Believe it or not, Sophrology has been around for 60 years on the continent.
The term Sophrology comes from the Greek and literally means the science of consciousness in harmony.
SOS = harmony, Phren = consciousness, Logos = science/study
The inventor of Sophrology was a Spanish Neuropsychiatrist called Professor Alfonso Caycedo (1932-2017). Prof Caycedo dedicated his life to developing and refining his unique and structured method, starting in the 1960’s until the 1990’s.
Initially designed as a natural and gentle therapy to help his mentally ill patients to regain their health and improve their quality of life, Sophrology is now used more widely in a variety of contexts, such as in Education, in Sports, in the corporate world and in self-development. This is certainly the case in France, Spain, Belgium and Switzerland.
Sophrology is essentially the result of 60 years of extensive research, observations and enquiry on what makes a healthy and happy life. What an incredible legacy!
Caycedo combined his knowledge of Western medical science and his study and practice of Eastern philosophies to create this unique and rich method aimed at enhancing good health and good living.
From 1965 to 1968, Caycedo and his French wife (also a yoga teacher) travelled to India to learn yogic techniques. He also met the Dalai Lama who introduced him to Buddhist Tibetan meditation. He then spent time in Japan to learn zen meditation. All of these gave Caycedo the opportunity to enrich his understanding of human consciousness and its various altered states. Upon his return in Europe, Caycedo developed the first three levels of Sophrology or as it is also called “dynamic relaxation”.
Caycedo’s work was also informed by the work of:
– Johannes Heinrich Schultz and his Autogenic training (a form of self-hypnosis)
-American doctor E. Jacobson and his Progressive Muscle relaxation
-The philosopher Edmund Husserl and his concept of phenomenology, which gives prominence to the lived, subjective experience of the subject as a valid form of knowledge.