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Sophrology description

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Relax, unwind and harmonise. The word Sophrology is derived from the Greek words sos (harmony/serenity), phren (consciousness) and logos (science/study). It’s a structured relaxation technique designed to relieve stress and improve overall wellbeing.

How does it work?

Firstly, decide whether you’re a group class or a one-to-one session kind of person. Those with specific problems to work through might benefit more from a personal session, as the techniques will be specifically tailored to you.

Each session is usually an hour long and will start with a chat with the sophrologist. After establishing your particular needs, they’ll guide you through about 20 minutes of mental exercises and gentle movements, encouraging you to locate and eliminate any emotional tension. It’s a mix of Eastern meditation and Western psychotherapy techniques, and ultimately aims to help you become more aware of your inner resources.

The session will end with a phenodescription – a breakdown of everything you experienced while doing the exercises, and you should receive an audio tape of the session so you can practice the techniques at home and learn how to implement them into your daily life. Group classes are usually structured like a course, with about 5 one hour sessions – each one dedicated to a specific theme. The first will always be an introductory class, and then you may move on to stress management, self development, coping with exams or preparation for childbirth. By the end of it, there’ll be nothing you can’t deal with...

Is it for me?

Sophrology can be used by anyone but may be particularly beneficial for the following problems:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Building self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Managing emotions
  • Exhaustion or sleep problems
  • Phobia
  • Depression
  • Preparing for an exam or interview
  • Addiction/quitting smoking

There are also pre-natal Sophrology classes available, or the technique can be tailored specifically for children with problems with concentration or motivation.

Good to know

The technique was created by Professor Alfonso Caycedo in the 1960s, after he became frustrated with treatments given to World War II victims.

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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013

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