Client Experiences of Autogenic Training
(Names and other identifying features have been changed in order to protect privacy and confidentiality.)
James was the CEO of a well-known organization. The referral letter from his GP noted that he had high blood pressure, insomnia and suffered from headaches. When James arrived for his appointment to see me he complained that I was late for our appointment. I was taken by surprise as the appointment was scheduled for 1.00pm and it wasn’t yet 1.05pm. I was already beginning to ‘get to know’ him. During the assessment, I found out that he was a high achiever and a perfectionist who feared negative evaluation from others (actually he was his own greatest critic). He was finding it hard to prioritize and wasn’t comfortable delegating to others. He tried to maintain total control and feared that if he ‘lost control’ then things would be very bad indeed. The stress that he had put himself under was making him irritable and less resilient and he was flying off the handle with work colleagues damaging his relationship with them. He was finding it hard to concentrate and was noticing difficulty with his short term memory. His self-esteem had nose-dived and he felt a failure. With the known interplay between mind and body it was no surprise that he was suffering from high blood pressure, headaches and insomnia. High stress levels were severely undermining his health. I began teaching him Autogenics, and despite initially feeling anxious about the technique because of an irrational fear that he might lose control, he took to it like a duck to water. After six weeks of Autogenic Training, he was now a lot more trusting of me, so I began Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in combination with the Autogenics. After fifteen weeks of therapy, he was sleeping better, his headaches had lessened in frequency and intensity and his blood pressure had normalized – and that is not all. He was feeling notably less irritable, was calmer with his family and colleagues, clearer in his thinking, beginning to delegate more and in general felt more positive. All without medication!
Claire came to me because she had a storm phobia. She would obsessively listen to weather reports just in case it looked like a storm was on its way. Leading up to a storm she would experience panic attacks and during the storm itself, she would cower under her dining room table. After six weeks of Autogenic Training, she had desensitized her reactivity to storms.
Sophia was a concert pianist who regularly did recordings for music compilations. She had an important live recording coming up and she was terrified that she would make a mistake during the concert. Given her past successes, she knew rationally that it was unlikely that anything would go wrong with her music performance, but even so, she felt After three weeks of Autogenics, she felt more confident about the upcoming concert. Four weeks into the training, Sophia felt more in control and ready for the recording. Her concert was a success! Six months later I got a call from her thanking me for giving her this skill for life. She reported that Autogenics had actually improved her performance as she was able to play with more expression and control her ‘nerves’. She also reported that she had taught her son Autogenics to help him combat exam nerves.
Ramal was a bank teller and had been involved in a bank hold up. He had been held hostage with a gun placed up against his head whilst an accomplice filled up his bag with cash from the tills. I saw Ramal three weeks after the robbery and he was suffering from Acute Stress Disorder. Without immediate treatment, there was the risk that his condition could evolve into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which is enduring and pervasive and severely impacts upon functioning in the long term. Ramal was experiencing flashbacks, panic attacks, nightmares and insomnia. He was avoiding loved ones who were worried sick about him. Ramal responded very well to therapy which consisted of Autogenic Training, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and EMDR (eye-movement desensitization reprocessing) and he was able to successfully return to work.
Jan was a Senior Partner at one of the top 5 Accounting firms in Sydney. She came to see me because she felt she was being undermined at work by some of her colleagues. This was upsetting her greatly and it was affecting her performance at work. She wasn’t sleeping well at night, was finding it hard to concentrate and felt she wasn’t coping. I treated Jan with a combination of Autogenic Training and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. As a result, she was able to deal better and more confidently with her problems at work, communicate better with her colleagues and her work performance was back to normal.
Michael, a police officer with the NSW Police Service, had suffered from migraines for many years. They would often last for two days and medication provided little relief. The migraines were so bad that he would vomit and was too sick to work. After 10 weeks of Autogenic Training there had been a marked improvement in frequency and duration of his migraines, and he had been able to reduce his medicine intake.