Introduction to Autogenic DynamicsFor those who have completed the basic AT course with a therapist
This section on Autogenic Dynamics is intended primarily for those who have completed, or are nearing the completion, of the basic AT course with a therapist. It may also be of interest to counsellors and therapists in general, and Autogenic Therapists in particular.
Research over the last couple of decades or so has revealed extra-ordinary inter-connections between Ancient Meditative type Practices, Mental Training (such as Autogenic Training and Positive Mental Training), and neuro-science.
I find these links both fascinating and deeply humbling – in that some of the current ideas and concepts in cutting edge neuro-science and research reveal the wisdom and insights of various millennia-old Eastern Meditative Traditions.
From the point of view of mental training and our own Well-Being, however, it is important that we keep our feet, as it were, firmly on the ground. That is to say, ideas and concepts of how meditative type practices work can interfere, if we are not careful, with the practice itself. So when we are doing an AT session, for example, the essential practice is to be gently focusing on where we are in the sequence, such as “Arms and Legs are Heavy and Warm”: and not on the neuro-chemistry of what is going on in our brains!
In Autogenic Dynamics (Ross 2010) the term is used to convey in general terms the dynamics of Autogenic Training in physiological, psychological, and neuro-physiological domains.
In this web manifestation of Autogenic Dynamics, and particularly in sections C and D, the concept has been expanded to embrace fundamental aspects of Mindfulness and Mindsight which Mental Training facilitates. As these processes involve internal mental and brain processes, the term Autogenic (generated from within) seems to be increasingly apt.
The Autogenic Dynamics section of this website is the longest. It is divided into four sections.
F. Reflections on Autogenics 3.0 (based on the work of Prof. Luis de Rivera)
Recent additions to the above four Autogenic Dynamics sections include:
May 2020 update
A new article is included:
- B 22 A playfully sympathetic approach to the Polyvagal Theory – An introduction to Flourishing Autogenically (2020).
This is a relatively short article, and, as indicated, is a prelude to a longer article (B 23) planned to go on-line in a few months’ time.
Also: I have updated the article:
- B6 Perceptions, flowers, and reality (previous versions 2010 and 2011)
New Articles for Summer 2020
- B 24: Autogenic Switches and Well-Being
This article deals with some of the underlying dynamics that can facilitate balance and harmony in those regularly practising mindful / meditative approaches such as Autogenic Training. It brings together some fundamental concepts of Autogenic Training based on the work of Schultz, Luthe, Luis de Rivera and Micah Sadigh.
- A 10: Towards Transformation: Surviving and Thriving in the era of Covid 19 – and building inner long-term Resilience to the vicissitudes of life
This article focuses on building inner resilience in the context of the Covid 19 pandemic, based on the work of David Hanscom and his team – from an Autogenic perspective. Central to this thesis is that Autogenically induced Life Style changes and Inner Transformation facilitate being better able to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of life.
Two new articles appear as we approach the end of 2020, both on the subject of Expressive Autogenic Resilience Training Exercises. The original ideas of these arose out of Luthe’s Intentional Off Loading Exercises and his concept of the Authentic Self. The two are:
- A11: Expressive Autogenic Resilience Training Exercises: Series A
This group is primarily physical in nature – i.e. short physical exercises, some of which have specific neuro-physiological effects.
- A12: Expressive Autogenic Resilience Training Exercises: Series B
This group deals more explicitly with distressing emotional and feeling states, some of which involve expressive writing.
These were originally conceived as one article, but then became somewhat unmanageable. I therefore decided to divide it into three sections; the above two, and a further article scheduled for
- A13: Expressive Autogenic Resilience Training Exercises: Series C
Here the emphasis is more on personal development – in terms of Self Realisation – and moving towards our Authentic Self.
Stephen Porges’ research has resulted in his “Polyvagal Theory”, which is introduced in A7 and A8. This theory helps us to understand the links between the autonomic nervous system and social engagement, crucial for our well being.
• A7: Porges and The Polyvagal Theory – Reflections on clinical and therapeutic significance
• A8: The Polyvagal Theory and a more sympathetic awareness of the ANS (after Porges et al)
The original B3 section on Affective Neuro-science and the work of Jaak Panksepp has now been expanded into two parts.
• B3: Part l: The Origins of Affect and Affective Neuroscience – and the misplacing of Affect in the
• B3: Part ll: Emotional Operating Neuro Circuits – a brief introduction to Panksepp’s model
• B13: Expressive Writing and Well-Being – the efficacy of intentionally Off Loading through writing
• B16: Antidotes to Threats our Minds Create – the Soothing and Contentment System
• C6-A: Integration and Well Being – original 3 page version (2011)
• C6-B: Integration and Well Being – expanded 17 page version (2013)
• C12: Presence in Mind – Autonomic Afferents and Well-Being
• B18: The Space to Choose – reflections on the gap between the stimulus and the response
• B5: Emotions, Frontal Lobe Dynamics, and Autogenic Training – in the context of autonomic afferent lateralisation
• B15: Towards a Growth Mindset – based on the work of Carol S Dweck
• B17: Windows of Affect Tolerance: Reflections on Childhood Distress, Procedural Learned Tendencies, and the Therapeutic Dyad [based on Ogden]
• A9: Emotions, Well Being and Immune Function: Awe and Shame as modulators of Being – for good or ill
• D10: Look at the Cypress Tree
This update involves a new category E. This relates to papers based on talks given by Ian Ross over the years.
We are starting with a talk given in London on 21st May 2016:
• Look at the Cypress Tree – Autonomic Afferents and Well-Being: Background Research Paper for talk given to the British Autogenic Society Annual Lecture (London, 21st May 2016)
Some years ago we looked at aspects of Autogenic Training specifically in the context of Buddhist Psychology in the article: D4: “Duhkha, Impermanence, and Inter-relatedness (Some Reflections on Sakyamuni, Inter-relatedness, and Well-Being)”.
In 2011 I started writing two further articles on this theme, which I then set aside for some years. During the last six months I have returned to these, re-written parts, and added a new third article (D11), making a series of four. The three new articles are:
- D8: Duhkha II The Second Arrow and Sympathetic Afferents
- D9: Duhkha lll Reducing Duhkha: Experiential Modes, Mindfulness and Intuitive Working Memory
- D11 Sukha: Paths of Well-Being, PSNS Afferents, and Inner Warmth: from Duhkha to Sukha
All three of these papers have a glossary covering some Buddhist psychology and neuro-physiological terms; the most extensive of these is in D11.
In Buddhist psychology there are six teachings on the concept of Paramita, and these include:
- Dana Paramita (see web-article: D2: Dana Paramita) and
- Virya Paramita.Virya Paramita can be seen in terms of an Affect Regulation model which is based on four underlying principles, discussed in: D12: Diligence and Well-Being
The concepts here overlap with D3: Store Conscious and Watering Our Positive Seeds.
During the last few years I have also been working on two articles on the origins of Separation Distress and Grief. The first of these, B19, is now available, and B20 will become available during 2018.
The article B20: “Separation Distress – Neuro-physiological reflections on developing a Secure Base”, is now available.
A new Autodynamics section is being developed, Section F. This will focus on the new Autogenics 3.0 model developed by Prof. Luis de Rivera (Madrid) during the last few years. It is this approach to Autogenic Training that Ian Ross now teaches, having found that it has significant enhancements – and fits in better with Ian Ross’s underlying philosophy and perspective on life and AT.
This section will cover practical articles on aspects of Autogenics 3.0, which may be of value to those who have completed a basic Autogenic Training course.
Section F: Reflections on Autogenics 3.0 (based Prof. Luis de Rivera’s work)
The first of this series of articles is now available:
Three further articles are planned to be on line by the end of the month. These are:
- F 2: Autogenic 3.0: an approach to the 10 Standard Exercise format for those familiar with, and practising, the Six Standard Exercise format
- F 6.1: Constructive Feeling Meditation I: Calm
- F 6.2: Constructive Feeling Meditation II: Existence
Two further articles are scheduled to be online by the end of this month, and are a continuation of the series on Constructive Feeling Meditations. They are:
- F 6.3 Constructive Feeling Meditation III: Zest
- F 7 Meditation on Five Sounds that can Heal the World
The first of these, on Zest, is based on Luis de Rivera’s Constructive Feeling Meditation (de Rivera 2018); and the second, on Five Sounds that can Heal the World, is grounded on one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s more recent books (2015).
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in on this website is accurate and up to date.
However, neither Ian Ross nor the British Autogenic Society will be liable for any loss or damage of any nature occasioned to or suffered by any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of reliance on the material contained on this site. If in doubt, please consult your Autogenic Therapist or your medical / therapeutic advisor.
Please also note that the ideas expressed here are those of Ian Ross, and not necessarily those of the British Autogenic Society.