In addition to our usual program of outdoor stays as we have been offering them for 20 years, the discovery of sophrology is now part of our offer for all.

A stay on the 2023 program to start in 5 dates: Discovery week of sophrology, nature and relaxation in Sommarøy, hiking, kayaking sailing, cycling. Half a day, relaxation, acquisition of the first sophrology tools.

This introduction to sophrology for all takes place independently of our activity “Mental preparation of the athlete” for athletes and SHN throughout the year. For more information see “the athletes’ corner”.

General presentation of the teaching of sophrology in our center and the development of sports sophrology


Psycho behavioral sophrology: 

Sophrology, like yoga or meditation, can be practiced on a daily basis. There is no need to wait for the usual dysfunctions for which people turn to a sophrologist to start. Acting preventively is easier for maintaining the course and keep the steering straight. It is a discipline that is not very time-consuming because it fits easily into the course of a normal day. It makes it possible to mitigate, or even solve, with a little practice, problems of stress, management of emotions, self-confidence, concentration, etc. 

Sophrology starts with the body, is deeply anchored in it to distance itself from the mind. It proposes to internalize the gaze, to turn to the observation of the body, the breath and the feeling, to reconnect with the body diagram and to have an accepting and acceptable inner language then to access a state of consciousness that allows to be fully in what we are doing in a gentle, natural way. Thus, well-being is imposed on the subject who becomes aware of it by continuing the work of observation, noticing that emotions, thoughts have changed without having passed through the mind. Well-being invites itself stealthily, gently and occupies more and more space in the immense space of interiority. Negative emotions or thoughts are no longer at the forefront of concerns as they used to be. They are accepted, overcome, outdated, and receive less and less attention. 

Psycho-behavioral sophrology is based on four pillars: body schema, objective reality, positive action and adaptability. it distinguishes itself from the Caycedian current by integrating and enriching its practice with other methods and useful tools  for solving problems within the field of sophrology. Each individual accompaniment is subject to a personalized protocol since each person is different. It is a person-centered approach that allows you to no longer suffer your life but to take it in hand and become autonomous. 

Sophrology aims to strengthen the structures of the personality, to energize the qualities and resources of the person. it proposes to explore the “What if it goes well?” version rather than the “And if it goes wrong” version. However, this should not be confused with magical thinking, nor passive contemplation in a self-proclaimed inner calm. This calm exists of course, this space is precious but it must be felt, lived and not thought.

Psycho-behavioral sophrology leads us to look things sharply for what they are. It is relatively easy to identify and name what we no longer want, but it is often more difficult to know what we want. It is not uncommon for the initial objectives to evolve during the accompaniment 🙂 


Olivier Pitras: What was my motivation to become a sophrologist?

I have been a sports educator and professional skipper for 40 years. I have seen countless crew members passing onboard and I have always been fascinated by the richness of the different personalities I have been able to meet during these years. 

I have always strived, with great pleasure, to welcome my teams and my customers so that everyone finds a place to their measure, in a harmonious way, in the crew. A team is for me a sum of individuals who share the same goal. 

The care of customers, especially the less experienced, was a real accompaniment. Life aboard a sailboat is radically different from life on land and I find it very interesting to set up the conditions for the less experienced to overcome their fears and live these changes with serenity especially when the sea and bad weather are part of the game.  It sounds to me essential when it comes to organizing a space of comfort in the heart of a gale. 

In 2015, we created “69Nord Sommarøy Outdoor Center” to welcome with the same philosophy a nature clientele in search of authenticity. With my wife, we wanted to create a place of well-being in all simplicity, without luxury or pretense. 

Personally, I initially wanted to structure the pieces of a puzzle started at the age of 18 by reading a book that had introduced me to the virtues of breathing, muscle relaxation and positive visualizations. I have used these techniques all my life; They have often served me on my polar expeditions and in life in general. 

This is how I became interested in sophrology and enrolled at the EFDS (French School of Sophrotherapy). The philosophy of Psycho Behavioral Sophrology, the tone set by the teaching team and their great intellectual honesty immediately seduced me. Along the way, I realized that this new adventure offered me the chance to assemble the pieces of my puzzle and also offered me a remarkable opportunity to integrate these achievements into the very heart of my professional activity. At the end of my training, I found myself a certified sophrologist (RNCP certification, specialization mental preparation of the athlete), equipped with a toolbox, a real Swiss army knife of techniques to mobilize his resources, which responded from all points of view to the rules of ethics and deontology that I followed until then to go through life.


The texts below are taken up and developed in “Le coin des sportifs” (mental preparation of the athlete)

Sports sophro pedagogy:

Why did I specialize in sports sophrology and athlete mental preparation? 

This choice seemed obvious to me. It is by doing sports, that is to say by using my body to play, in effort, method and commitment that came to me, at the end of adolescence, a need for personal development. I felt that bodily activity was leading me to this approach. 

This period immediately came back to me when I started practicing sophrology. It was for me a form of fluid and natural continuity.

The results obtained by sports sophro pedagogy are considerable in terms of performance but especially in terms of pleasure and accomplishment for athletes.

I am surprised to see the abilities and speed of progression in the athletes I accompany.

According to Wikipedia, “mental preparation is a training that consists in developing mental and cognitive skills in order to optimize the personal or collective performance of the athlete(s) while promoting the pleasure of practice and autonomy”.

It is a team effort between the athlete(s), the coach, the sophrologist.

Mental preparation is a pedagogical approach to accompany the athlete (her or him) so that he gives the best of himself, that he makes the best use of his resources in the context of training and competitions. 

The learning of sophrology and its regular practice has already proven itself over the last fifty years with athletes up to the highest level.

Why a particular focus on offshore racing even if I am open to supporting other sports?

Even if the sophrologist does not need to know the sport practiced by the person he or she accompanies, since all the information comes from the athlete himself, it is nevertheless likely that for a offshore racer, being followed by a sophrologist who has a long experience of offshore navigation (solo or crew) and who masters the jargon of the discipline will be all factors favoring the implementation of the relationship. 


Extract from the book “La Voie des glaces”, Olivier Pitras, Transboréal editions, page 210
Story of the “Trans-Arctic 99” expedition 

On board Sunday, August 22, 1999

Extract from the logbook:

“The appalling nudity of this deserted and harsh universe strangely does not detract from the irresistible charm that emerges from it. This spell, this almost carnal fascination, is based on the fact that here, hostile nature sends us full force, without detour or concession, the image of our fragility. This evidence of each second reveals another, which is a miracle: consciousness, self-awareness, consciousness in action, the mind, its formidable power, its inexhaustible resources in the struggle for existence. It is the hymn to life. This expedition, whatever the outcome, makes me discover a higher spiritual dimension.

Some might encounter God or faith there. I am content, without really realizing it, to lead my inner journey in parallel with the great fight outside. I gain, I believe, in tenacity and confidence in myself but also in tolerance and humility, in love for life and for its motley procession. Knowing that the track is ice-free to Gjoa Haven has allowed me to take a step back from our ongoing commitment. We should arrive at the stopover in the early afternoon. I am happy. It was already so unlikely to make it this far. All hopes remain for the success of our challenge. In his time, Willy de Roos had not reached Gjoa Haven from the Atlantic until August 23. That’s a good sign. »

My hand was so numb from the cold when I wrote these lines that I had a hard time re-reading myself to writte the book.

Olivier Pitras