Stress management

  • Created by: Jenna k
  • Created on: 31-03-14 14:07

Stress inoclation training

Stress inoculation training is one of the psychological treatments of stress. It was formed by Meichenbaum as an addition to cognitive behavioural therapy. It consists of:

Conceptualisation - This is where the client identifies the source of stress and keeps a diary of stressful events that occure.

Skills and rehearsal - This involves the theripist teaching the client ways to deal with the stress full situation. This, of course, will depend completly apon the type of stress they are having and what about. For example, if someone has a fear of social situations thay will be trained to change their body behaviour and they way they think will be adapted to help them in those situation. So when they are next caught in a stressful situation they will be equiped with th skills they need to cope with it.

Application - This involves the client slowly using the skill they have been taught and rehursed. This is by no means the end of the sessions but these are the methods that send the client on their way to coping.

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Evaluation of stress inoculation training

There are a lot of benifits to using SIT. They inculde:

  • This method focuses on both proble-focused coping and emotion-focused coping. As the client is taught houw to manage that specific problem but they are also taught how to deal with the emotioinal side, through meditation, ventilation and relaxsation.
  • The first step of stress management if to indentify the problem. This method does exactly that.
  • Stress is the differeacne betwen persived demands anf the tools you have to cope with it. SIT deals with making this gap smaller, by creating more tools and lowering perceived demands.

This is a widely used method of managing stress but there are some draw backs to it.

  • It takes time, commitment and money to treat stress like this but it is very effective.
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Kobasa's hardiness training.

Kobasa suggested that there is a hardi personality that is tougher when it come to stress. (They cope better or don't feel stress at all) As she develoved a theory she had to appy it too. This stress managing method is it. It consists of:

Focusing - This is when the client is asked to focus of the physiological effects of the stress to pin point the cause of stress.

Reconstruction - This involves the indvidual to recall a stressful situation and refelct on it. Like how it could have be worse or have gone better. This makes the demands more realistic and managable in the minds eye.

Self improvements - This involves the client taking on small chunks of stress and dealing with them. This stage may have similar dealings to the SIT stage, when they were given methods of dealing with their stress. This allows the induvidual to became self-efficent (the sense of control and personal effecitiveness.)


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Evaluation of Kobasa's hardiness training

Once again this is an argument of effectivness and aplicability.

  • This focuses on the percived demands and the tool that are needed to cope with it. The clients percieved demands are lowered and they are given tool to cope with the demands.
  • It bosts their sense of self-efficiencey, with should change their perceprtion of themsleves in stressful situations.
  • There have been studies that have prooven that Kobasa's hardiness training has improved health and performance of working adults and students.

However, as with everything, it takes a lot of time, money and commitment to overcome such psychological insecurities.

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Biological methods of stress management

There are a lot of different methods such as: Drugs, Biofeedback, Meditation and Physical exersise.

Meditation and muscle relaxsation involves the the lowering of arousal associated with stressful situations. Jacobson (1938) suggested a method of musle relaxsation, which invoved relaxing every muscle in your body, systematically. Starting from your toes and working up to your head. Once mastered, this process will not need to happen and a state of relaxsation can be found quickly. Simmerally with meditation, slow deep breathing, lower levels of arousal and stress hormones.

Physical exersise is similar however enkephailins  are released that combate stress hormones such as adrenaline. Or it allows the extra adreniline to be used.

With both of these they are techniques to reduce arousal but they don't teach the induvidual how to cope with stressful situations. They are better used in combination with other, more systematic, aproaches.

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Drugs: Benzodiazepines

Bensodiazepines include drugs such as librium, Valium and Mogadon. Although Librium and Valium are anti-anxiety durgs, Mogadon is used as a sleeping pill.

I works by increasing the production of the nurotransmitter GABA which is an inhibitory transmitter. Meaning it reduces the activity of other nurotransmitters such as nuradrenaline and serotonin pathwatys.


They are safe in an overdoes.

However they Have major side effects. They promot tieredness, poor motor control, feeling of sedation and even memory imparment. The major problem is they can casue the user to become dependant on them. So when they are stopped the induvidual goes into withdrawal symdrome. They Dont target the root of the problem and they dont teach the induvidual to cope with their situation. they are just a quick fix, which is not the way to deal with stress.

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Drugs: Beta blockers

Beta blockers targert the cardiovascular systems by the sympathetic fibres of the aotonomic nervouse system. This controld the flight or fight response by lowering any increases in heart rate, whcih could cause effects to our breathing systems and motor controls (asmatics and hands on people)


They can be life saving to people that have anxiety attacks or people that have life threatening hypertension. In addition they are used more regularly than Benzodiazepines as they dont have side effects

However this, like the other drugs, only targets the physiological side of stress, the actuall casues is not dealt with or indentified.  

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This is the combination of both psychological and physiological stress managements.

It consists of the physilogical respose being monitered, by a heart moniter prehaps, while something like meditation or a stressful situation is occuring. It is just a way to see how your body responds in different situations. The aim if that the induvidual will develope their own technique to lower their heart rate, which will be personalised to them and they are more likely to do it.


There have been many studies that have proven that biofeedback works. (Attanasion et al 1985 and Meuret et al 2004)

Biofeedback has no medication involved and has no side effects. It is also more effective as the patient is taught stress management theniques so they are equiped to face their stressors.

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