How Sophrology Helped Heal My War Trauma

How Sophrology Helped Heal My War Trauma

I was born in Lebanon and lived there between the age of 15 to 30, throughout the 15 years of civil war. During the last months before the war ended, the situation escalated very dramatically, and we went through long periods of bombing, of armies ferociously killing each other, we lived moments of heavy anxieties, fear of the unknown and what was going to happen to us, fears of how to survive.

All these emotions were deep within us and affected each one of us according to our mind and body equilibrium.

The day the war finished I was 30 years old, and very traumatized by the last events that took place around my neighborhood.  I decided to flee the country and go to Paris where my cousin was living, I could stay with her.

It was fall season, and Paris was booming with lights, but I found myself still moved by the emotions of war: as soon as the sun would set, I would rush home and not go out, because that’s what we used to do in Lebanon, for fear of bombings or shootings in the dark following sunset.

People would be all over the streets in Paris and I would be home with the windows closed. A friend whose wife was a sophrologist, suggested I try this method. I had never heard of this word before, but I was ready to give it a try because I wanted to get out of that state of trauma that was paralyzing my life.

The first session I fell asleep, and when I woke up, I remember feeling so, so good, like a kind of bliss. Actually, the therapist continued the work even while I slept, and it gave its effect – even if you fall asleep, your unconscious mind can still hear the voice of the therapist as it guides you through a visualization or other technique.

(Depending on your and your sophrologist’s preference, you may either be seated or lying down during a session.)

I followed a one-month intense sophrology therapy, one that started with three weekly sessions at first, then twice per week, and finally practicing privately on my own.

The sessions included talking, mild exercises to soften my joints, visualization exercises, and a special breathing technique that leads to the beautiful state between wake and sleep that we usually experience just before falling asleep. In that state, the mind is very receptive to changes one wishes to make and to forming better habits.

And week after week, I would feel improvements: held in emotions would release, leaving me feeling lighter within, anxieties lessened then disappeared, fears vanished, my mind became calmer. Within one month I was back to my normal self, impressed by how traumas could take hold of us and have many negative consequences on our behaviors and so our life, and how such a simple therapy, just through breathing, could give positive results so fast as if magical.

The fact that I really wanted to get out of the traumatic state I was in and the regularity of the sessions were essential to benefit fully from the therapy.

I am very grateful to sophrology and my sophrologist. Combined, they put me back on track and helped me recover a life force.

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