With our next intake of Sophrology students due to begin their journey here at the Sophrology Academy, we thought this would be a perfect time to talk more in-depth about training with us, and the opportunities open to our students, both personally and professionally upon completing their programme. But first, if you don’t know much about Sophrology, here’s a brief introduction …
Sophrology has actually been around for over sixty years, but has more recently ignited the interest of our nation as a valuable practice to train in. Perhaps, influenced by the changes that living with Covid has brought, we are finally asking what really matters in our lives, and are feeling the need to reconnect with the values we hold dear. Sophrology helps us to answer that need; to find clarity in our lives and on our values, and to live more fully in the present with a sense of purpose and fulfilment.
So what does Sophrology do?
Sophrology is a relaxation and wellbeing method which helps us to strengthen our resilience and attain a more calm and positive mindset. The more we practice the key techniques of meditation, mindfulness and gentle movement, the easier it becomes to slip into that peaceful state and manage our wellbeing. It can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and worry, to improve sleep, and to help us cope more ably with pain or illness, amongst many other issues.
However, Sophrology is also a deeply personal and transformational journey; whilst the aim of the practice is to live more ‘in the now’, the techniques used, draw from the past to find strengths that we can use in the present, and look to the future to inspire hope and meaning. In this way, it is far more than a relaxation tool, and the more our students learn about the method, the greater the value, to themselves, and to those they wish to help.
Unusually for a wellbeing method, the roots of the Sophrology method lie in existential phenomenology – that is, that we are shaped by our lived experience, and can gain meaning from that experience by our observation of it. If this sounds in-depth, it is – but don’t worry! Within our classes, we cover the theoretical applications of Sophrology in an accessible way, as students practice the techniques to help them explore and engage with their personal ‘dasein’.
Applications of Sophrology
Our Foundations programme students generally use the techniques for personal wellbeing and for supporting others, like friends and family, on an informal basis. Volunteers working in a pastoral role often take this programme to manage their own wellbeing, whilst helping those they support to learn the relaxation methods for themselves.
The Practitioner Diploma is suitable for those looking to use the techniques professionally, particularly in leadership roles where a calm and positive approach can bring clarity to challenging situations. Many of our Diploma students also set up their own practices as Sophrology practitioners, with support provided to them, both during and after the course to help them on their self-employment journey.
However, Sophrology is a valuable tool to have in any profession; teachers can use their qualification to support their students; managers may teach it in the workplace to promote wellbeing and self-care, and health professionals can share the practice with their patients to help them take a more active part in their own recovery. In sports, professional coaches attest to the value of Sophrology in dramatically improving the performance of their clients.
The broad scope of application for Sophrology has generated a steady increase in student numbers at the Academy, both for our Foundations and Practitioner programmes, and we now have two intakes per year, commencing each March and September. If you are thinking of applying for this year, there is still time! Below is a brief overview of our Foundations programme and Practitioner Diploma.
Sophrology Academy Training Programmes
If you want to better manage your own wellbeing, and share your Sophrology practice with loved ones, our Foundations programme can provide a practical foundation from which to do so. The programme helps our students to:
- Gain an understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of Sophrology.
Using a combination of face-to-face and online experiential learning students will learn the origin, influences, key concepts and principles behind the structured method that is Sophrology. You’ll learn dynamic relaxation levels one to four and related exercises to use in each level.
- Develop personal mastery of the techniques used in Sophrology
Personal practice is necessary for students to develop the ability to critically reflect on their own practice – an essential skill for life-long learning and development.
- Learn to guide others in using Sophrology techniques
Right from the start of the course, students are encouraged to begin practising the exercises with others. Attention is paid to the use of the voice, and how to safely guide others in an exercise.
For those wishing to add a professional qualification to their existing skillset, or to set up as a fully qualified Sophrology practitioner, the Practioner Diploma is required. This is a two-year programme, which follows the Foundations programme in the first year, before leading onto more advanced study. The second year of the Diploma will enable students to:
- Develop skills and expertise in working with clients
Students will learn how to assess client needs and goals, and identify a relevant suite of Sophrology exercises. Learning will focus on building the Sophrologist/client alliance, for healing and change to take place. Further, students will learn to critically reflect, review and adapt the planning and delivery of Sophrology sessions based on client responses. Course students are required to take client case studies and a group internship to develop their skills and experience.
- Acquire working knowledge of using Sophrology in particular application fields.
Taught by Sophrology experts in their fields, students will be introduced to areas such as stress and sleep management, children and teenagers, sports performance, business, and health. You will explore the benefits and limitations of Sophrology, and identify specific exercises, building appropriate protocols around specific client needs.
- Gain competencies in ethical/professional responsibilities and business skills.
Students will learn how to practice safely in accordance with ethical and legal requirements. You will develop a professional attitude, and be able to make reasoned judgments informed by theory and practice. Input on business planning and marketing of your professional practice will be given to support you towards professional practice.
Studying at the Sophrology Academy
We know students are keen to begin practising the techniques used in Sophrology, and as a highly experiential course, practice begins within the first week. The programme is delivered through a combination of in-person study, online sessions and personal study, and full support is provided by our friendly staff.
Further, feeling comfortable, relaxed and included is a vital part of this personal journey, and students quickly get to know each other, and our staff, as they meet for their in-person sessions in the serene Kentish village of Wye.
But of course, don’t just take it from us! Here are a few comments from some current, and recent students, on their experience of studying at the Sophrology Academy:
“Although it can be quite scary to start a new chapter and start training, it didn’t take me long to get confirmation I had made the right decision. The academy is a model of professionalism with high standards. As a bonus, I made a number of fantastic friends and feel very supported in my new life as a Sophrologist.”
“I have really enjoyed going on this learning journey with my fellow students. We have all flourished and grown during our two years of study. I am very much looking forward to using my skills as a Sophrologist here in the UK.”
“I love training at the academy. Teaching staff are particularly attentive and I loved their kindness and empathy. Teaching is very thorough and exactly what you need to start as a professional. I now use Sopohrology all the time in my work with traumatised patients, and find it the most powerful technique of all.”
If you would like register for one of our courses, visit our website for further information on the programme structure and to complete an application form. Alternatively, find out more about free online sessions and workshops on our Events Page to try some Sophrology techniques for yourself.
We hope to see you soon at the Sophrology Academy!