Many people ask how Sophrology compares with other therapies. Here’s a brief guide:
Mindfulness helps us learn to live in the present, to engage with the now. Sophrology does this too. It also allows us to explore and find peace, to draw the positives from our past and prepare for the future – because being at one with the past, present and future are all important. Sophrology uses specific movement and breathing techniques as well as visualization, especially when preparing for major events. Sophrology is very good for people who find it difficult to meditate. It offers many strategies to keep the mind still and present, as we tune into our inner resources to address particular life or health issues.
Psychology: Although Sophrology helps us feel at peace, this does not involve in-depth analysis as with Psychology. Sophrology allows us to reflect and adapt our behaviours as our awareness grows. The transformation arises from repeated practise – a very dynamic way to engage mind, body and emotions. Sophrology suits those who want to solve painful issues or manage challenging situations, but without an in-depth analytical approach. Sophrology and Psychology can, of course, be used to complement each other.
Yoga/Meditation: Many of the practical exercises and the philosophy of Sophrology find their roots in the methodology of Meditation and the knowledge and practice of Yoga. Unlike Yoga, Sophrology does not involve challenging postures or an increase in muscular strength; this makes it accessible for everyone. There is no spiritual connotation to Sophrology but its tools can be used by those who want to work on a path of spirituality.
Relaxation is an excellent way to overcome stress – at least in the short term. Sophrology involves ‘dynamic relaxation’: teaching you how to relax and heal, bringing back balance and energy to your body and mind. This offers a lasting solution to stress that is also empowering, freeing and fun.
Hypnosis: Sophrology has its roots in hypnosis, but the state of relaxation you reach with Sophrology is one where you stay fully in control. It is a state you can reach by yourself, and reproduce on your own, to support you in your daily life. In that state, you are able to gently move, use sitting and standing postures and breathing techniques, allowing you to explore your emotions, thoughts and sensations. Sophrology aims to empower you to become autonomous with the method. As well as learning how to overcome single issues, Sophrology helps you develop a positive attitude to life in general.
Hypnobirthing: For birth preparation, Sophrology teaches relaxation, visualization and breathing exercises to bring about a calm and confident state during labour. Sophrology teaches us to use body awareness – to support preparing for, and dealing positively with, future events. Sophrology also includes specific pain-management skills. Sophrology goes beyond birth preparation, enabling the mother-to-be to access her inner resources and adapt positively to the emotional and physical challenges of pregnancy and motherhood.