We thought it might be a good idea to have one of our very own students share their experience of the Sophrology Academy Diploma Programme. The interview below was kindly given by Claire Poggio, who will shortly be moving to her second year with us! Thank you, Claire for sharing a little of your journey with us!
1. What drew you to Sophrology as a practice?
Sophrology is well-known in France, where I’m originally from, so I had used it at different times throughout my life before I chose to study the practice professionally. Sophrology had been my ‘go-to’ when trying to stay calm and focused during exams, to help with the pain when I gave birth, and just generally when life got a little tricky! I love it because it uses simple exercises that you can do whenever and wherever you want, so it’s incredibly versatile and easy to integrate into your life. I remember thinking that this could be the way forward that I was looking for; I did some research and found the Sophrology Academy course. I applied straight away and, within a few days, was signed up and ready to start.
2. Did you have any worries before you started the course?
I think I was worried about not being able to pass the course – partly because English is not my first language, and also because it was a troubling time for me, whilst trying to balance family and work life. However, I was more worried about not doing it! I got a lot of really great insights during the information evenings, and when I applied, I knew I had done the right thing and that I would manage the course.
3. What are your favourite parts of a typical day at the Sophrology Academy?
The practice! I love learning about the theory too, but really, having the opportunity to totally immerse myself in Sophrology and master the techniques has been so satisfying. It must be one of the few courses you can take that actually leave you feeling refreshed and motivated when you finish a study day!
4. What’s the most unusual thing about Sophrology that you didn’t anticipate?
I didn’t expect to feel so differently – I mean fundamentally, from within. It has changed how I position myself; I feel more flexible – like taking a step back and being more objective about things. I also didn’t expect to be so much more open to possibilities. I think it changes your whole outlook when ‘you let Sophrology in’.
5. Do you feel that Sophrology has a place in everyday life?
Definitely. It doesn’t take over or replace anything in your life; it just becomes part of how you live. The idea of Sophrology is to use it when you need it throughout the day. There’s no special equipment, and most of the exercises are not particularly noticeable either. That means you can use them in the office, when you commute, or when you have a few moments – like when you put the kettle on or are waiting in a queue! I would say, though, that you need to take time to practice – even 10 minutes a day is enough to help your body ‘tune in’ quickly to the exercises. It’s like hitting a giant ‘pause’ button on your busy life! Or maybe more of a ‘refresh’ button!
6. How will you be using Sophrology when you graduate?
I first have one more year to do, and during this year, we will be going more in-depth into the practice and theory. However, when I graduate, I want to open my own practice, specialising in transitions; for example, from young person to woman. I’m really looking forward to supporting people to manage their mental lows, helping them deal with body image problems and other aspects of such transitions. As I move forward in my practice, things are getting clearer, and my plans are taking shape, so it’s an exciting time for me.
7. What would you say to those thinking of taking a course at the Sophrology Academy?
First, experience Sophrology for yourself! Reading about it is important, but nothing will replace the experience. Go for a few sessions, live it, taste it. And if it triggers a positive shift and you want to go further, the Sophrology Academy is definitely a solid option – and the Foundation Year, an extensive training. There’s plenty of support on offer and even a mentoring system in place. That said, I found the practitioners so kind and experienced that you feel supported anyway.
Lastly, for anyone like me who is juggling family and career, it’s probably important to find a course that’s both flexible and well organised. I found that at the Sophrology Academy. As it was spread over two years, I had all dates well in advance, so I could simply focus on what I needed to do.
Soon my focus will be shifting towards setting up my own practice, and I look forward to sharing all I’ve learnt at the Sophrology Academy with others who can benefit from the practice as much as I have!