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Autogenic Training course led by Dr Ian Ross

February 20 @ 10:30 am - 12:30 pm


9 week Autogenic Training course led by Dr Ian Ross

Commences Wednesday 20th February 2019 running for 8 weeks concluding on Wednesday 24th April taking into account school holidays. A further follow up session 9 on Wednesday 29th May 2019 concludes the 9 week course. (10.30am -12.30pm) To book your place email Dr Ian Ross

Stress of Life

 For many of us, life is hectic and stressful.  Added to which, we may have unresolved issues relating to childhood or other traumas such as the break-up of a relationship.

o    These can all activate our Stress Response (the Fight / Flight reaction), causing great inner distress, and prevent us from reaching our potential.

o    Can we do anything about such distress?


A Natural Healing System within

We all have within us a Natural Healing System which, with Mental Training, we can tap into on a regular basis; this will:

o    Greatly help us to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of life, and lead to

o    Increased Resilience

Autogenic Training enables us to tap into our own innate Natural Healing System.


Background to Autogenic Training

 Autogenic Training (AT) was originally developed by Dr Johannes Schultz in Berlin in the 1920s.  His research showed that AT “brings about profound relaxation and relief from the negative effects of stress”. We may suffer from stress at work or at home; and indeed distressing feelings are themselves associated with distressed physiology in our bodies as well as our Mind-Brain.


AT is a skilful means to help us deal effectively with stress and distressing feelings – however these arise.  This means it can be an effective form of mental training if we are going through a difficult phase in our life, and / or as a form of mental training for personal growth and development.

Ian Ross, a member of the British Autogenic Society, has been teaching AT on a group and one to one basis for over twenty years in Edinburgh. The Spring 2019 course will be the first Autogenic Group taken in North Berwick.

.Mental Training and Physical Training

 In our culture we have become increasingly aware that to become physically fit, we need to take regular physical exercise.  We may be less aware that to keep mentally and psychologically fit, we need to take regular Mental Exercise – i.e. Mental Training. Such concepts have been well understood in India and China millennia ago.

  • Autogenic Training is one of several well researched forms of Mental Training in Europe, North America, and Japan.


What the course involves

 The course involves learning a series of mental exercises over nine Sessions, the first eight of which are at weekly intervals.  These exercises have the effect of mobilising our own, innate, self-healing powers.  (In physiological terms, this involves switching off the potentially damaging Stress Response and switching on the Relaxation Response.)

o    AT can thus re-balance physiological and mental disharmony by facilitating the rest, repair, and recuperative processes that are within each of us.  A full sequence of these mental exercises will last from ten to twenty minutes.  The course involves regular home work (the gold standard being to practise the Autogenic mental exercises three times a day.   AT is a specific skill, and as with learning any type of skill (e.g. sewing, football, yoga, dancing), we can only become proficient through with regular practice.

o    Schultz was concerned that many therapies result in the client / patient becoming dependent upon the therapist.  Once AT is learned, the individual becomes independent of the therapist, and has a lifelong skill which can greatly help us deal with the challenges of life.

Brief Mental Exercises

 In addition to the above full exercises, very brief mental exercises are also learned which can be used when we are feeling stressed or upset –  and when there is no time for the full sequence.  These brief exercises can be used, for example, when we are in a queue at a post office; when we are waiting at red traffic lights; when we are feeling tense before a meeting – or when the phone rings.


Dealing with negative / painful emotions and upsets

Anxiety, nervousness, anger, resentment, grief and / or loss are examples of emotions which we all experience from time to time. These reflect the human condition and the suffering that many of us experience.  Often this involves negative ruminations in which we may end up in a downward spiral of distress.   During the course we cover a number of skilful approaches to deal with such matters.

A positive and wholesome attitude to problems and life

Towards the end of the basic course in AT, individual / personal exercises are introduced which can have a positive effect on negative attitudes and on various physical & mental problems.  These personal exercises allow us to develop a more wholesome outlook on life and living; these include exercises focusing on Constructive Feelings, which are integrated with concepts from Positive Psychology, Mindfulness, and CBT.  In this way AT can facilitate in the development of our True / Authentic Self.

In addition, we look a teaching stories and metaphors, as a way of reframing our outlook and perspective.


Who is the course for?


Autogenic Training can be helpful for many of us, from all walks of life, including the following:

o Stress at home / work

o Anxiety and some forms of depression.

o Emotional upset and…

o ….difficulties in dealing with negative / distressing feelings

o Sleep problems

o Tension Headaches / Irritable Bowel

o Personal / Profession Development and Growth.

Previous course members have included: mums; teachers; college / university students; singers; therapists; secretaries; lawyers; nurses; landscape architects; and garage mechanics.   

Duration and format of course The basic AT course consists of:

i. A one to one pre-course orientation session – usually lasting ninety minutes to two hours).

  • We can also call this a “one to one mutual assessment.”!
ii. Eight weekly sessions each lasting two hours
iii. An integral ninth ( session six weeks or so after the eighth session).


Participants who have completed the course are invited to refresher sessions.



To ensure a place on the course click here to email Dr Ian Ross directly 

Early Spring 2019:  Autogenic Training Group Course

Note: this is morning a course, starting at 10.30 a.m., and takes into account school holidays.

Session 1: Wednesday, 20th February 2019

Session 2: Wednesday, 27th February 2019

Session 3: Wednesday 6th March 2019

Session 4: Wednesday 13th March 2019

Session 5: Wednesday 20th March 2019

Session 6: Wednesday 27th March 2019

Session 7: Wednesday 3rd April 2019

  • 5th April School Holidays


Session 8: Wednesday 24th April 2019


Session 9: Wednesday 29th May 2019

  • Each Session last approximately two hours, and so will finish by 12.30 pm. 

 Comments from previous course members


  1. Feedback on specific question

“What is the most important thing that you have learnt on this course?”

  • How to keep calm in stressful situations
  • How to treat people in a non-aggressive way
  • How to focus on now and not the future too much
  • Confirms my belief in appreciating simple things
  • To be more aware of my emotions and to begin to be more mindful.
  • I am able to recognise anger / stress before it builds too much.
  • I notice when I am “not in the moment” much more than I did before.



  1. General comments


  • My outlook is more positive and hence I find myself able to tackle things better – I “allow” myself to complete them!
  • The course exceeded my expectations.
  • I’m much more aware of my need to care for myself and my need to communicate clearly with others regarding this.
  • Highly recommended – did more to help me than months of CBT Counselling…
  • I am slower to anger; my stress levels have reduced considerably, and my alcohol intake has reduced by at least 70%.
  • I think the course should be more widely available……… it would benefit so many.
  • For me, having a GP facilitate a holistic approach to well-being was extremely encouraging and refreshing – would be great if this was part of a traditional medical training.
  • An extremely stimulating experience in addition to being very useful in practical terms. I am also much more sympathetic and open to the viewpoint of others.
  • I think it was great and am recommending it to my friends who I think may benefit.
  • Autogenic Training works, and its benefits are remarkable in terms of outlook on the world and sense of “wellness”.
  • When I wrote down my aims at the beginning I was sceptical and even half way through I felt it was maybe too subtle to work for me.
  • But by the end it was very interesting to get my card back because I have achieved them all:
  • My partner definitely notices a difference in me
  • I was slightly sceptical, but I was pleased to find that the system worked for me.
  • The course really met my expectations. It came at just the right time for me [after grief counselling) and the combination of theory, practice, peer support, careful facilitation worked really well; I often felt vulnerable but also felt supported in my vulnerability.
  • I enjoyed the group element and the group leader was excellent and sympathetic to each individual.
  • Overall, I would say that this has been one of the most useful and effective courses I have taken part in and I feel it has made an important positive change in my life.
  • I am generally less stressed / less reactive
  • I am much more aware of my emotions and have begun to be more mindful.
  • All these things combined have given me a more positive outlook on life
  • I have become more able to allow myself to relax and not feel “guilty” about doing so.
  • As I have slowly become more mindful I realise that I do have time available
  • I wish it was more widely practised as I think society at large could do with being more mindful.

With thanks to all of the above for allowing me to use their comments anonymously – Dr Ian Ross


February 20
10:30 am - 12:30 pm


Dr Ian Ross


The Barefoot Sanctuary
45 Melbourne Place
North Berwick, EH39 4JS United Kingdom
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