WHO I AM
My name is Deborah Monje-Jelfs and I am a qualified sophrology practitioner based in Canterbury. Created over 50 years ago in Switzerland, sophrology is a therapeutic life-balancing technique that can be used on a 1 to 1 basis or with groups. It involves a powerful blend of Western and Eastern relaxation techniques and was designed to bring real and lasting harmony to the mind and body.
Help in other languages
A qualified French and Spanish teacher, I have lived and worked both in Europe and South America, teaching all levels and age groups. I am happy to work with you in either French or Spanish if this makes you more comfortable …… “Con mucho gusto!” “Avec plaisir!”
I graduated from the London Institute of Education in 1992 to teach Modern Languages and have spent the last 20 years teaching French and Spanish in the UK and, more recently, English language and literature at the French Lycee in Bogota, Colombia where my husband was posted for 5 years.
During this time I became very aware of the heightened stress levels found among students and teachers alike in educational establishments.
As a mother and a teacher I became increasingly interested in how our mental well-being affects and is affected by our physical health. How a certain amount of stress can be very beneficial – is even essential – but once levels become too high for too much of the time the impact on our health can be dramatic.
One of my personal ‘light bulb’ moments was learning to breathe when I started practising yoga. Breathing is something we all do but the vast majority of us do it very badly indeed! As I became aware of how I breathed, the actual physical mechanism that was involved, I began to use it to manage both the yoga postures and my day to day life.
When I returned to live in Canterbury with my family I was suffering from insomnia and, having heard about sophrology from a French colleague, I was delighted to find that The Sophrology Academy, currently the only school in the UK, was literally just down the road! I did some more research, spoke to the director and began the 2-year diploma course in September 2014.
Discovering sophrology was the second ‘light bulb’ moment for me. I quickly identified it as the perfect fusion of Eastern and Western well-being practices combined to create a beautifully accessible ‘package’. It is both a technique and an approach to health that can be enjoyed by everyone, and with practice can be put to use anywhere and at any time to bring balance and harmony back into our lives.
The rest is history (as they say) as are my problems with sleep: I am living proof that the technique works. Throughout the course the statutory 400 hours of theory and practice were highly structured and effectively taught by both the school director and external, mainly French, sophrology practitioners. As I felt the benefits from regular practice I started using the exercises with friends and neighbours both on a 1 to 1 basis and in small groups: the positive feedback and visible results were encouraging. The more I learned about sophrology and experienced first-hand, the more convinced of its power I became.
Sophrology is now part of my life and I am passionate about promoting its life-enhancing benefits to others. For me, the beauty of its simple, accessible techniques is how these work in a very subtle way to achieve the most lasting and profound results.