The term sophrology means, literally, ‘The Study or Science of Harmonious Consciousness’. It’s a fusion of techniques drawn from modern western neuroscience and psychology with methods used by the ancient wisdom traditions of the east. Sophrology uses visualization, simple postures and physical movement, combined with attention to breathing and awareness, to deeply relax the body and mind, while also introducing a sense of vitality and stimulating the cognitive functions, such as memory, imagination and concentration. Inspired by Yoga, Buddhism, Zen, Neuroscience and Phenomenology, it offers a path of self-development as well as specific methods for improving the quality of life.
It offers great tools for mindfulness meditation teachers, coaches, psychotherapists and healing practitioners to enhance and develop their practice.
In this training we guide you through four levels of experience, which need to be taken in sequence – and you can take as long as you like with each level. Each level is self-contained so you don’t need to complete all four to benefit from what you have learned. Here’s an overview of the training:
The aim of this first level is to foster a more integrated sense of self, so that you feel more at home in your skin and in your body, more harmonious in your thoughts and feelings, more contented, sleeping better, and able to concentrate more effectively. There is a strong emphasis on helping you become more aware of the present moment, rather than constantly thinking about the future or ruminating on the past, and you should find yourself feeling less stressed and anxious, more easily able to relax at will, and you will have created the foundation for a regular meditation practice.
While much of the work of the first level is designed to develop your awareness of your body, the aim of the second level is to integrate this new-found deeper awareness with an enhanced appreciation of your mind - with its capacities for concentration, contemplation, imagination, memory and planning. You work with the power of hope, and in particular with the ability to project your consciousness into the future, to help you achieve goals and create meaningful projects.
In this third phase of the work, you develop your feeling-self, and learn how to incorporate positive experiences from the past into your present awareness and future actions. The movement meditation you learn helps you to integrate your awareness of the outside world into your consciousness, and by working with your sense of time - of the past, present and future - you deepen the process of integrating mind and body, and enhance your ability to work towards your goals.
In Level Four you grow from developing and integrating your own self, to feeling yourself as an integral and meaningful part of all life. To accomplish this, the exercises focus on exploring and then embodying values. These values start to act as guiding lights for your thoughts, feelings and actions - not just at an intellectual level, but within your own physical embodied experience too. Having worked on developing and harmonizing yourself with the first three levels, you are now more free and empowered to give of yourself to others and the world.
So there you have it - an overview of an amazing journey that awaits you, that helps you develop your potential and enhances your well-being. And along the way you will also be shown how to work with specific issues: how to reduce anxiety and stress, how to sleep better, and much more.
You have to follow this programme in sequence, so start with Level One and see how it makes you feel!
Philip Carr-Gomm is a psychologist, psychotherapist and sophrologist, and the author of over a dozen books, including Empower Your Life with Sophrology. He trained with Dorna Revie at the Sophrology Center, and holds a practitioner diploma in sophrology, and is a member of the International Sophrology Federation. He is the founder of The Sophrology Institute and has given sophrology workshops for the Lush cosmetics company, The Flour Pot Bakery group, the Body Holiday St.Lucia, and the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership at George Washington University. His particular interests include working with sophrology as a way of deepening meditation and mindfulness practice, and working with ways to integrate sophrology into coaching and psychotherapeutic practice. See The Sophrology Institute.