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FROM AUTOGENIC TRAINING TO AUTOGENIC PSYCHOTHERAPY

Autor/autores: Luis de Rivera
Fecha Publicación: 30/03/2017
Área temática: Psicología general , Tratamientos .
Tipo de trabajo:  Artículo original
AUTOGENIC RESEARCH

RESUMEN

Autogenic Training was invented by Johannes Heinrich Schultz as a method of “Self-relaxing concentration”, as he says in the subtitle of his 1932 book. His disciple Wolfgang Luthe described in 1961 the “neutralization effect” as one of the principal therapeutic mechanisms of Autogenic Training, proposed the new name of Autogenic Therapy and created ICAT, the International Committee for Autogenic Therapy, that promotes and oversees the teaching, research and applications of Autogenics. Professional training in autogenics progresses through three successive levels (trainers, therapists and psychotherapists), each with its own requirements and areas of application. In the last years the method has developed into a full-fledged psychotherapy, defined by scientific theories of human functioning and behaviour in health and illness, psychological and psychosomatic disorders and therapeutic mechanisms, a scope of therapeutic methodologies and precise techniques for training brain mechanisms to induce amplified states of consciousness (ASCI Therapy). The regular induction of the autogenic state enhances physiological self´-regulation, self-awareness and neutralization of traumatic and incoherent mental processes. The basic principles of autogenics, autogenicity, ASCI, neutralization, ideoplasia, education & training and dual concentration are discussed.

Palabras clave: Autogenicity. Autogenic Training. Psychotherapy. ASCI therapy. Mindfulness. Meditation.


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FROM AUTOGENIC TRAINING TO AUTOGENIC PSYCHOTHERAPY

1

Prof. Luis de Rivera, MD, PhD
ABSTRACT
Autogenic Training was invented by Johannes Heinrich Schultz as a method of "Self-relaxing
concentration", as he says in the subtitle of his 1932 book. His disciple Wolfgang Luthe described
in 1961 the "neutralization effect" as one of the principal therapeutic mechanisms of Autogenic
Training, proposed the new name of Autogenic Therapy and created ICAT, the International
Committee for Autogenic Therapy, that promotes and oversees the teaching, research and
applications of Autogenics. Professional training in autogenics progresses through three
successive levels (trainers, therapists and psychotherapists), each with its own requirements
and areas of application.

In the last years the method has developed into a full-fledged

psychotherapy, defined by scientific theories of human functioning and behaviour in health and
illness, psychological and psychosomatic disorders and therapeutic mechanisms, a scope of
therapeutic methodologies and precise techniques for training brain mechanisms to induce
amplified states of consciousness (ASCI Therapy). The regular induction of the autogenic state
enhances physiological self´-regulation, self-awareness and neutralization of traumatic and
incoherent mental

processes. The basic principles of autogenics, autogenicity, ASCI,

neutralization, ideoplasia, education & training and dual concentration are discussed.
Autogenicity, Autogenic Training, Psychotherapy, ASCI therapy, Mindfulness. Meditation.

Autogenic training was invented by Johannes Heinrich Schultz, who in 1932
published his book Das Autogene Training, Konzentrative Selbstentspannung
(The Autogenic Training, Concentrative Self-Relaxation) (1). He said from the
very beginning that autogenic training was a psychotherapy, meaning by
psychotherapy the cure made by the psychological influence of the therapist
on his patient. He had many international disciples, who organized schools
of autogenic training in their countries of origin, like Italy, Austria, France,
Hungary, Russia, Japan and, of course, Germany. One of Shultz disciples,

Thanks are due to Helen Gibbons, Director of the Australian Institute of Autogenics, for the
transcription of this conference given in Budapest First Spring Meeting of ISATAP, may 2016.
Full video http://bit.ly/2jUUm1y
1

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Wolfgang Luthe, emigrated to Canada, were he founded a large school
in Montreal, which attracted pupils such as Malcolm Carruthers, who
later founded the British Autogenic Society, and Luis de Rivera, who
founded the Spanish School of Autogenics. Towards the end of his life,
Luthe moved to Vancouver, were he taught at the Simon Fraser
University. He authored with Schultz a series of books reviewing the
latest developments in Autogenic Training, and coined the term
"Autogenic Therapy", to distinguish the lay level of application of the
method by teachers, coaches and physiotherapists from the medical
level applied by doctors and clinical psychologists (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).
To facilitate the diffusion and proper teaching of Autogenic Training and Autogenic Therapy,
Luthe organized a committee to gather together people around the world that were experts
practicing the method. The first meeting for the International Co-ordination of Autogenic Training
was held in Montreal in 1961, as part of the third World Congress of Psychiatry (8). Many
distinguished professional from all over the world were present, such as Milton Erickson, Peter
Geissmann, Muller-Hegeman and up to 150 people interested in psychotherapy, hypnosis and
Autogenic Training. In this meeting, the International Committee for Autogenic Therapy, for
short ICAT, was formed, and Wolfgang Luthe was elected its first President. He carried out a
very intensive labor promoting research, teaching and new clinical and extra- clinical
applications. His Introductory Workshop to the Methods of Autogenic Therapy became a standard
seminar in several organizations, such as the Biofeedback Society of America and the
International Institute of Stress, and promoted very effectively the autogenic approaches in
North America.

ICAT Foundational Act, III World Congress of Psychiatry, Montreal, 1961

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Since the very beginning ICAT was a somewhat elitist organization, formed by leading experts
who had made significant contributions to Autogenics and who had an international reputation
in the fields of mental health, psychology, psychiatry or medicine. The criteria are so restricted
that there are only a few members by country, usually the Chairman of a university department,
or the leader of a strong Autogenic School or a recognized scientist by his own right. During
Luthe´s period important work was made on the standardization of teaching of autogenic training
and in the study of the indications, non-indications and contraindications of Autogenic Therapy
(9)

ICAT meeting in Wien. From left to right, front row: marilla malugani half body, Yuji Sasaki,
Giovanni Gastaldo, Luis de Rivera, Miranda Ottobre, Claudio Widman, Heinrich Walnoffer half
body; last row: Brian Donovan
After Wolfgang Luthe untimely death in 1985, the Japanese professor Yuji Sasaki was elected
the second president of ICAT in Wien, Austria, during a meeting organized by Dr. Heinrich
Walnoffer, one of Schutz´s most prominent disciples. Among other achievements, Sasaki edited
the ICAT Newsletter, a forerunner of the current International Journal of Autogenic Research,
and clarified the training of autogenics in three stepwise levels: Autogenic Training, Autogenic

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Therapy and Autogenic Psychotherapy. When prof. Sasaki retired to follow the Zen life in Japan,
I was elected the third ICAT president in Limoges, France, in 2011. The so called "Declaration
de Limoges pour la Renaissance de international Committee of Autogenic Therapy", signed by
20 representatives of autogenic societies, entrusted me with the missions of getting a wider
international projection for ICAT and of increasing the cooperation among the different autogenic
societies and institutes. After considering several possibilities, ICAT decided to promote a new
International Association open to a wider membership, while preserving the function of ICAT as
a scientific referent. In this vein, the International Society of Autogenic Therapy and
Psychotherapy (ISATAP) was founded September 20, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. The statutes of
ISATAP recognizes ICAT as the Scientific Council of ISATAP and incorporates the training
standards and clinical guidelines elaborated by ICAT. In this way, professionals in all training
levels could be members of the new society, including students and sympathizers, while
preserving the traditional scientific work of ICAT.
Levels of training
The first level, basic autogenic training, is very well organized all over the world. The schools in
different countries mostly agree about the teaching of the first level, although some schools do
have a lot of hours of theoretical training, while others try to teach the basics in just one
weekend. In the 2010 ICAT meeting it was decided that 30 hours of theoretical training would
be the minimum, leaving the schools free to decide if they might require more. Necessary as
theory is, the most important part of the training is practice. We shall not accept anybody to be
a practitioner of autogenic training unless she has done at least 70 recorded, registered,
supervised hours of training with himself. There are schools of psychotherapy that might accept
therapists who have no personal experience with their own method, but in autogenics personal
practice is essential. Calculating the duration of each standard exercise in about 20 min. the
daily practice of three exercises would take about one hour, what means that 70 hours of selfpractice requires 10 weeks. This is the duration of a basic course in standard autogenic training,
with weekly supervision of the training protocols by a qualified teacher. Less than that would
be inappropriate, and the reputation of autogenic training would suffer if we tolerate the
operation of practitioners with insufficient training. The ICAT first level diploma insures that the
holder masters basic AT practice and has first-hand knowledge of important issues such as
passive concentration, passive acceptance and the handling of resistances and autogenic
discharges. First level diploma qualifies for stress prevention and other minor health-related
interventions and for the application of AT in extra clinical fields, such as education, sports and
professions that require special resilience and endurance, such as police officers, firemen, miners
and the like. Besides health professionals, candidates for first level diploma include teachers,

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coaches and persons who would use the training for their own benefit or to instruct healthy
people. The appropriate title at this level is Autogenic Trainer, (operatore in Italian).
The second training level is the level of therapy: applying autogenic training to medical patients
and to psychological patients. This requires special medico-psychological knowledge and carries
special responsibilities that only people with clinical medical or psychological degrees can face.
Therefore, only those holders of the first level diploma who are medical doctors or clinical
psychologists are accepted in courses for the second level diploma and they will become
`Autogenic Therapist'. Under special circumstances, advanced medical and psychological
students may be admitted and even lay people, provided that they understand very well that
the second level diploma does not entitle them for clinical practice. Setting up an office and
offering treatment to ill persons is a very serious matter that requires not only the appropriate
knowledge but the compliance with the legal requirements of each country.

It is however

generally accepted that qualified Autogenic Trainers working under the supervision of an
Autogenic Therapist in the same premises may teach basic autogenic training to selected patients
under the responsibility of the supervising medical doctor or clinical psychologist. The exact
curriculum for the second level is still in revision, but it's set that it contains at least 100 hours
of theoretical training, including knowledge about stress related disorders, different medical and
psychopathological conditions, the therapeutic action mechanisms of autogenics, personal
practice of autogenic modification formulas and simple neutralization procedures, the supervised
treatment of at least 3 patients and the presentation and defense of a publishable thesis.
The third level is psychotherapy by autogenic methods. In addition, we have two further levels
that would not be discussed here: the docent or master level and the ICAT Member level. Those
are the five levels recognized by ICAT and ISATAP. Besides them, ISATAP does also have
sympathizers or adherent members, student members and Honor Members.
AUTOGENIC PSYCHOTHERAPY
The third level of training, autogenic psychotherapy, is a bit more complex that the two previous
levels. To start with, we have different orientations, like the psychoanalytic approaches of
Walnoffer and (10) Ranty (11), the Symboltherapy Hungarian School (12), the four stages
approach of Gastaldo and Ottobre (13), the Wolfgang Luthe Autogenic Neutralization approach
(6,7). the Claudio Widman Jungian approach (14) and the Peirone-Gerardi meditative approach
(15). There is still some work to be done on the definition, integration and development of the
third training level. What we all accept is that learning of psychotherapy is something more than
learning how to treat headaches or how to treat sleep disorders. Psychotherapy involves the
treatment of personality disorders and complex neurotic disorders; it involves assistance to the
development of the person by autogenic methods and last but not least, holding the title of

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`Autogenic psychotherapist' requires compliance with official legal regulations for the title of
psychotherapist. Some countries do not have this regulation, but nevertheless psychotherapy
by autogenic methods or autogenic psychotherapy requires some specialization in the mental
health field.
There are a few controversies in autogenics regarding its status as a psychotherapy that we shall
see in sequence:
1.

PSYCHOTHERAPY vs. TECHNIQUE

2.

MEDITATION vs. HYPNOSIS

3.

DUAL FOCUS vs. SINGLE FOCUS

4.

RELAXATION vs. SELF-REALIZATION

5.

PURITY vs. EVOLUTION

6.

ISOLATION vs. INTEGRATION

1. What is psychotherapy?
First, we talk about training; training may be a technique, but a psychotherapy is more than a
technique. A psychotherapy has a wider framework, a body of knowledge that includes:
1. A theory of human behavior, of what the mind is, of how the humans function.
2. A theory of illness: why people get ill? How are illness and dysfunctions maintained?
3. A theory for cure. How does the treatment work? What is the process to get the illness
reversed?
4. A method, that is, a combination of techniques, a combination of procedures, a
combination and integration of different approaches that put the mechanism of cure into
action.
5. Finally, a psychotherapy needs a method of transmission, a training & teaching program
for the professionals who would practice and further develop the method.
What is the difference between autogenic training and psychotherapy?

Some people think

autogenic training is just a relaxation technique, and use it accordingly as an instrument more
in their practice; if they are qualified therapists and follow the basic autogenic principles, we me
say that they are doing autogenic therapy. If they possess psychotherapeutic skills & training,
we may say that they are doing autogenic psychotherapy. Therefore, autogenic psychotherapy
does include the basic technique for inducing the autogenic state, the clinical application of the
autogenic principles and the establishment of a skillful interpersonal relationship for the
application of the advanced methods of autogenics.

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2. Hypnosis or meditation?
Traditionally, autogenic training emerged from hypnosis. Oskar Vogt´s ¨auto-hypnotic
prophylactic rest exercises", one of the earliest forms of therapeutic autohypnosis, were a clear
forerunner of Schultz´s Autogenic Training (16). However, later on in his life Schultz resisted
himself from equating his method with hypnosis. There is an interesting interview given by
Schultz in 1958 to a Spanish newspaper on the occasion of his participation in the World
Congress of Psychotherapy in Barcelona: The interviewer repeatedly asks Schultz if Autogenic
Training is a form of auto-suggestion or auto-hypnosis and he never assents, but seems to evade
the question. Finally, Schultz says, "I prefer to say that it is a form of concentration" (17) . I
think that, after many years of teaching Autogenic Training to his patients and students, Schultz
probably realized that the psychological and physiological changes observed on them were
different from those produced by auto-hypnosis. Later on, Wolfgang Luthe further elaborated on
the clinical and physiological differences between autogenic training and hypnosis, but was wary
to admit the similarities to meditation, even if he was very familiar with Japanese Zen. This was
before 1975, the year the Harvard Physician Herbert Benson published "The Relaxation
Response" (18), reporting, as a great discovery, that Transcendental Meditation produced the
same physiological changes described several years before by the German studies with
Autogenic Training. My own comparative studies of Autogenic Training and several meditation
techniques demonstrated that the psychological subjective experience were very similar (19).
After many years of cooperation with schools of yoga and vipassana meditation, it is clear to me
now that "passive concentration" and "passive acceptance", so well described by Luthe as the
hallmark of Autogenics, correspond to the mental attitudes taught for the practice of Shamata
and Vipassana respectively (20).

Several modifications of classical meditation methods are

being increasingly recommended as psychological therapies, and the task group formed by De
Rivera, Trujillo, Chiesa, Abuin, Ranty, Gastaldo, Ottobre and Cantero proposed to group all those
methods, including Autogenics, under the general umbrella of ASCI Therapies (Therapies by
induction of Amplified States of Consciousness) (21). Nevertheless, in the full scope of Autogenic
Methods, we must accept the method of "Autogenic Modification" as close to self-hypnosis; this
is one of the richness of autogenic psychotherapy: that we are able to combine different
approaches with a single goal that is the improvement of the person.
3. Dual focus vs. single focus
An important question for meditation is the focus of concentration. Basic Autogenic Training
begins with an attentional technique that has nothing to do with will power; it has nothing to do
with imagination; it has everything to do with training the attention. There are two modes of
concentrating attention: Active concentration, which seeks results and activates the ergotropic

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system, and Passive concentration, which accepts everything as it is, and activates the
trophotropic

system.

Basic

Autogenic

Training

is

training

passive

concentration

on

proprioceptive/interoceptive sensations. The focus is an experience, but the recognition of this
experience is double: We live the proprioceptive/interoceptive experience, let's say arms
heaviness, at the same time by two channels. One is the direct perception by mental contact in
the part of the body under focus and the other is the verbal formulation of the experience by
concentration in the verbal formulation, `arms are heavy'. In the light of the new knowledge
about brain-hemispheric specialization, we understand today the powerful effect of AT on the
potentiation of interhemispheric cooperation. The processing of the verbal formulation activates
left hemispheric activity at the same time that the proprioceptive experience is being processed
by the right hemisphere. This dual concentration on the same experience facilitates the "second
switch".
4. Relaxation vs. Self-Realization
The difference between relaxation and self-realization is very important. Many people are
recommending autogenics as a form of relaxation, as a quick form of getting a sense of peace,
even bliss, which is fine; autogenic training does that. But it's more than that.

One of the

phenomena while in the autogenic state is the increased perception of the inner world, or
widening of the state of consciousness. This facilitates self-awareness, the neutralization of
traumatic and micro-traumatic experiences and, in general, the development of the inner
potentials. This is much more than providing an instant of peace, is much more than relaxation,
it is a way to self-realization. Part of this controversy is the practical problem of slumber or
sleepiness while in the autogenic state.

At the exception of the cases were this effect is

purposeful pretended, as in using AT for treatment of insomnia, slumber, sleepiness and oniroid
states are to be considered as technical errors. Engaging in sleep or daydreaming is not
autogenic training, nor is it any method of meditation. Producing sleep or a state near sleep
may be one of the aims of relaxation techniques, but the regular use of autogenics, as any
meditation, consists in amplifying the state of consciousness without decreasing the
consciousness level.
5. Purity vs. Eclecticism
At any turning point at the development of autogenics surges the question of purity versus
eclecticism. Purity is the tendency of some of the teachers and masters of autogenic training
and autogenic psychotherapy to keep very close to the roots; this may mean basic Schultz
teaching, anchored to basic Schultz ideas. Nobody is free of purity, as we also have people
anchored to early Luthe or to his respected own personal teacher. We have a few dogmas in
autogenics, which may vary from school to school. If the answer to a dilemma is "Dr X said so"

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we may be dealing with purity.

Purity is very good; we need people who care to keep us

connected to our roots. Eclecticism is incorporating discoveries from other sciences and methods
like, let's say, psychoanalysis, or oriental and mystic meditations, or hypnosis, or cognitive
psychology, or neuroscience, and so. Once eclecticism becomes integrated with the fundamental
roots of Autogenics, we have evolution. Evolution does also come from the internal development
of autogenics, from research and the application of new ideas. There should not be a
contradiction here; I think that we need both kinds of people.

We need a dynamic tension

between the people who want to keep exactly the method as it was created and people who
want the method to evolve and to improve and to enlarge, enlarging the theories and crating
new methods. Things evolve that way. We should not dissolve ourselves into different
approaches, but we should progress, we should evolve.

Loyalty is the highest virtue in

friendship, but the worst betrayal in science.
6. Isolation vs. Integration.
And, finally, there is the question of isolation versus integration, which is more or less related to
the previous controversy. Isolation is just to pretend that our method is very different to
everything else; integration is recognizing similarities and seeking alliances, in all the meanings
of the word. There are other approaches with which we share some common grounds, even if
they are coming from different roots. Human nature is the same for all, and every worthwhile
psychotherapy has evolved from the study of human nature. We are tending bridges with
psychoanalysis and with other dynamic psychotherapies, with the new ASCI therapies, with
holistic and traditional medicine. We always had our place in the big realms of Psychology and
Medicine and we must endeavor to get more and more of a presence.
AUTOGENIC PRINCIPLES
Autogenic principles are the basic concepts underlying the practice of Autogenics. The autogenic
principles form the essential theoretical framework that gives Autogenics the status of a scientific
psycho- physiologically oriented psychotherapy. All of them derive from observation and
experimentation; some have been discovered by autogenic research, while others have been
integrated from other sources. A more extended treatment of autogenic principles is in the
second edition of my book Psicoterapia Autogena (17) and what is exposed here is but a
summary.
1. Autogenicity
Autogenic means "self-generated". Autogenicity, the principle that gives name to the method,
refers to the natural capacity of the organism to generate its own processes of self-regulation
and development. This concept is close to Maturana and Varela´s autopoiesis (22) and was

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considered by Shultz as a basic "Law of Life" principle, reason why autogenic psychotherapy is
also known as bionomic psychotherapy (23). One of the main aspects of autogenicity is
homeostasis, which is the word Walter Canon applied to the discovery of Claude Bernard that
the body has its own way to organize itself. This concept has been further developed in
autogenics to encompass not only physiological self-regulation, but also psychological and social
self-regulation. Another reason why Autogenics gets its name from this principle is because the
regular induction of the autogenic state potentiates and improves the self-regulatory capacity of
the organism. Recently it has been formulated the concept of allostasis, which is implicit in the
concept of homeostasis (24). Autogenicity also refers to spontaneous human functioning, that
is, to what comes out from inside ourselves, from our true self. Autogenic psychotherapy
facilitates the recuperation and development of the true self through the promotion of clear
contact with our inner world.
2. ASCI (Amplified State of Consciousness Induction)
The ASCI principle as a basic action mechanism of autogenics and other therapies based on
mindfulness and meditation was presented for the first time in 2010 at the Meeting of the
International Federation of Psychotherapy in Luzern (21). A State of consciousness encompasses
a certain part of the inner world and is defined by its contents. As you know, Freud made a
career by showing that we are not fully aware of ourselves, that there are contents in our inner
world that, even if they are being actively processed, are not accessible to our conscious
awareness. In autogenic psychotherapy, and in other meditation methods, we are able to
perceive more contents that those accessible in the normal waking state, that is why we say
that those methods are producing an amplified state of consciousness. The important differences
with hypnosis are: 1. in hypnotic trance consciousness is restricted to those contents outlined in
the suggestion and 2. the hypnotic state is rigid, with difficult or impossible access to other
states. The states induced by hypnosis and other trance states are termed "focalized states" or
"reduced states of consciousness" In contrast, amplified states facilitate increased perception of
mental contents, and its regular induction develops the flexibility of access to other states. The
concept of States of Consciousness is to be differentiated from that of Level of Consciousness.
Whereas State of Consciousness refers to the contents of awareness, Level of Consciousness
refers to the clarity or intensity of perception. The levels of consciousness may vary from deep
coma to hyper- excitability or mania and refer to the degree of activation of wakefulness. They
have been studied more by neurologists than by psychiatrists, and have its biological basis in
the reticular activating ascending formation that runs from the brain stem into the diencephalon.
In contrast, the neurobiological base of the States of Consciousness is in the interaction between
the two brain cortical hemispheres. Falling asleep is not a change in a state of consciousness, is
a change on the level of consciousness. We may use autogenics to facilitate sound sleep, by

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allowing the progressive deactivation of the reticular formation that accompanies in many people
the increase of trophotropic activation, but the use of autogenics for mindfulness and selfdiscovery purposes requires the ability to separate trophotropic activation from reticular
deactivation. During the autogenic state two reflexes or "switches" take place: the first switch
or change from the mild ergotropic activation characteristic of the normal waking state to mild
trophotropic activation, and the second switch, change from mild left hemispheric dominance to
mild right hemispheric dominance (20, 25)
3. Neutralization
The neutralization principle was discovered by Wolfgang Luthe, first described in 1961 (26) and
its therapeutic implications further elaborated in 1975 (6,7). Basically, it can be formulated as
follows: "Traumatic experiences relieved in the autogenic state lose progressively its pathogenic
effects". Extrapolating this principle to the general field of traumatic stress studies, we can also
say that reliving (repeating, remembering, describing, verbalizing, etc) a traumatic experience
in a relaxed state facilitates the recovery from traumatic stress disorders, while relieving it in a
state of tension increases the pathology. This may be one of the reasons for the conflicting
studies about the benefits of debriefing in persons exposed to traumatic stress: it all depends
on the psychological environment in which the debriefing takes place (27). In the amplified state
of consciousness induced by autogenics there is an easy emergency of traumatic recordings or
traumatic engrams. The maintenance of passive acceptance is crucial at this point, as the
pathogenic effects of those engrams would fade progressively by the neutralization effect of the
autogenic state. Several action mechanism have been invoked to explain the neutralization
principle: From the CBT viewpoint, there is a spontaneous or autogenic progressive
desensitization of ansiogenic memories; from the psychoanalytic view, the defense mechanisms
against anxiety are no longer needed and the unconscious repressed contents may easily
emerge, leading to insight; from the neurobiological viewpoint, there is increased neuronal
connectivity, repairing the traumatic breaches and allowing normal processing. It is related to
the principle of coherence, according to which all the contents of a given state of consciousness
have to be compatible or coherent among themselves. As consciousness expands, incompatible
contents, which were easily processed in previously isolated states, become in contact and have
to blend themselves into new construct coherent with both of them.
4. Ideoplasia or ideomotor principle
This principle is the complement of the ASCI principle, from which it has to be clearly
differentiated. It takes its name from the discovery that the mental representation of a given
movement produces an unconscious activation of the muscles necessary to realize such
movement, which may be subliminally produced (28). Known from a long time, the ideomotor

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principle is today routinely applied to increase performance in sports and is the basis of the
method of autogenic modification. It is also known as the ideoplasic principle, meaning that not
only movements can be stimulated by their mental representation, but also other physical and
psychological functions. The therapeutic effect of the organ-specific formulas and of the personal
formulas is attributed to the action of the ideoplastic principle. In contrast, the trofotropic
activation (first switch) and the right hemispheric activation (second switch) is attributed to the
ASCI principle.
5. Education & Training
In autogenics, the patient is her own therapist, at variance with other methods that rely in the
personal influence of the therapist or in the application of a particular technique only known by
the therapist, such as interpretation, suggestion, conditioning, etc. The role of the autogenic
therapist, therefore, is that of a mentor that would teach the autogenic method, supervise the
technical performance of the trainee and give the necessary support to keep the training going.
The training effect, that is, the results obtained by the systematic and regular repetition of the
technique, are compared to that which takes place in musicians or other skilled performers: not
only the exercise becomes easier with practice, but, and most important, the brain areas and
brain reflexes put into action by the exercise become even more powerful. The main reason for
practicing the standard exercises two or three times every day is not so much to enjoy a
temporary state of calm, but to train and develop the brain areas that get stimulated by passive
concentration. It is estimated that the training principle takes between 3 and 6 months of regular
practice for the permanent changes to become apparent and measurable.
BIBLIOGRAFÍA
1. Schultz, JH Das Autogene Training, Konzentrative Selbstentspannung. Thieme, Liepzig, 1932
2. Schultz, JH, Luthe, W: Autogenic Therapy. Vol. 1 Autogenic Methods. Grune & Stratton, New
York, 1969
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