Autogenic training 

  • What is Autogenic Training (AT)?

    AT is a structured meditative-style practice. It is a sequence of simple mental exercises which can bring about profound mental and physical relaxation. AT can help balance the activity of body and mind, enabling (with practice) a mental and physical switch into a calm state easily and at will.

    Originating in Germany and developed by doctors, AT is a well-established method, over 100 years old and used in many parts of the world. Self-administered exercises help people help themselves.

  • What conditions can be referred?

    AT is part of the RLHIM Psychological Therapy Service, which receives referrals for chronic physical health problems. Please see our “Psychological Services” webpage and leaflet for more details.

    Stress can play a significant part in contributing to ill-health, often creating a stress-symptom cycle. AT is particularly recommended for conditions where stress is identified as resulting in or maintaining health-related problems. AT helps to deal with the emotional difficulties of chronic illness and can also be used to support other therapies.

  • Benefits

    AT is versatile. Exercises can be practised almost anywhere (travelling, in bed, in the garden), wearing ordinary clothes. You can use AT according to the time available: 20 seconds or 20 minutes can be very effective. AT is a skill for life – a tool-kit for coping.

    Many people report:

    • Improved confidence and efficiency
    • significantly reduced stress and worry
    • manage chronic health and other problems more effectively
    • improved sleep
  • Relaxation

    Through bringing about deep relaxation, AT exercises can help to reduce the effects of the ‘fight-flight’ stress response. In time this may help tension, improve general well-being, mood, energy and sleep.
  • How AT is taught

    An initial assessment is made with a British Autogenic Society (BAS)-trained AT therapist. If appropriate an AT course will be recommended. AT is typically taught in groups of six to eight patients. The eight weekly sessions last for two hours and it is important to attend them all. AT is not group psychotherapy, however other group members support your process as you support theirs. The autogenic programme is one of self-help, inducing a spontaneous process of change which can enable you to manage health and other problems more effectively.

    Home practice is essential for a few minutes three times a day, so that by the end of the course the technique has become an integral part of your life and an everyday resource for health and well-being.

    For more information: www.autogenic-therapy.org.uk 

  • Your appointments

    If you are unable to attend your assessment appointment please let us know at least 48 hours beforehand so we can offer it to someone else. If you have to cancel or change the booked 8-session course please give as much notice as you can so we can offer your course place to someone else before the start date.

    Your place on the course is valuable, and cannot be filled if you vacate it.

    If you do not attend your appointments without telling us we will refer you back to your GP. Following your treatment you will be referred back to your GP.

  • Outcome

    There is no planned or promised outcome. Autogenic exercises feel much like meditation to practise, but following an easy structure. There is no expectation. You learn to become the passive observer, quietly watching the process of change and the reactions to the exercises. There is no right or wrong response to an exercise: simply your response.
  • Professional education and training

    The RLHIM is also a teaching hospital and from time to time other healthcare professionals may observe in outpatient clinics as part of a training course. We will always ask your permission for students to sit in during your consultation. You do not have to have students present if you would prefer not to.

 Contact details

Autogenic Training
Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine
60 Great Ormond Street
London, WC1N 3HR

Patient enquiries
Telephone: 020 3448 2000

GP enquiries
Telephone: 020 3448 2000
Fax: 020 3448 2004
Email: rlhimpatients@uclh.nhs.uk (not for referrals)

Service manager - Loretta Chinwokwu
Email: rlhimpatients@uclh.nhs.uk (not for referrals)


Patient leaflets