Autogenic Training

Chronic stress, day after day, can make you irritable, depressed, anxious and subject to physical health problems. Autogenic Training elicits the Relaxation Response and it then helps people re-frame the way they think and feel about themselves, their future and their world. Autogenic Training is a self-guided method which balances our self-regulatory systems automatically. During training we learn to think about ourselves in new ways. Over time, we retrain the way our mind and body respond to life’s pressures. Because of this, AT helps you gain the inner resources and insight you need to soothe your own troubling thoughts and emotions and to react calmly to the world around you.

Autogenic Training is an excellent way to strengthen your body’s and your mind’s resilience, your self-esteem, and your flexibility for coping more easily with the everyday problems and challenges in your life.

Clinical Evidence

AT works effectively side by side with other medical practices if you have an illness that is made worse by stress.

  • Cancer and HIV patients increase their auto-immune responses, sleep better and feel better about themselves. Holistic Medicine, Volume 2, pp 203-215, 1987. also European J of Oncology Nursing, Vol 8, pp 61-65, 2004.
  • Depression clears up more quickly and doesn’t come back as often. Psychotherapy with AT is 6 times more effective. European Psychologist, Volume 4, pp 11-18, 2004.
  • Stroke patients recover faster. American Chiropractor, pp 50, 52, Fall 2004.
  • Chronic pain patients reduce their physician visits by 36%. The Clinical Journal of Pain, Vol 2, pp 305-310, 1991.

By itself, AT helps with a number of problems.

  • Acute pain of migraines decrease and the likelihood that a migraine aura will become a full blown migraine is much lower. Headache, Volume 47, pp 371-383, March 2007.
  • Emotional distress signs and anxiety decrease; your brain’s ability to calm responses to stress improves, bringing positive and stable changes in anxious and ‘blue’ personality traits and increased resilience.  Stress Medicine, Volume 16, pages 263-268, 2002.
  • Irritable bowel calms down and most symptoms are significantly reduced. Behaviour Research & Therapy, Vol 5, pp 541-546, 2002.
  • Children and adolescents with behavioural and emotional problems improved goal attainment after learning AT. J Am Acad of Child & Adoles Psychiatry, Vol 42, pp 1046-1054, 2003.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to learn AT?
Participate in eight to ten weekly 50 minute  sessions(one to one sessions or to small group) lasting approximately 90 minutes. Just bring yourself as no special equipment is required and regular clothing can be worn. Between weekly meetings, practice the exercises three or four times daily for a few minutes at a time. Keep a diary of your practice so you and your AT Therapist can collaborate well and make any necessary adjustments to your training schedule.

What if I have had trouble using other methods? How do I know I can do AT?
Autogenic Training is not about striving for results. Instead, you learn to let go of desire and settle into the present moment as a passive observer. By the end of the course you will have learnt how to take your body to a point of deep relaxation whenever you choose, while your mind settles into a state of wonderfully non judgemental, safely focused awareness of you and your surroundings.

Is Autogenic Training like meditation?
AT is sometimes called a western form of meditation but is not linked to any religion. Case studies have reported brain wave patterns very similar to those found in meditators.

When might I use AT?
You can use AT to help you fall asleep at night or to refresh yourself after a long day, to reduce anxieties before and during performance situations like exams or public speaking engagements and to ease stress related conditions, whether physical or emotional.

Can I teach myself?
Although AT is a simple technique, it produces powerful results. Suppressed emotions often surface during the 10 week training phase, and it is far safer if you learn AT from an Autogenic Therapist so you can learn to care for yourself in safe, professional surroundings.

What else is AT useful for?
AT has been clinically applied with a wide range of disorders such as panic attacks, high blood pressure, phobias, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, arthritis, fatigue, muscular pain, sexual dysfunction, aggression and unresolved grief. It is helpful for pain management and the discomfort associated with any chronic condition.

Can AT improve performance?
Calm, well adjusted people can benefit from AT. Many learn this technique to improve their work efficiency as AT practice sharpens their awareness and discernment. Other people use AT to mobilise creativity, improve sports performance, facilitate personal growth and inner development, and improve their ability to relate to other people authentically in the here and now.