What is AT for?  It is for self-balancing your brain, body, emotions, and mind.

With its roots firmly in medicine, AT is a long established, evidence-based practice which puts you in charge of balancing your whole brain, and your emotions, body and mind.

Many stress reactions over a long period of time may have been imprinted on you, so that you have unconscious and conscious reactions and habits you want to shed, your mind may see images that come to you unbidden, you may behave in ways you don’t understand or want, perhaps you can’t seem to control some of your feelings and emotions, and maybe meanings you make of what’s happening around you in the present sometimes don’t seem to make a lot of sense.  Whilst these reactions may have served a useful, protective purpose in the past, now you may be finding them unhelpful and you may feel overloaded, unbalanced or overwhelmed.

With AT, your stress reactions can be significantly changed for the better as AT allows whole person ‘housekeeping’ to gently and safely happen by itself using your own natural self-healing resources and processes.

Where does the word ‘autogenic’ come from and what does it mean?

Autogenic comes from the Greek word autogenes, autogenic means “originating within the body”, “self-generated”, “self-produced”.

How is AT practiced?

In quiet repose – anyone can do it, no special clothing or difficult postures, even people in wheelchairs or who are bed-bound can learn and practice AT.

  • When you join an AT course, here’s what happens – You meet in a group as a class or one to one with an AT therapist for an hour a week for eight weeks, plus one follow up session about 8 weeks later.  The main ‘work’ of training yourself is done by you in private between classes. The focus is on your own empowerment, your own mastery of skills,
  • Use sitting or lying postures, to minimize strain on your muscles and bones, and on your internal organs, you learn to maintain a passive, observing, letting go attitude of being in the present moment without judgment.
  • You concentrate on silently repeating phrases associated with your body’s experience of relaxation. You can take between two and ten minutes to rest peacefully doing your AT practice.
  • You keep a log of your daily practice and your experience with AT and your AT therapist tailors your training to meet your specific needs, too.

How is AT taught?

Learning AT is a self-education process.  You are not a patient, per se, you are a learner, so the focus is not on what’s wrong, it’s on what’s right and the focus is not on the therapist helping you, it’s on helping you to help yourself.  Our therapists take an encouraging, collegial, educational approach as they are your teachers and guides.  This means they help you focus on your own growth and learning, on what feels right for you, on what you can do for yourself, as you are competent to master the skills and will willingly participate in your own healing and self-balancing processes.

What kinds of benefits can I expect with AT practice?

Moderately to severely anxious people who learned AT so they could relax and feel better said:

  • I discovered how my mind works, how to rebalance it and enhance my whole brain thinking and feeling
  • I learned how to find a safe focus for my attention and how to keep safely focused
  • I notice now when I feel anxious or moody early on
  • I’ve learned how to choose to bring myself to a calm and relaxed state
  • I continue to explore coming out of my head and into my heart
  • I enjoy sliding into a more restful nightly sleep much more easily
  • I am kinder to me, I judge myself less often and less harshly
  • I have a better understanding and acceptance of myself and who I am
  • I’ve found new meaning in life itself and in my relationships
  • I’ve discovered and re-connected freely with my authentic self
  • and with the beauty within me and the world around me
  • I’m now able to set clear, realistic goals and figure out how to achieve them

Is AT a psychotherapy?

In a way, yes, as AT’s developers called AT a “small psychotherapy” because of the way it helped hospital patients on wait-lists for psychotherapy come off the lists, feeling better.

Although AT is not a talking therapy, regular AT practice brings similar benefits and, like Mindfulness practice, when AT is combined with other talking therapies, those therapies have been shown to work faster and the positive benefits to carry on for longer.  With AT, instead of talking things through there is a changed awareness at the level of perception that changes things for the better. There are no right or wrong results during the practice of AT, and carrying out AT practice with the right mental attitude is all that is required.

In addition to relieving anxiety and insomnia, what else is AT good for?

AT is about self-balancing, about off-loading stress and feeling safe in yourself whatever the circumstances. AT is about stress prevention, performance improvement, and creativity enhancement, too.

Clinical conditions that have responded favourably to practicing AT include migraine, arthritis, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and high blood pressure. Some diabetics have halved the amount of insulin they take after regular use of AT, and in many cases other forms of medication can be reduced.

For the science behind specific results from using AT, please see the Papers and Studies section of our website.

You may enjoy reading our AT in the News section, too – lots of interesting stories in magazines and newspapers about the benefits of AT practice.