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Alfonso Caycedo, a Colombian neuropsychiatrist from the Spanish Basque region, was born in 1932 in Bogotá, Colombia.  In 1960, in Madrid, he created that which he named the daughter  of medicine in order to study the human consciousness and the means of varying its states and levels.

Being based primarily on therapeutic hypnosis, the progressive relaxation of Jacobson, the autogenic training of Schultz (1883-1970) and psychiatric phenomenology,Caycedo developed a new method with specific terminology which, above all, focused on a more respectful relationship with the patient taking into account his/her personality, his/her characteristics...

 (...) I founded Sophrology in the Service of Neuropsychiatry in the Provincial Hospital of Madrid which was directed in 1960 by Pr. Juan Jose Lopez Ibor.  I looked after the treatment of psychiatric patients at the hospital level and my encounters with the sick consciousness of these patients had special characteristics. A large number of the therapeutic practices of the time produced a modification or a deterioration of the consciousness. I am referring to the treatments of electric shocks and the insulin comas which were at the time a therapy of choice (...). My encounter with the consciousness in a coma produced by insulin, or (...) by electric shock, (...) raised for me the question: is it necessary for a therapeutic practice to modify or deteriorate the consciousness? I then became interested in clinical hypnosis (...). A desire was born in me from research of the consciousness because it appeared to me that the psychoses were basically pathological deteriorations of the consciousness. Could I experience harmony in the consciousness? This was my 1st Radical Question which lead me to start a medical movement to seek harmony in the consciousness. I gave it the name of Sophrology (...), a scientific school for which I proposed the motto “Ut conscientia noscatur”, which means, “so that the consciousness be known”. (Caycedo, 2001)

Then, challenged by certain descriptions of the consciousiness from the works of Yoga and encouraged by the great Swiss phenomenologist Binswanger to undertake this voyage, Caycedo remained for more than two years in the East (1965 - 1968), where he was initiated to various Yoga techniques, in particular to integral Yoga developed by Sri Aurobindo in his ashram in Pondicherry (India), to Tummo - form of Tibetan Buddhist meditation  - and with Japanese Zen.

He drew from, respectively, the first, second and third degree of Dynamic Relaxation, adapting and making it more accessible to our Western spirit the original techniques, in particular giving up the philosophical and religious aspect and thenit was really a question of working out a science.

If Caycedo, by doing this, created a bridge - or ?a vivantielle meeting? (Caycedo, 2001) - between the Occident and the East it must also tell us that, ?Perhaps because of research that I carried out, many are still those which confuses the Sophrology and my Method which is its base, with this kind of techniques and of methods [Western and Eastern] that I studied and gave up as I discovered the structures responsible for integration of the consciousiness, those which my Method discovers and reinforces at present?.

Initially used by the medical field, Sophrology opened, in 1977 (time of the ?oil crisis?), towards the social field. In the Eighties, the social branch of the sophrology was created. This last field occupies an important place today and many sophrologists specialize in disease prevention (prevention, promotion of health), pedagogy or the sporting field.

In 1985, Caycedo proposed a 4th elaborate original degree originating from his own sophrologic experiments.


Rajah IndianYoga
Tum-Mo Tibetan
Japanese Zen
1st degree
2nd degree
3rd degree
body; feelings; integration; concentration ; reinforcement of the body diagram .
conquest a image of body the righter ; contemplation; "limited body, unlimited consciousiness"
posture; form, balance, breathing; "reflexive" meditation; integrity.

4th degree

discovered of existential size and fundamental values To be it ; totality.

See also the chapter on the various techniques

since july 27 , 2003

Since, Caycedo modified the initial degrees and developed eight additional degrees required to become Caycedian Sophrologist. The whole of the method of ?Dynamic Relaxation? includes 3 cycles with each one containing 4 degrees, that is to say, in the end, 12 degrees of Dynamic Relaxation ! These degrees can be compared so that the Japanese martial arts indicated by "katas" (Fernandez, 1996), i.e., a sequence of codified movements, original ?form?, transmitted by the founders to synthesize their art. However, the training of the various degrees of Dynamic Relaxation does not require perfectionism as in the Japanese katas: the essential form is the dynamics, the intentionnality and especially personal experience.

In fact, only the first four degrees (fundamental cycle) are usually practised and the first three for many years were the only ones proposed by Caycedo.

A regular practice of the first degree only is enough to improve, according to us, more important than ?quantity? (training of several degrees, several methods or disciplines) is quality (to be present, always conscious of new information of a simple gesture of the 1st degree, for example) and the repetition.

"When we make a thing for the first time, that interests it to me; when we repeat this same thing of tens of time, that annoys it; if we remake it thousands of times, that transforms it.(...) When the gesture is integrated, it is necessary to put consciousiness at it, of living the moment present fully, so that occurs a real enrichment and gradually a revealing of the consciousiness. It is a question of living this gesture as if it were the 1st time (...) the habituation will make it possible not to be fascinated more by the innovation, it will make it possible to release us from the execution (...) to live the feelings fully, to carry a new glance on what we are living (...) Alors the habituation (...) transforms. (...) Moreover, the regular drive makes it possible to exert its will. To decide to give time is already a step on the way of the realization of oneself. And in this moment of freedom which one agrees (another reading of what some name a constraint), the consciousiness can open, widen".

Bernard SANTERRE, "A propos de l'entraînement", Actes du colloque de la Société Française de Sophrologie en 1995, Approches expérimentales des chemins initiatiques d'Orient et d'Occident,  Du Prieuré editions.

A. CAYCEDO, sophrology creator

1960 - 1968

Creation of the sophrology, service of neuropsychiatry of the pr. Lopez-Ibor (1960, Madrid) - pr. Binswanger, phenomenologic psychiatry (1963-64, Swiss) - the East (1965-68, India, Tibet, Japan) - Congress of the French company of sophrology (sept.1968, Versailles).

1968 - 1982

A. Caycedo, Professor of psychiatry - Creation of the fundamental method - world Congresses of the sophrology (Oct. 1970; 1975) - Declaration of Récife (August 25 1977, Brazil) or Declaration of the Values of the Man, Caycedo and the 1st actualization founder (fundamental cycle). A. Caycedo professor honoris causa of the university of Pernambouc - Inauguration of the social sophrology.

1983 -1988

Creation of the social branch in Colombia - 3rd world congress (1982) - 4th degree of Dynamic Relaxation (1985).

Since 1988
Principality of Andorra 

Installation of Caycedo in Andorra - 4th world congress (1988) - Deposit of name Caycedian Sophrology (1988) - Creation of Masters (1989) 


A big part of this text is based on the work and the courses of Bernard SANTERRE, , Teaching director and founder of
the Institute of Sophrology of Rennes   (Institut de Sophrologie de Rennes).
Bernard SANTERRE remains for me the reference in sophrology, such as we conceive it here.
That it is thanked for its professionalism, of its requirement with respect to itself (it is the alive example of what a daily drive of Dynamic Relaxation or Za-Zen gets!), requirement with respect to the trainees for which it is responsible...

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