What is Sophrology?

Sophrology is a holistic therapy using relaxation and breathing techniques, concentration, visualisation and simple movements. At the crossroads between Western relaxation techniques and Eastern meditation, it is inspired by Yoga, Buddhist meditation, Japanese Zen and classical relaxation techniques. It was developed in 1960 in Spain by Prof. Alfonso Caycedo, a neuro-psychiatrist. 

The word Sophrology means “the study of consciousness in harmony”. It is a healthcare philosophy consisting of very practical physical and mental exercises that can be used by anyone in busy 21st century everyday life with just a few minutes a day.

Sophrology has been a very popular method in continental Europe over the past 60 years where it is used in a large variety of settings: in hospitals and medicine in general by doctors, nurses, mid-wives; in sports, arts, education; and in companies for teamwork, stress and burn-out prevention. 

Sophrology can help with managing stress, increasing confidence, fatigue, anxiety, panic attacks, burnout, sleep problems, pain, depression or to prepare for a big event (exams, speaking in public, pre-natal, sports, competition, and stage performance).

A typical treatment:

  • a consultation to assess the client’s needs
  • Sophrology exercises guided by the Sophrologist’s voice: guided relaxation, visualisation, breathing exercises, gentle movements. Practiced either standing or sitting in a chair, no special clothing or equipment required
  • feedback on the exercises and planning for independent practice

Each session is tailor-made for the client and designed to progressively re-establish balance and harmony in body and mind. The idea is for the client to discover and learn the techniques they need to deal optimally with whatever challenge they are facing. 

Sophrology can also be done in a group, for general wellbeing and balance.


You can find references to numerous studies on the use of Sophrology in areas such as oncology, respiratory disease, birth preparation, and wellbeing in business here.


How can I train to become a professional Sophrologist?

The Sophrology Academy in the UK offers a two-year part time Practitioner Diploma in Sophrology. It is an experiential face-to-face and online training course with practicing Sophrologists, recognised by the Complementary Medical Association and the French Syndicate of Professional Sophrologists. Find out more here.

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