H.D. Nicolay is an expert in learning methods and has 20 years experience as an educator, teacher trainer, family therapist and coach. During this time he has been offering on-site programs and training sessions in schools and at teacher trainer workshop facilities, both in the U.S. and abroad. In 1996 he started his own practice in Munich and Berlin, Germany.
He authored a book titled "The Dyslexia Myth: Solving Reading and Writing Problems" which has been published successfully in German and the English version of the book and the E-Book is now available. He developed the Nicolay Method (NM®) to enable children with language problems to achieve good grades in reading and writing.
He developed a specific training program for therapists, teachers and instructors to be able to learn the method and therefore support and teach children error free reading and writing. He trained under Dr. Michael Grinder and Dr. Marshall Rosenberg using the principles of Virginia Satir and others.
The course of my life differs from the usual sequence of "graduate school, obtain certifications, and pursue study and employment". Since it has had a major influence on my current work I have provided you with a brief explanation: As a child I wanted to become a pastor when I grew up simply because I felt at home in the church. It was less important to me what was being preached from the pulpit and I was much more impressed by the atmosphere in the church during the services. I took the entry examination to a school for priests and the results were good yet my writing was poor. I was told that on account of the number of spelling mistakes I had made that I could not be admitted. My world fell apart. But does being a good pastor not depend on much more important things? I was disappointed and confused with the church for using such criteria to select their priests. This experience robbed me of any perspective for my future. What was to become of me? What career should I go after? I was at a loss for ideas and I was deeply disappointed with the world in general. My performance at school began to deteriorate and my circle of friends changed. I now sought out friends who were rebels, who opposed society and even broke the law at times. My parents intervened influencing me to study computer science, saying "that is the future – and will earn you a good salary". Having no perspectives of my own at that point, I agreed even though as a child I was not interested in such technical matters. After finishing my studies, I started a family and then set up a company for electronic security systems where I developed patents and which proved to be a financial success.
At the height of my professional success I become seriously ill and in a near-death experience I envisioned my whole life pass by me. At that point I realized that deep inside myself I was desperately unhappy with the profession I had chosen. I decided to make a change to be "healthy and whole" again and return to my core values which would therefore change my life. It was actually a period of convalescence in a holistic private clinic in Bad Wiessee, Germany when the turning point in my life began to switch from a job to a vocation. I started reflecting some basic issues; What is illness? What is health? What is good fortune? Does life have a meaning or a natural path? I began extensive psychosomatic studies and body-oriented therapies and increasingly got the feeling that I was finding my true direction in life, which gave me the strength and confidence to move forward in a different direction.
Without knowing where the path would lead me, I decided to follow it in this direction as a profession. I sold my company and rid myself of all obligations. My financial independence gave me the opportunity to put together my own study and training plans. I visited individuals and institutions that had tangible results to show: experts in the fields of psychology, pedagogics, communication and behavioral therapy, neurology, brain scientists as well as schools where teachers excelled in the classroom as well as unconventional thinkers and those who thought "out of the box". For me it is actually unimportant what people say or maintain they do – I look only at their visible behavior, what they do and how they do it and what results they achieve.
For my studies, I traveled to several different countries such as the USA, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and India. I still do this for my further education today. I sat in seminars, classes and rooms for therapy. I even lived with people with whom I was studying and completing my internship. I stayed as long as it took for their skills to become my skills. From this I developed my own pedagogical concepts and also those for family counseling. Then I matched these concepts to the German social and educational system.
The challenge of presenting myself to the world without titles but with extensive knowledge and practical experience was a large one. I had demonstrable success with schools, teacher training centers and a number of other institutions. The goal was to have them look at my accomplishments and not the missing titles. The first educational group, which gave me a chance and offered my seminars, was the Bavarian Teachers' Association in Germany. The seminars were well received and further teacher training followed.
I successfully teach practical concepts for successful learning and rapid help with reading and spelling problems, along with promoting the ability to concentrate. I do this in schools as well as in individual sessions with both children and families. In 1996 I opened my own practice in Munich, Germany and I continue work with many schools and in successful teacher training both at home and abroad. I specifically developed the Nicolay Method (NM®) to help children overcome their reading and writting difficulties and to treat dyslexia. Furthermore, I have developed a training program for both therapists and teachers.
Studies and Training
An excerpt of my studies and training courses:
- Seven Intelligences in Education, Prof. Dr. H. Gardner / G. Lazear, Stanford, CA/USA (ED269)
- Humanistic Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, CA/USA here
- Family Therapy Training according to Virginia Satir/Dr. Eduard Pauls, Stanford, CA/USA here
- Special Education, College of Education, Santa Barbara, CA/USA here
- Class management & recognition of learning styles, Dr. M. Grinder & R. Dilts, CA/USA here
- Movement and Learning, Aloka Marti and Joan Sala, Transition School, Auroville, India here
- Hengstenberg Concepts, Uli Tritschler and Ute Strub here
- Non-Violent Communication, Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg here
Traineeships and substitute teacher:
- Oak Grove School, Ojai, CA/USA, 1990–1992
- Waldorf School, Hawaii/USA 1992/1993
- Sudbury School, Sacramento, CA/USA and Maui, Hawaii/USA 1994–1996
- Transition School, Auroville, India 1999 + 2000
- Gentle release of blockages in the spine/nervous system, Dr. M. Mc Bride, Dr. M. Fleischer
- The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education according to Thomas Hanna
- Iyenga Yoga Studies since 1988, Aadil Palkhivala, Rahshid, Michael Forbes
- Meditation training since 1986, Zen Monastery Obama, Japan and Vipassana Centres
Nutrion and Wholefood:
- Fit for Life, H. + M. Diamond, San Francisco, CA/USA
- Dr. Bircher-Benner, Clinic in Zurich, Switzerland