teacher and coach.” Tom Stroud, Associate Professor of Theatre and Film, Canada
“I learned new and exciting things about myself in the process of getting in touch with how to call upon these emotions at will.” Zachary McClaskey, Actor in Georgia
“Laura is an exceptional teacher – the perfect combination of the knowledgeable authority in her field and a winsome guide and coach who safely takes you to new discoveries without any criticism or condemnation. She provided a safe learning environment.” Timothy Wilds, College Professor in North Carolina
“I just love the way Laura conducted the workshop – so much love, caring, attention to detail, clarity, and giving everyone the space and the time they needed.” Amir, Actor in Germany
“I am excited about the applications of Alba to coaching, particularly with people who have habitual moods, to provide an access to new ways of being and acting.” Robert Fertman, training to be an Ontological Coach, in Pennsylvania
“Laura you are a very skilled and attentive facilitator and you have created a wonderful environment in which to experience Alba. I will no doubt use Alba both in my practice and in my life. ” Lisa Dveris, counselor and social worker in Canada
“I feel tremendously excited at the prospect of using the work to assist me, and to encourage my practice to expand. This work has such a profound and accessible quality that could assist so many people. ” Louise Siversen, Professional Actress in Australia
“This was life changing! It was one of the best works of my life!” Michael, a professional actor in Washington, D.C.
For those that are local to the Asheville area, you might be interested in this workshop opportunity.
Understanding Your Emotional Resonance
Laura Bond, an internationally respected teacher of emotional expression and breathing work, will present six 2-hour workshops on Wednesdays from June 12th to July 17th starting 7:00pm at the Center for Spiritual Living, Asheville.
We resonate emotion with every move we make, every breath we take, and every word we voice. Learn about a unique somatic technique that addresses the whole self for the emotionally expressive beings that we are and learn tangible tools for identifying the ‘triggers’ of our various emotional states.
Instructor Laura Bond, teaches this scientifically proven Alba Emoting technique as a somatic approach for releasing and guiding emotions using breathing, muscular adjustments and postural patterns. Participants will learn to increase awareness of patterns that evoke and exhibit specific emotional states, and gain valuable skills for evaluating, clearing and expressing emotions. Mixed messages and chronic emotional conditions that can affect personal health, as well as daily social interactions, will also be explored.
The workshop series will provide interactive exercises where participants will feel and experience emotional patterns through safe and gradual instructional steps in order to facilitate personal evaluation and a clear understanding of a technique that centers around personal control through purely physical triggers.
To learn more about this technique and the instructor, go to http://www.Breathxpress.com
Reservations are required as space is limited to 14 participants. Sign up with Laura Bond in person or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Spaces in the workshop will be held on a first-come basis.
Fee: Love Offering to the Center for Spiritual Living, Asheville during each Wednesday meeting.