Psychological Methods of Stress Management

Includes studies - hope it helps

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  • Created on: 03-05-13 19:32
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therapy: Aims to
change maladaptive
thoughts that have
been learned by
reversing learning
Stress inoculation
Conceptualisation Client and therapist establish a relationship
Phase Client taught to see perceived threats as problems to be solved
Client enabled to think differently about problem
(This is the cognitive element)
Skills Acquisition Coping skills are taught and practised
Phase (and Gradually rehearsed in real life
rehearsal) Skills taught include: positive thinking, relaxation, attention diversion
methods, time management skills, social support systems
Cognitive skills ­ client encouraged to think differently
Behavioural skills ­ involve learning new adaptive behaviours
This stage is tailored to clients' needs
Application Phase Clients put training to test in the real world. Initially gradually, and then
increasingly stressful situations using imagery, modelling, imitation and
Reinforcement of successful coping in real situations becomes self-sustaining.
Clients may be asked to train others, and be offered booster sessions at a
later date to maintain learning
Strengths including Meichembaum compared SIT with systematic desensitisation, but SIT can
evidence transfer to other fears - It teaches people to deal with all stressors, rather
than just the individual ones
Hardiness training
(Kobassa and
Maddi) Aim:
Focusing Client taught to recognise physical signs of stress e.g. muscle tension,
anxiety, heart rate, and identify sources of stress
Reliving stressful Client relives stressful situations and is helped by therapist to analyse their
encounters response to them
Gives an insight into current coping strategies ­ and how they might be more
Self-Improvement Insights help develop new techniques to deal with stress
Central to hardiness is belief that we cope with lifes challenges
Focus on-- stressors seen as controllable challenges instead of problems
Strengths including Williams et al (92) ­ found hardy people use more problem-focused and
evidence support seeking measures than less hardy people when faced with stressors.
Fletcher (2005) ­ (Olympic swimmers)

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Uk Olympic swimmers have been given hardiness training to ensure they are
commited to the challenge of increase performance levels, whilst keeping
everyday lives stress-free
Long term appeal ­ new skills can be applied to other situations
Limitations: requires effort from both client and therapist ­ also, needs many sessions and can be
expensive…read more


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