Meichenbaum - Treating stress

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  • Created by: Steff06
  • Created on: 13-02-16 16:33
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      • Stage 1: People made aware of the thoughts they have in stressful situations. e.g. self instructions/verbalisations.
      • Stage 2: People taught coping strategies to reconstruct their thoughts. Taught to relax when stressed. Learn self-instructions to relax.
      • Stage 3: Use everything they have learned and put it into practice to help them succeed.
      • Adopts a COGNITIVE approach as it assumes stress is caused by faulty processing of information.
    • Aim:
      • To compare SIT with standard behavioural systematic desensitisation and a control group on a waiting list.
    • Method and design:
      • Field assessment. Students assessed before and after treatment using self-report and grade averages.
      • Matched pairs design. Matched on gender and anxiety levels.
      • Participants randomly put in 1 of 3 groups: The SIT therapy group, waiting list control group or standard systematic desensitisation group.
    • Participants:
      • Volunteer sample. Aged 17-25 who responded to an advert for treatment of test anxiety.
    • Procedure:
      • Each tested using test anxiety questionnaire and allocated to group.
        • SIT group received 8 therapy sessions. Given insight approach to help identify thoughts prior to tests. Give positive statements to say and relaxation techniques.
        • 8 therapy sessions with progressive relaxation training in systematic desensitisation group which they were encouraged to practice at home.
        • Control group told they were on a waiting list and they would receive treatment in future.
    • Findings:
      • Test performance improved in SIT group compared to other groups. Significant difference between 2 therapy groups and control group.
      • SIT group showed more improvement in anxiety levels.
    • Conclusions:
      • SIT is a more effective way of reducing anxiety in students who are anxiety prone in test situations. It is more effective than behavioural techniques e.g. systematic desensitisation as it adds a cognitive component to the therapy.


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