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  • Writer's pictureViolaine Tewari

Can sophrology help you to break free from your addictions?

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

If you are looking for a solution to break free from your addictions, sophrology may be an interesting option to explore. This dynamic relaxation and meditation practice can help reduce stress and strengthen the resolve to change. Find out how sophrology can help you overcome your addictions.


What is sophrology?


Sophrology was created in 1960 by neuropsychiatrist Alfonso Caycedo, who sought to develop a "science of consciousness in harmony", with a medical and scientific approach. He called this new discipline "Sophrology" from the Greek roots SOS (harmony) - PHREN (consciousness) - LOGOS (study) or " the study of consciousness in balance ".


It was inspired both by certain relaxation techniques, Eastern techniques (yoga, Buddhism and Zen) adapted to the needs and capacities of our Western civilization, but also by the progress of science in the fields of neurology and biology.


Sophrology can be used to treat a variety of mental health problems, including addictions. It can help manage stress, strengthen the will to change, and reduce cravings, which can be especially helpful for people seeking freedom from addictions.


The benefits of sophrology over other addictions management methods


Sophrology offers many advantages over other addiction treatment methods. Unlike medication, sophrology is a natural approach that has no adverse side effects. However, a medicated approach may of course be necessary in some cases and I will not propose withdrawal unless it is validated by your treating physician.


In addition, sophrology can help treat the underlying causes of the addiction, rather than simply treating the symptoms. Finally, sophrology can be used in combination with other treatment approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, psychotherapy or hypnosis, to provide a comprehensive and holistic treatment approach.


A better connection to your resources, a more harmonious way of living in the moment are the goals of sophrology techniques.


What are the addictions that can be treated through sophrology?


An addiction can be generated by :

  • Some products (sugar, chocolate, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, medicines...)

  • Behaviors (bulimia, anorexia, compulsive shopping, excessive sports, work, sex, games, television, screens, telephone, video or network games...)

  • People (emotional dependencies, manipulations...)

Addiction is defined as the repeated inability of a person to control the use of a product or the practice of an activity, despite its more or less harmful consequences. These behaviours are often provoked by the need to fill a void, to reduce anxiety or to escape from an unhappy situation.


Sophrology sessions are not a substitute for medical treatment, but they reinforce the therapeutic treatment.


All addictions are different and require different solutions. This is why I recommend that you consult a sophrologist specialized in helping dependent people.


Smoking


Smoking involves not only addiction but also psychological habits. Smoking may be part of your daily life and you may feel stressed when you try to quit.


I can help you to deal with your emotions so that you are better equipped to deal with stressful situations, which will make it easier for you to quit smoking.


If you are trying to quit smoking, the best way to do so is to get help from a professional. A sophrologist can help you in your efforts to quit smoking, but you can also ask your doctor for help or turn to a CSAPA (Centres de Soin, d'Accompagnement et de Prévention en Addictologie), looking for a center near you.


Alcoholism


You may feel like you can't control your consumption of alcohol, and this affects your work, your personal life and your health. Drinking alcohol is a common way to deal with stress and anxiety, but it can quickly become an addiction.


Alcoholism is a hard habit to break. Alcohol cravings can be overwhelming, and the temptation to drink can be strong.


Quitting drinking with the help of a sophrologist is a great solution. I will teach you how to use sophrology techniques to overcome your alcohol addiction. Thanks to weekly sessions, you will learn to get rid of your anxieties and impulses.


sophrology for addictions


How can sophrology help to overcome addictions?


Sophrology can help overcome addictions by improving stress management, strengthening the will to change and reducing cravings. Indeed, stress and anxiety are often triggers for addictive behaviors.


The breathing, visualization and muscle relaxation techniques used in sophrology can help calm the mind and improve focus, which can be helpful for those seeking to break free from their addictions. By working with a specialized sophrologist, you can learn to use these techniques to manage your cravings and increase your resilience in the face of everyday challenges, so that you can live a healthier, happier life free of your addiction.


Sophrology provides support in addition to medical and psychological care. It is based on the principle that any positive action directed towards our body or mind has an impact on our whole being.


It allows you to progressively transform your behavior. It helps you to get a better awareness of your body through relaxation techniques, to calm your stress through breathing awareness, to deal with your emotions and frustrations, to identify your needs and to find peace while remaining attentive to the pain that is being expressed by the addiction. It supports the process of relearning healthy habits in relation to oneself, to others, to things, to the world

You will be able to manage stress, emotions, weaknesses and regain your autonomy at your own pace. You become the actor of of your abstinence. Sophrology complements and reinforces the stages of care, towards more freedom to be, to feel and to behave.


A regular practice tailored to your needs and possibilities will allow you to benefit from the positive effects of sophrology in all areas of your life. You will discover in yourself a potential that you often did not expect, leading you to consider yourself with a "new look" broadened to the world and to others.


The effects of sophrology

In addition to a medical and psychological follow-up and treatment, sophrology allows to act jointly on the body (tension release exercises, muscular relaxation...) and the mind.


A regular practice of sophrology can help you to :

  • Reduce your compulsions,

  • Feel and know your body through effective dynamic relaxation techniques to reinforce the awareness of the five senses and learn to feel your body through sensations.

  • Recognize and calm stress through exercises that allow you to release tensions and reach a state of relaxation,

  • Deal with your emotions and refocus. Sophrology helps neutralize the internal tension that the addictive behavior was supposed to relieve. You will learn to be more in tune with yourself and to identify your true needs,

  • Dealing with frustration. You will learn easy exercises that you can practice between sessions, in order to gradually become autonomous, while being an effective actor of your relaxation.

How many sessions are needed?

The number of sessions depends on the degree of addiction. It is preferable to attend a minimum of 5 sessions. Sophrology sessions can take place at the rate of one hour per week and can be spaced out afterwards. The effects of sophrology will not be immediate, but over the long term. It is recommended to practice the sophrology exercises at home as well.


Sophrology techniques to deal with cravings and addictive behaviors

Sophrology offers a variety of techniques to help deal with cravings and addictive behaviors. Conscious breathing can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety, while visualization can help strengthen the will to change. Muscle relaxation can also reduce stress and improve concentration.


By working with a specialized sophrologist, you can learn to use these techniques to deal with your cravings and increase your resilience in the face of everyday challenges. Sophrology can be an effective solution if you are looking to break free from your addictions.


Some examples of possible themes for sessions that I can offer you at the practice:

  • Letting go (stopping thoughts and ruminations),

  • Relieving your physical and mental tensions,

  • Harmonization of body and mind, reconnecting with reality,

  • Reinforce your self-confidence,

  • Welcoming your emotions,

  • Work on your projects, activating your positive self,

  • Rediscover your "existential" values (the meaning you give to your existence),

  • Postures to loosen your body,

  • Feel your body (sitting or standing),

  • Observe your breathing,

  • Working on the grounding sensation (roots),

  • Focus on a pleasant object or landscape,

  • Work on the presence of the 5 senses,

  • Take care of yourself, (for example by self-massage),

  • Practice a gentle and benevolent contemplation of yourself,

  • Work on your beliefs, your values, your capacities,

  • Practice the 5 senses in your daily life (walking, eating, drinking, cooking, playing with children...),

  • Practice mindfulness meditation (breathing, perception of your body...),

  • Learn mindfulness and meditative walking techniques, for example by reinforcing values such as your sense of freedom,

  • Visualize the replacement of one substance by another,

  • Visualize a moment in your future liberated from your addiction (calm and peaceful).

How can I find a sophrology practitioner to help me deal with my addictions?

If you are looking for a sophrology practitioner to help you overcome your addictions, it is important to do some research to find a specialized and experienced professional. You can start by looking for recommendations from your primary care physician. You can also search for sophrologists online or in professional directories.


Be sure to check the practitioner's qualifications before making an appointment. As the sophrology profession is not regulated in France, it is important to be vigilant when choosing a practitioner. It is also important to discuss your goals and concerns with the sophrologist to ensure that this method is the right approach for you.


My background


I hold a Master's degree in Caycedian sophrology, with a specialization in addictions (Académie de Sophrologie de Paris).


I have worked in :

  • In a Center of Care, Support and Prevention in Addictology for group sessions intended for a public in a situation of addictions (alcohol, tobacco and cannabis) in Les Moulins, a difficult neighborhood of Nice,

  • At the Moulins Health Center as part of the Month of No Smoking,

  • In collaboration with the CSAPA of L'Archet for individual sessions in my practice

In a confidential, respectful, non-judgmental and benevolent atmosphere, I accompany people with addictions on their journey to abstinence, during individual and personalized sessions.


In the case of an addiction, I can also offer you psycho-digitopuncture sessions. This is a psycho-energetic practice that works directly in the emotional or mental field with the objective of addressing emotional disorders and injuries such as trauma, stress, phobias, grief, anger, guilt, anxiety, depression, etc. It can help you with smoking withdrawal or other addictions.


The easiest way is to make an initial appointment to assess your situation and find out if it is appropriate for you. At the first stage, if you wish, I can offer you a free 15-minute telephone interview so that you can tell me about yourself and your needs.





Sophrology is not yet reimbursed by the French Social Security, but many private mutual insurance companies cover all or part of the fees. Do not hesitate to contact them.

Here is a list of mutual insurance companies that reimburse sophrology.

Please note that the sessions are not medical acts (no diagnosis) and do not replace a treatment or a medical follow-up, in compliance with the French law of April 30, 1946, the decree N° 60665 of July 4, 1960 and articles L489 of the decree of October 8, 1996.


And you, what do you think of sophrology as a method to free yourself from an addiction? Have you already tried it? Leave me your comments and share your experience with me.


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