Autogenic Therapy (AT) is a powerful self-help method used for stress relief, personal growth, general health and creativity. The Autogenic Technique enables you to switch OFF your ‘fight or flight’ response, and switch ON your ‘rest, repair and recuperate’ healing capacities. The technique consists of a series of mental exercises that you do for yourself while in a sitting or lying down position. There is no special equipment or DVD required.
AT originated in Vienna when the psychiatrist and neurologist Dr Johann Schultz developed it as a way of helping analytic patients get more benefit from their psychoanalysis. It was adopted by a number of analysts who found that some patients found the Autogenic Technique so helpful in itself that they no longer needed to come for psychoanalysis. After that, AT was developed as a treatment in its own right. Today, AT works well either on its own, or alongside counselling, psychotherapy, or with conventional medical treatment for physical health issues.
The technique is taught over about 10 sessions with an Autogenic Therapist. It is possible to learn it either individually or in groups depending on how many people wish to learn. Once you have learned the technique you do not need to come back for more sessions as it becomes your life long personal stress management skill. It is recommended to do the exercises three times a day while you are learning the technique, then one to three times a day continually after that. It tends to suit people who are pro-active and motivated to work on their own wellbeing.
Autogenic Therapy has been shown in numerous studies to reduce the negative psychological and physical effects of stress. Anyone can learn it aged 10 upwards, with few contraindications. French doctors teach it to their patients and it is routinely taught in German secondary schools. Japanese companies teach it to their workers to boost productivity and reduce absenteeism. Canada has promoted it nationwide as a way to manage stress. Businessmen, Olympic athletes, soldiers, office workers, housewives, the elderly, teenagers and children have all learned it.