What is Sophrology

Created by neuropsychiatrist Prof. Alfonso Caycedo in the 1960s, sophrology comes from the Greek and literally means "study of the balance of consciousness". It is a structured, holistic method that blends effective techniques from Western science (hypnotherapy, positive and cognitive behavioural psychology, neurosciences, NLP, pain management) and Eastern practices (breathing, visualisation, yoga, Zen, mindfulness) in order to bring body, heart and mind in a state of balance, and reach optimal performance and overall well-being. What makes sophrology stand out from other therapies is the specific use of gentle intentional therapeutic movements called dynamic relaxations, and the blend of techniques from different backgrounds - enabling each person to find his own preferences. As a Sophrologist, I guide you to tap into your inner resources to strengthen the connection between your body, mind, and emotions, and I aso provide you with coaching and advice on your lifestyle and habits to optimise your well-being. So one could say that Sophrology is at the crossroad between Western and Eastern techniques, stress management therapy and coaching :)

Sophrology offers simple, effective, and long-lasting tools that can be used on a daily basis; this therapy is open to all ages and backgrounds, for example to:

  • manage stress and anxiety
  • work on emotions
  • prepare for pregnancy, birth, and parenthood
  • prepare for events/interviews/sport competition
  • improve work performance and interpersonal communications
  • sleep better
  • manage pain
  • manage phobia and addiction
  • as a complementary therapy to medical and psychological treatments (e.g. cancer and chemotherapy, surgery, depression or burn-out)

There is growing supporting scientific evidence that sophrology helps with pain, cancer, stress and anxiety, respiratory illnesses and tinnitus for example. This method is being widely used in Europe in numerous settings, such as hospitals, schools, care homes, pain centres, businesses, and in sports. It is reimbursed by health insurance schemes in some countries, such as Switzerland and France.

My Practice: I am trained in the cognitive-behavioural approach of sophrology, which means I also use NLP, coaching techniques, and specific cognitive-behavioural sophrology techniques to tackle phobia, addiction, pain, difficult situations and change/life transitions. I offer personal guidance and simple customised exercises to practise at home between sessions in order to work towards your goal in a focused and efficient way. ‍

It is important to note that sophrology should never replace medical advice and treatment. All sessions are strictly confidential.

Relaxation vs. Sophrology

During Relaxation sessions, you are guided towards a deep state of relaxation: your brain waves slow down, your brain resets its chemistry letting your mind quieten and your body fully relax. Practising relaxation improves your well-being, concentration, regulates stress and anxiety, lessens pains and aches. Sophrology uses relaxation techniques, but it is a structured method that guides you towards a durable, desired change or objective. All sophrology sessions begin with relaxation so that you can be guided in a deep state of relaxation, where suggestions have a powerful, positive impact to guide you towards your inner resources and empower you for life. In both relaxation and sophrology you remain conscious and free to move as you like, and you can choose to modify suggestions .

What to expect during a relaxation or a sophrology session?

A relaxation session starts with deep breathing exercises, followed by a body relaxation technique, and ends with a mental relaxation technique. Sessions last between 30 and 45 min. A sophrology session starts with deep breathing exercises, dynamic movements, followed by a body relaxation technique, a mental relaxation technique, and ends with a specific sophrology technique providing you with a specific resource to reach your objective. Sessions last between 45 and 75min.

Are there contraindications and limits to Relaxation and Sophrology?

There are no contraindications to the practise of relaxation and sophrology. However, since you reach a modified state of consciousness, relaxation and sophrology should not be practised with certain psychiatric conditions where there is an alteration of the sense of reality, e.g. schizophrenia or paranoia. Sophrology can be practised as a complementary therapy to medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, cancer treatment, pain management, etc. In some cases, I may advise you to consult your GP or medical specialist as Relaxation and sophrology should NEVER replace medical advice and treatment.