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Sophrology, defined as “the pedagogy of happiness” by its founder himself who obviously cannot but speak well of this discipline. It's a neuropsychiatrist Colombian in name Alfonso Caycedo, born in 1932. Let's see what it is, how it was born and in what areas it can be applied.
Sophrology: what it is
Born relatively in modern times, if we compare it with other disciplines, the sophrology was born with the purpose of relaxing both the body and the mind. Alfonso Caycedo, as a neuropsychiatrist, he began to study the states of consciousness and their possible alterations in a therapeutic framework but hypnosis did not convince him that much.
After starting with that path, he then diverted to others by creating, founding, a discipline that can be considered a real "alternative" to hypnosis, competitive and to all intents and purposes interesting to explore. With all the freedom to use it or not.
The first department of clinical sophrology dates back to 1960, Caycedo founded it in Madrid, at the Santa Isabel hospital. Part of what he then put into practice in this discipline, he learned when he was a student of Professor Lopez-Ibor, a great psychiatry, Spanish school.
The Colombian neuropsychiatrist he did a lot of "apprenticeship" also working and studying subjects in coma or with invasive forms of electro-shock and then elaborating his discipline, completely independent from what he studied with classic hypnosis, a new method.
In choosing the term to indicate his new technique, Caycedo wanted to focus on the positive idea of harmony, trying to communicate the real and general purpose of the whole discipline. Indeed "sophrology ”comes from the Greek, from sôs which means“ harmony ”, from phren which means“ conscience ”and from logos which stands for“ study ”.
Beyond this name, which seems to have been chosen by a marketing expert, rather than a ward and laboratory neuropsychiatry, the sophrology is in fact focused on the study of "modified states of consciousness" however, keeping away all those paths that deviate towards mysticism. If we want to somehow imagine the techniques of sophrology, we take as reference those of relaxation and autogenic training.
On an even more practical level, we can learn some exercises with a very clear book, also available online for 6 euros. Is titled “21 sophrology exercises. Relaxation, breathing, awareness, meditation, positive visualization, ”he wrote it Thierry Loussouarn, it is a very concrete guide that shows how this discipline is to be put into practice without too philosophizing.
Even in Italy, for those interested, there is one Caycedian sophrology school, is in Milan and officially carries on the training program of the fundamental cycle to obtain the title of Specialist Master in Caycedian sophrology. It is essential to then practice the profession on a regular basis, without passing for a charlatan.
In addition to Italy, there are schools of Caycedian sophrology accredited and active in Europe, about fifty located mainly in Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland, but the Alfonso-Caycedo Foundation, created in 1989, is based in the Principality of Andorra.
One of the occasions where the sophrology is the time of childbirth, when effective relaxation techniques are needed. Even shortly after giving birth, it will continue to be useful, probably, as it appears to be suitable for preventing or manage the various forms of stress, foreseen or not.
We find the sophrology also applied to children, for educational purposes, due to the ability to develop attention and memory making students less restless and hyperactive on average. In sports, at any age, the sophrology can help concentration on the one hand and motivation on the other.
They can be applied both to individual level, whether in groups the various relaxation techniques, there is no preferential way and it also depends on each person. They also exist more methods, beyond the number of people involved: the static ones and the dynamic ones.
Among the dynamics we find methods that have three phases, the concentrative, the contemplative and the meditative, to get to a state of mental calm in which we also get rid of those muscular tensions of which we are often not even 100% aware.
Returning instead to static methods, among these I mention the "simple sofronization”, Consisting of a physical relaxation phase and a mental relaxation phase. By undergoing this method we will be guided to choose a very comfortable position to then rely on sophrologist who will apply various body relaxation techniques with us while we are lying, breathing. One should reach a state of "wake-sleep" accompanied by a feeling of calm. Is one alert but relaxed state of consciousness from which you wake up slowly, breathing deeply and avoiding sudden movements, enjoying the release from tensions. There sophrology may recall the idea of psychonaut but they are not quite the same.
Another related article of ours that might interest you is the one dedicated to how to vent anger.