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Alfonso Caycedo, (born 19 November 1932 at Bogota in Colombia) is one of the founders of sophrology. Professor Caycedo is the head of Sophrocay International, and is based in Andorra, Barcelona and Bogotá, where he teaches the upper levels of sophrology training.
After his early education in Colombia, Caycedo moved to Spain to study in the faculty of medicine at the University of Madrid where he became a doctor of medicine and surgery. He specialised in psychiatry and neurology under the direction of Lopez Ibor, a Spanish professor of psychiatry.
He noticed that many people were wary of the term hypnosis as it is often associated with something mysterious and even magical. For this reason, he coined the term sophrology in October 1960 and the same year he founded the first department of clinical sophrology at Madrid University. At this time, sophrology is in fact very close to hypnosis, although sophrology advocated a more humanist approach to the patient.
Alfonso Caycedo met Ludwig Binswanger, the Swiss founder of phenomenological psychiatry, in 1963. Caycedo became familiar with the method of investigation of the consciousness proposed by Husserl and Heidegger and this definitively influenced the direction of his research on the consciousness. Caycedo tried to democratise existential phenomenology through sophrology. He proposed to rediscover phenomena of modified states of consciousness with a phenomenology-inspired approach.
He spent time in India where he learnt Yoga beside the great Yogis whom he met through Indian doctors. In the Himalayas, he met one of the doctors of the 14th Dalai-Lama, and discovered methods such as Tummo which allows one to reach modified states of consciousness. Caycedo also visited Japan where he was equally impressed by Zazen. Caycedo recognised the importance of the body in these different methods. This training does not require any particular belief system.
In Barcelona from 1968 to 1982, Caycedo gained his Professorship at the School of Psychiatry at the University of Barcelona in the faculty of medicine. During this period, Caycedo did extensive experimentation and research on his principle of Dynamic Relaxation.
- 1970 first World Congress of Sophrology in Barcelona with 1400 specialists and 42 countries represented. The future king of Spain, Juan Carlos is the president of honour along with the future queen, Sofia.
- 1973 European Symposium in Lausanne, Brussels and the first collective sophrology training takes place in Paris
- 1975 second World Congress of Sophrology in Barcelona
- 1977 first Pan-American Symposium of Sophrology in Recife (Brazil).
From 1988 to present, Professor Caycedo continues to develop and improve the sophrology method in Andorra. In 1989, he created the new level of Master of Caycedian Sophrology and founded the International University of Caycedian Sophrology (Sophrocay International).
- (Spanish) La sofrología médica. Su aplicación a la odontología, 1961, Rev. Esp. de Estomatología, Barcelone.
- (Spanish) Hacia un estudio fenomenológico de la Hipnosis clínica. Las técnicas de la relajación y estados afines, 1962, Rev. Lat. Amer. de Hip. Clin. vol III, n° 2, Buenos Aires.
- (English) Sophrology and Psychosomatic Medicine, 1964, The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Arizona.
- (Spanish) Relajación Hipnosis, Yoga, Zen, fenómenos unitarios, 1965, Rev. Ibero Americana de Sofrología, Buenos Aires.
- (English) Letters of silence, 1966, Bhawani and Sons, New-Delhi (Inde).
- (English) India of Yogis, 1966, National Publishing House, New-Delhi (Inde).
- (Spanish) Progresos en sofrología, 1969, Editorial Scientia, Barcelona (Spain), ouvrage collectif traduit sous le titre Progrès en sophrologie, Société centrale de sophrologie et médecine psychosomatique.
- (Spanish) La India de los Yogis, 1971, Editorial Scientia, Barcelona.
- (Spanish) Diccionario Abreviado de Sofrología y Relajación Dinámica
- (French) Dictionnaire abrégé de Sophrologie et Relaxation Dynamique, 1972, ediciones Emegé, Barcelona.
- (Spanish) Sofrología médica, 1974, ediciones Aura, Barcelona.
- (French) L'aventure de la sophrologie, 1979, Editions Retz, Paris.
- (French) Sophrologie Caycedienne, Relaxation Dynamique de Caycedo en 13 cassettes vidéo, 1994, Sophrocay International.
- (French) Sophrologie Caycedienne en médecine et en prophylaxie sociale, revue officielle de la Fondation Alfonso Caycedo dirigée par A. Caycedo, depuis 1995, Sophrocay S.A., PAL (La Massana), Principauté d'Andorre.