Psychological and physiological methods of stress managment

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  • Created by: Livvi
  • Created on: 05-06-11 14:52

Psychological methods.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive therapy tries to change unwanted or maladaptive thoughts and beliefs. Behaviourists believe that undesirable behaviours have been learned, therefore behavioural therapy aims to reverse the learning process and produce a new set of more desirable behaviours. 

Stress inoculation training- Meichenbaum believed that although we cannot change the causes of stress in our life, we can change the way that we think about the stressors. Negative feeling for example "I failed to hit a deadline, people must think I'm hopeless" may lead to anxiety and depression. Positive thinking for example "My boss will still be delighted by what I've achieved" leads to more positive attitudes, reducing stress.  Meichenbaum's therapy of stress inoculation training (STI) is a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is developed specifically to deal with stress. You are develop a form of coping before the problem arises and that person can inoculate themselves from the "disease of stress".

The process is;

1. Conceptualisation phase  (The therapist and client establish a relationship and the client is educated about the nature and impact of stress. The client is taught to view stress as a problem that needs to be solved and to break down the stress into components that can be coped with.

2. Skills acquisition phase (Coping skills are taught and practised primarily in the clinic and then gradually rehearsed in real life. Skills may include; positive thinking, relaxation, social skills, methods of attention diversion, using social support systems and time management.

3. Application phase (Clients are given opportunities to apply the newly learned coping skills in different situations, which become increasingly stressful. Various techniques may be used such as imagery (imagining how to deal with stressful situations) modeling (watching someone else cope with stressors and then imitating them) and role playing (acting out scenes involving stressors).

Strengths of SIT

Effectiveness- Meichenbaum compared SIT with another form of treatment called Systematic desensitisation. Patients used SIT or desensitisation to deal with their snake phobias. Although both forms were effective with dealinnneg with the phobia, SIT was more effective as it helped with dealign with other phobias that they were not treated for showing that SIT can inoculate against future stressors.

Weaknesses of SIT

Time-consuming and requires high motivation- SIT requires a lot of time, effort, motivation and money. The fact it takes so much time and motivation means it will only suit a limited range of determined individuals.

Unnecessarily complex- It may be that the effectiveness of the therapy is based on certain elements rather than all of…


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