How to learn autogenic training?
Autogenic training needs time and patience to learn it. It cannot be learned in a 15 minute video over the internet. The proper way to learn autogenic training takes about 9 weeks and demands gradual building of phrases, which are carefully selected and often tailored to individual needs. The phrases are practiced three times daily every week. A person, who tries to practice the whole autogenic training at once, will only be disappointed and frustrated, because of the fact his mind does not know what to do with all of the wording. It takes a week (out of 9 weeks) to properly process what to do with each phrase.
Do I need a therapist to learn autogenic training?
The best way to learn autogenic training is in a therapist setting. Usually clients have medical problems and a therapist can in cases of severe mental health disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, serious depression, severe anxiety and depression) turn down the client. The problem is autogenic training often in fact worsens the state of the mentioned mental health problems.
Therapist's role in teaching autogenic training has besides medical evaluation several important aspects:
- a) solving the problems, which (usually) arise
- b) motivation
- c) discipline
- d) knowing the answers to the questions, which arise
- e) tailoring autogenic training to individual's needs
- f) advising how to choose the final personal formula
- g) background of the exercises
a. Solving the problems, which (usually) arise.
During autogenic training clients always bump into problems, which can be intruding thoughts, insecurity of doing autogenic training properly, problems with passive concentration, trouble fitting autogenic training in a daily schedule, mood swings, autogenic discharges, and many more. Here a therapist knows how to overcome these difficulties and calms down the client and they solve the problems together.
Probably the most important aspect is motivation to go through the whole course. Every week a client needs to show up and be prepared with proper practice of the previous week. This aids a client not to give up in the middle of the process. In many autogenic training groups not all of the clients finish the course. Usually the lack of practice is the problem. Think about learning autogenic training on yourself. You need to gradually add the phrases, solve the problems on your own and you do not have a weekly obligation to go to the course. Therefore there is no outside motivator to practice three times daily and you will with time probably leave the practice altogether. This of course does not apply to everybody, some will make it.
Weekly sessions with clients in group therapy are full of stories of clients who practice regularly and clients who find it hard to practice. The ones, who practice, often have results and motivate others by showing them it can be done with the right amount of discipline.
d. Knowing the answers to the questions, which arise.
The majority of clients have detailed questions about passive concentration, where to practice, when to practice, how long the exercises should take, what to expect from the course, etc. A good therapist should answer to the questions and allow a client to make progress.
e. Tailoring autogenic training to individual's needs.
Some people have troubles when practicing autogenic training at the beginning. For instance there can be feelings of immense heaviness, which are distracting the flow of the course, or have trouble with respiration rate. Some may be pregnant and need to leave of some of the phrases. A therapist knows how to act in these cases and tailor the autogenic training to individual needs. By that the therapist allows the right progress to the end of the course without frustrations and disappointments.
f. Advising how to choose the final personal formula.
The last exercise of the course is a personal formula, which focuses on a particular aspect of a client's life he/she is willing to change or improve. Here a client and a therapist try to find the right set of words to coin the affirmations. A therapist then teaches a client to make his/her own formula, which a client will then use at will.
g. Background of the exercises.
This point should actually have to be put in the first place. Autogenic formulas can be found on internet pages including ours. But the background of the exercises, which helps a client to a better progress, is usually gathered at the course, where a therapist helps a client to understand each formula better.
The therapist is as you can see very important, but some people may be able to learn autogenic training on their own. We all need guidance when we are learning something new. We needed primary school teachers, tennis couches, foreign language teachers, dancing instructors, driving instructors, etc. It is best to learn from those who have the "know how". How many foreign languages have you learned on your own only from books?