In the next few paragraphs, I will explain why instead of an app or a book, or YouTube videos you should take a live AT course with a therapist (online or in person). Read on to learn why.
My name is Matej Drašler and my sincere wish is for you to learn and practice autogenic training. It is a wonderful and powerful technique, and you should not let it slip by. I have been an autogenic therapist since 2011 and during that time I’ve learned that learning and practicing autogenic training is one of the best investments we can do in ourselves. The key element of any relaxation technique is, that we must do them every day for the rest of our lives. This is the hardest and trickiest and also the best part of AT and releaxing. Let's see why.
How many things besides eating and drinking, putting clothes on, brushing teeth, showering, etc. do you do every day? Some will say also driving or exercising, but truthfully we do not do that really every day.
We have probably all wanted to take up a certain hobby, a language course, or started going to the gym once in our lives. It is like the new year’s resolutions. We all know what happens to those, right?
We have all been there and there is nothing to feel bad about that. The problem is that our daily schedules, stress, lack of time and energy, our problems, our past, our mental condition, or our mental health are all against us. It is understandable and it only means we are human.
We say in our minds: “Yeah, no problem, I can do it!”, but after a month or two months pass by the wheels of our lives are crushing in on our newly desired habits. But not every time. Some exercises regularly, 3 or more times per week, some go and visit a language course for years. What we need is motivation.
Intrinsic motivation is the best motivation you can have, and it means that something inside you drives you to your goal. These are not grades at the end of your school year or the salary at the end of the month. It is something inside you that drives you to visit the same course, practice meditation, or do autogenic training. And that is what a live AT course gives you. The intrinsic motivation for you to practice on your own. To get this motivation, you need some results, right? The hardest thing is to go over the first few weeks of practice of AT. This is where guidance comes very useful.
The British Autogenic Society (BAS) course is structured in a way that everyone can gradually master the AT practice. The key element is the daily practice of autogenic training 3-4 times per day.
To achieve that you will be writing an AT journal where the problems-which always arise-are addressed to:
- how to practice passive awareness,
- how to deal with intruding thoughts, when to practice,
- how long to practice,
- how to overcome other difficulties (not feeling anything during the exercises, feeling too strong sensations, not being able to concentrate, feeling aches, twitches, too shallow relaxation, etc.)
During the course, your therapist will address all your concerns and will guide you to achieve the maximum benefit of each AT practice. He or she is here for you and your success is his/hers job. He/she will motivate you to find time to practice in your busy schedule, where you thought you didn’t have time.
Therapists are here to believe in you and leave your autogenic process to unfold itself. Some people need more time and patience and understanding to take up a new habit. The therapists are here for you to succeed and encourage you.
After you practice sufficiently for several weeks, the first results start to show up:
- you may get better sleep,
- you may feel much calmer,
- you may quarrel less with others,
- your anxiety attacks may subside,
- you may feel more confident to only name a few.
And here is where intrinsic motivation will slowly appear. During the end of the course, your relaxation will become even deeper and at the end of the course, you will notice even more profound effects of relaxation. AT will become your habit.
The course has also a follow-up session to harvest the fruits of your labor.
Even after the course you and your therapist may agree to stay in touch to enhance your practice even further if you like.
Now you are ready to go on your own.
The work is done, and you are in better shoes.
An app doesn't read your diary and a book does not answer your questions, a therapist does.
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