Originally Posted by bud heishman
I believe a bigger psychological hurdle in teaching skiing is "intent" . Many beginner, intermediate and above skiers turn with the intent to slow down rather than go and use friction instead of gravity as their method for controlling their descent. Identifying and changing this psychological intent is key to discovering the joy of expert skiing.
Anxiety seems easily identifiable and treatable to me...?
Bud, we're not talking about 'normal' psychological issues in teaching skiing. We are talking about people with psychological and/or neurological dysfunctions. They are not simply afraid of getting hurt. The true source of their anxiety may be a traumatic event that happened ten years prior. Or it may have no discernable cause at all. People on the spectrum, with TBI or PTSD, or other dysfunctions, their brains work differently than a 'normal' brain, and therefore their perception of the world is significantly different. Inside their heads, two plus two really DOES equal purple. So when you are talking about intent, the demographic we are talking about isn't thinking about using friction to slow down. They are thinking about using friction to learn how to read. Or how to talk. Doesn't make sense to you, does it? It makes sense to them.
And anxiety is by no means easily identifiable. Yes, there are some who will manifest every sign of anxiety. However, there are others who will not show any outward sign of any anxiety, but will be experiencing a severe anxiety attack internally, and due to that will never step foot on a ski slope again. As far as easily treatable, no. Anxiety treatment usually includes a variety of psychotropic medications combined with ongoing intensive psychotherapy, which will usually last years, if not for the duration of an anxiety patient's life.
While we are not psychiatrists (well, some are in their real lives off the mountain), we should have a solid understanding of where are students are coming from. And part of this is having some kind of basic understanding of the possible mental state of our clients.