How many sessions am I likely to need?

This will become clearer after the initial consultation. Needs vary enormously and sometimes as few as two sessions may be sufficient. As a general rule, a series of five or six sessions should bring very positive results, especially if enough practice is done in between.

How often will I need to see you?

At the beginning I will recommend we meet once a week but this can often be extended to once every two or three weeks depending on progress and the amount of practice being done at home.

What do you mean by ‘practice between sessions’?

When you come to a sophrology session you will be learning different ‘dynamic’ techniques which are simple and very adaptable physical exercises and a range of breathing techniques.

You first do all of the exercises in a very relaxed state, guided by my voice. The more you then practise the same exercises on your own, the greater the benefits become even if you do them with your eyes open and for just a few seconds ……. It is the regular practice that matters – integrating it into your daily life whenever and wherever you can.

How do I know whether to attend a group or have an individual session?

An individual session is tailor-made to your specific issues once we have had the initial consultation. Everything we do together will be targeted to deal with your individual needs and therefore progress with managing a particular problem may be quicker. With a group you will have plenty of exposure to different exercises selected to deal with common issues such as stress management, focus, confidence, sleep etc.

Whichever you choose you will learn how to use sophrology in your daily life to enhance your physical and mental well-being. The main point to consider is whether you are happy to have the experience of a group dynamic, or prefer a more private one-to-one environment.

How many people are there in a group on average?

This will depend on the kind of group and the room size. For a drop-in group there will normally be a limit of 12 people per session. For a closed group – ie one that is being run to deal with specific issues and for a certain number of sessions – the group will average at about 10 people.

Do I need to wear any special clothes for the sessions?

We do sophrology either standing up in front of a chair or sitting down on it. I will invite you to take your shoes off but this is optional. The technique is designed to be done wherever and whenever you need it and therefore NO special clothes or equipment is required. You certainly won’t need to shower afterwards either!

Can I eat or drink before a session?

I will actually check that you have eaten something prior to a session – even if it has been an hour or two before – as we do not like to practice on an empty stomach!

You will always have access to water in a one-to-one session and I encourage people to bring a bottle of water to group sessions.

Is sophrology like psychotherapy?

Sophrology is not psychotherapy. We will not be analysing your past experiences although you are always free to talk about anything you want to, in total confidentiality.

We like to use the analogy of a glass containing a liquid of some sort. It could be said that in psychotherapy the focus is on what happens when liquid is stirred up, whereas in sophrology we don’t touch the liquid but seek to make the glass as strong as possible to contain the liquid safely. In sophrology the focus is on how we can build and maintain true resilience to face the challenges of life.

Having said this, sophrology works very well in parallel with psychotherapy or different forms of talking therapy. In France and Switzerland for example, many psychotherapists are also trained sophrologists as the combination is found to be an effective combination.

What if I can’t keep my eyes closed?

This is perfectly natural when you start practising the technique and I just ask you to keep your eyes focused on the floor somewhere nearby to help you stay relaxed.

The reason we close our eyes is to shut off the main source of stimulation – our vision – in order to focus on what is going on inside our body and consequently calm our mind.

Will I be able to record any of the exercises?

You may record whatever you want in the session as long as it is for your own personal use.

You will be learning how to do physical ‘dynamic’ exercises and different breathing techniques so will probably only want to record the more relaxing visualisations I give you.

Does sophrology adhere to a particular religion or faith?

No, sophrology has no connection with any religious beliefs although it does include some adapted meditative practices from Tibetan Buddhism and Japanese Zen which are well-known for their restorative and well-being enhancing qualities.