Overcoming phobias with sophrology
Sophrology is one of the most popular solutions to help relieve anxiety and to overcome phobias. It is often confused with meditation as the relaxation techniques can be similar, yet the two techniques have very different objectives. Let’s explore this practice and the role it can play.
What does sophrology cure?
Sophrology is an approach to personal development that focuses on the study of individual consciousness. This method was created in 1960 by Alfonso Caycedo, a Colombian neuropsychiatrist, and is inspired by different currents such as Hypnosis, Yoga, Zen and Tummo. It is, according to its creator, a “School studying human consciousness in harmony”.
Sophrology is a school of positivity whose objective is to help you establish or re-establish harmony between your body and your mind. Relaxation techniques based on breathing exercises, muscle relaxation and thought management through the visualisation of positive images have proven to be effective in the daily management of stress, anxiety and pain.
Sophrology is about self-development. It helps you through the stages of life that can sometimes be difficult. Through a number of relaxation and mental relaxation techniques, you learn to become aware of your body and mind while associating positive images that allow you to overcome worries about the future. In the case of phobias, sophrology allows you to neutralise the discomfort caused by the phobogenic situation or object and helps you to reduce or even eliminate your paralysing anxieties.
The primary purpose of sophrology is to develop self-awareness, which can then have a positive impact on physical and mental health.
Sophrology is recommended for anxiety and stress management, chronic pain disorders, sleep improvement and better sleep. The practice has also been used in obstetrics and in sports.
How does a sophrology session work?
During a session, the sophrologist is active with you. He takes into account your personal history and your feelings at the time to constantly adapt his work according to your state. It is a made-to-measure accompaniment which is done only between you two. It cannot be done with several people, from a recording or from a distance, because without this exclusive interaction, you will only be able to remain at the stage of relaxation and will not be able to do more elaborate mental work.
The first work consists of bringing up memories in order to better identify your problem and the discomfort it causes. You then build, with the help of the sophrologist, a resource image associating a mental image with soothing sensations. In this way, you will know how to better manage the stress in front of the situations which generate these fears and you will be able to carry out without any fear activities which previously disturbed you.
Be careful, however, sophrology alone cannot cure phobias, but it can make them more bearable in everyday life. It is a method that can help you as a complement to psychotherapy, but in no way replaces medical treatment. Its role is to help you calm down more quickly when you are faced with the object of your fear. It uses techniques that are suitable for all types of people (children, adolescents, adults, the elderly and pregnant women, etc.). Do not hesitate to abuse it, sophrology brings many benefits. It will give you back your confidence and will allow you to find the taste of all that life gives you.
How much does a sophrology session cost?
The price of a sophrology session is freely fixed by the sophrologist. It is generally around 50$. Depending on the practitioner trained in this practice, the sophrological exercises may also be part of a session in another discipline (medicine, psychology, psychoanalysis, hypnosis).
Is sophrology reimbursed?
Sophrology and the profession of sophrologist are not recognised as medical professions in France and are therefore not reimbursed as such by the Assurance Maladie. If sophrology exercises are part of a general medical or psychiatric consultation, however, it is possible that the session will be reimbursed.
Apart from that, some mutual health insurance companies offer reimbursement for psychotherapy and so-called “alternative medicine” sessions. You will have to ask your mutual insurance company for information.
When to see a sophrologist?
Sophrology is a method that helps to find reference points and to anchor one’s consciousness thanks to a better understanding of one’s functioning. It is ideally used in parallel with other therapeutic methods to facilitate progress. Sophrology is a good tool to relieve and make it easier to work through difficulties.
If you don’t think you have the resources to undertake therapy or feel stuck in your therapy or in your understanding of yourself, then it may be beneficial to make an appointment with a sophrologist.
Apart from pathologies and psychological suffering, sophrology can be a good tool for personal development, to know oneself better, to know the strengths and weaknesses of one’s consciousness in relation to one’s life history, and thus to better build the path for the rest of one’s life.