Psychological methods of stress management

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Stress Inoculation Therapy

Meichenbaum (1985) - developed a type of herapy called stress inoculation therapy (SIT) and is a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy developed specifically to deal with stress.

He suggested that an individual should develop a form of coping before the problem arises. He believed although we cannot change the stressors in our lives, we change change the way that we think about them - a person could inoculate themselves against the 'disease' of stress. Meichenbaum proposed 3 phases to this process:

1. Conceptualisation phase: therapist and client establish a relationship and client is educated about the nature and impact of stress. This enables the client to think differently about their problem

2. Skills aquisition phase: coping skills are taught and practised in the clinic and then gradually rehearsed in real life. A variety of skills are taught and tailored to the indvidual's own specific problems. These include: positive thinking, relaxation, social skills and time management. Clients may be taugh to use coping self-statements. 

3. Application phase: clients are given oppurtunities to apply the newly learnt coping skills in different situations. Various techniques may be used such as imagery (imagining how to deal with stressful situations), modelling (watching someone else cope with stressors and them imitating this behaviour), and role playing (acting out scenes involving stressors). 

Strengths of the SIT

- when SIT was compared with systematic de-sensitisation to help people deal with their snake phobias, SIT was better because it helped…


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