Schultz autogenic training: what it is and how is it used in therapy

Relaxation is a state that can be accessed through a wide variety of techniques; moreover, it is a state that many people in consultation want to achieve, especially in a stressful situation. One of the techniques to do this is autogenic Schultz training.

This type of training aims to achieve relaxation in the individual, but also other deeper goals, which we will see in this article. We will also know in detail the exercises you use and their characteristics.

    Schultz’s autogenic training: what is it?

    Schultz’s autogenic training consists of a relaxation technique, Through which it is intended to produce a general transformation of the individual, through a series of physiological exercises (more precisely, six).

    Etymologically, the term “autogenous” comes from the Greek “performances” (itself) and “gene” (becoming); it could translate into learning developed from the subject’s “me”, and which involves everything.

    However, Schultz’s autogenic training goes far beyond simple relaxation, and sometimes allows significant psychological changes in people, much more internal and profound, as we will see later.

    More precisely, “autogenic training” means exercising the mind for oneself, Voluntarily.

    The goal is to influence the behavior of the rest of the body, and the physiological changes that appear indicate that this technique is much more than a technique of persuasion.


      Schultz’s autogenic training exercises are 6, and they focus on different parts of the body. More precisely:

      • Heavy exercise
      • Heat exercise
      • Heartbeat exercise
      • breathing exercises
      • Abdominal regulation
      • Head exercise


      Some of the most relevant goals of autogenic Schultz training have been defined by Carranque (2004). More precisely, this author talked about the benefits of self-application of such training:

      1. Self-regulation

      There is a self-regulation of the organic functions of the body, such as respiratory, cardiovascular and digestive functions.

      2. Return of the body

      The body is balanced and good psycho-hygiene is obtained. Psychohygiene is a slightly deeper concept, which refers to personal care, and makes use their own thoughts and ailments to heal internal wounds.

      3. Be reassured

      Another of Schultz’s autogenic training goals or milestones is that anxiety levels decrease, And an internal state of peace and tranquility is produced, through internal relaxation.

      4. Self-determination

      Self-determination allows the person to know what he wants and to decide for himself, in addition to cope better with stressful life situations.

      5. Improved performance

      Another of Schultz’s training successes is increased performance in areas such as memory and attention.

      6. Pain relief

      In some cases, it also modulates or suppresses the sensation of pain.

      7. Self-criticism and self-control

      It allows us to improve our capacity for self-criticism and self-control, through improve our inner vision of ourselves.

      Fundamentals of this relaxation technique

      The basics, characteristics or “rules” of Schultz autogenic training are as follows:

      On the one hand, Schultz sees the body and mental processes as a common unit. In addition, he believes that mental learning can influence the rest of the body, and vice versa.

      This technique is based on clinical hypnosis; hypnosis is a state similar to sleep, which is achieved through psychological influence. But there is another type of hypnosis: the superficial. This provides a state of pleasant stillness, where the inner life remains “awake”.

      The formation continues a kind of gradual and orderly process of self-hypnosis (The same exercises and in the same order), which causes a number of physiological changes (in the body), such as muscle relaxation, change in heart rate and breathing, etc.

      Further, Schultz’s autogenic training does not appeal to the person’s conscious will, but rather, as we have said, is a more hypnotic act process (where the person “engages” in exercises. naturally).

      Finally, ** focuses on producing real physiological changes **, which can impact a person’s psychological and physical well-being. He considers that an idea represented with sufficient intensity in a state of concentration enables these changes to be achieved.


      When implementing Schultz autogenic training, it is important to take into account a number of considerations.

      On the one hand, should look for a quiet place to work, well, With adequate temperature and light, no noise, etc.

      The initial position of the person must be comfortable; it can be seated in a comfortable chair or armchair, on a backless stool or directly lying down. The eyes should be closed.

      Once in the starting position, it is recommended that the person begin to tell themselves a series of self-instructions already practiced, such as “I am calm”, “I am comfortable”, etc. Finally, it is important not to change the order of the exercises.

      How long does it take to learn?

      If practiced regularly about 2 or 3 times a day, for 3 minutes, you can learn each exercise well in 10 or 15 days (under normal conditions).

      You have to be systematic and constant so as not to lose the progress that is made. It is essential that the learning of the exercises is gradual, that is to say that one must overcome a previous step to move on to the next. Thus, in general, the learning of the complete training can be between 3 and 4 months.

      On the other hand, if you give up your practice, it is advisable to start again for the first exercise and to resume learning each of them (even if the learning will be faster).

      Bibliographical references:

      • Pérez, M .; Fernandez, JR; Fernández, C. and Amic, I. (2010). Guide to effective psychological treatments I and II :. Madrid: Pyramid.
      • Self-applied program to control anxiety before exams. (2015). University of Almeria. Ministry of Education and Science, 1-3.
      • Schultz, JH (1959). Autogenic training. Barcelona: Ed. Medical scientist.

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