The word Sophrology comes from Ancient Greek σῶς / SOS (“healthy”), φρήν / PHREN (“mind”), and -λογία / -logia (“study/science”).
Sophrology is a structured healthcare discipline made of very practical physical and mental exercises aimed at helping people address issues like:
- Chronic pain
- Trauma recovery
- General well-being
- Stress management
- Performance management
It was developed by Professor Alfonso Caycedo, a Spanish Neuro-Psychiatrist, in 1960’s along his personal and professional journey.
Who Can Benefit?
For all ages, at all times along your life
No matter what age you are, Sophrology techniques are available to help you improve your daily situation. A regular practice of those techniques is a crucial condition to reach effective results.
Treating multiple signals
Most pathologies can be treated by Sophrology techniques, starting from signals as basic as crying, to complaints of ailment or discomfort, to fully fledged anatomic or functional manifestations of a disease.
WHY IS IT DIFFERENT:
Sophrology is a blend of Eastern and Western philosophies and practices, and draws on various techniques to bring harmony to the mind and body. The methods of Sophrology are often adaptable to the individual and easy to practice.
- Fosters positive attitude: Sophrology shows you the way to positive behaviour, teaches you the techniques to manage negative or neutral signals and to find your inner resources to turn them into strength/benefits.
- Suited to modern pace and style of life: Once you have learnt about Sophrology techniques, you are able to practise on your own, wherever and whenever you wish to, whether when faced with a specific situation, or in view of handling a new life situation.
- Encompasses the three temporal dimensions: Sophrology techniques dig into your past, present and future experiential projections to set or extract a positive context or perspective. In other words it empowers you to envision and achieve your desired outcome for the future or conversely discern helpful insight from your past and present.
- Addresses a wide spectrum of issues: It helps you to deal with a large number of daily concerns, be that around the search for well-being or personal fulfilment. It is as useful in one’s private and professional life as in the management of daily specific or unplanned situations.
- A personal approach: your treatment protocol is adapted to your own needs and upon demand.
Origins & Foundations
- Ancient Greece (Plato, Hippocrates, Aristotle)
- Far East (Zen, Buddhism, Yoga)
Complementary & Alternative Medical Disciplines:
- Hypnosis (Messmer, Braid, Bernheim, Charcot, Liebault, Erickson)
- Relaxation therapies (Schultz and Jacobson)
Cognitive & Mental Therapy Disciplines:
- Contemporary Neurology (EEG, vigilance, tonus, reflexes, reticular system, central nervous system)
- Psychology (Dilthey, Jaspers, Freud, Jung)
- Phenomenological Philosophy (Hegel, Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty)
- Phenomenological Existential Psychiatry (Binswanger, Minkowski)
MODES OF CONSULTATION:
IN CLINIC SOPHROLOGY
Is a conventional consultation session where the patient physically comes in person to the clinic and has a 1-to-1 session with the practitioner.
For first time patients and early beginners, it is highly recommended to start with an in-clinic session where you would get first hand familiarity with some posture and breathing exercises.
Once a patient is more accustomed to Sophrology sessions, and is keen to continue the pratice, he or she can then choose the option of Distance Sophrology. Because experience and research have shown that a critical success factor when doing Sophrology is to maintaining commitment and continuity, hence we launched the Distance method to help our patients reap the best possible benefit by making it easier for them to attend.
Distance Sophrology is an online method of delivering consultation sessions instead of a physical attendance at the clinic. Digital communication tools such as Skype can be used to conduct the session live over an internet link.
The distance method of consultation makes it much easier for patients to maintain their commitment to the practice as it affords them a more convenient and versatile experience. For example:
- It enables patients to perform the session from whichever location they happen to be in; either from a work environment or the comfort of their own home.
- Eliminates the hassle and expense of commuting/travel.
- In the case of group sessions, potentially offer more privacy and anonymity for patients that don’t feel comfortable conducting the session in close open proximity to others.
The Consultation Lifecycle
STEP 1 - Profiling
Introduction and first opportunity to capture the details of the condition and any relevant history through conversation and enquiry. The practitioner uses his/her experience and training at this early stage to try to uncover any hidden root causes to a condition or simply pin-point the client’s motivation and expectations.
STEP 2 - Setting The Treatment Plan
A personalised treatment plan is set which typically includes a minimum of 4 sessions to establish the foundations of the treatment and anchor the exercises in your life routine.
STEP 3 - Conducting The Sophrology Sessions
You are either sat down or standing up, rarely lying down so that you do not go to sleep! During the session you are guided through by the voice of the specialist. The session is recorded and you leave with the recording sample in order to train at home and in-between sessions. At the end of each training session, a moment is dedicated to writing or drawing exercise; it is meant to make you express your feelings during the session. It also allows setting the session in your conscience. The first session lasts one hour; the following sessions last 45 minutes.
STEP 4 - In-Between Sessions
The candidate is expected to repeat the Sophrology work learnt during the consultation. Repeating sessions is key to rediscover your body, discern its transformation and re-nourish your well-being. You will experience different phenomena during each session, and despite repetitions, each experience will be felt as unique.
STEP 5 - Re-examination
A brief re-assessment of the response to the training is conducted at the end of the set programme to evaluate progress, outcomes, observations and room for improvement.
STEP 6 - Follow-On Consultation
Depending on the outcome of the Re-Examination step, the practitioner will re-adapt and refine the techniques to the agreed goals and re-issue a further programme of sessions if deemed appropriate.