Regular practice of AT, with its passive concentration, encourages a shift to a different mode of perception, to a witnessing self that observes without judging or striving. This will be a novel and sometimes difficult experience to many AT clients at the start, requiring careful explanation and support from the therapist, not to mention practice from the client. In time, the client realises that subtle changes have taken /are taking place (e.g. a general state of calmness; and later, maybe a sense that ‘actually it doesn’t matter’ – whatever current adversity).
However in reaching that new inner space, people may become more aware of and open to emotions, feelings and memories, some of which may be disturbing, if they have been repressed for some time. There are no right or wrong results during the practice of AT. We learn to observe and accept – and – the other side of an AT course: how to MANAGE these emotions.
Again, the role of the therapist is crucial in helping the client to manage and work through any ‘unfinished business’ that may surface during AT.
There may also be an increase in creativity and openness to intuition. This expanded access to feelings, memories, intuition, and creativity suggests an opening of communication across the corpus callosum, the connecting bridge between the two brain hemispheres. Analysis of central nervous-system activity during AT has indeed suggested an increased balancing of the left and right brain hemispheres, together with an increase in Alpha wave activity and an upward shift into the Theta region.
Luthe’s Off-Loading Exercises
These exercises were developed by Dr Wolfgang Luthe from clinical observations over a period of twenty years. They run in parallel to the autogenic standard exercises, and are designed to support and enhance the autogenic process when the person feels ‘stuck or confused’ during their AT course. These exercises have become an integral part of teaching AT, and address the management of our emotions. They are a life-long skill in dealing with anger, anxiety and grief reactions.