Stress and Lifestyle Management Group Therapy Program
Master of Arts
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Excessive stress can be debilitating when it is not under careful control. The development of a Stress and Lifestyle Management Group Therapy Program was designed to instruct people who have a low stress tolerance, to deal with and control stress. Stress management included cognitive therapy, assertiveness training, and progressive relaxation training. Emphasized in Lifestyle management was physical exercise, diet control and weight loss, time management, the effective use of leisure time, understanding the purpose of one's social support system, and other aspects important to a healthy lifestyle. Clients were referred by doctors, were male or female, and were between 18 and 65 years of age. Clients who were accepted into the program were not severely depressed and did not require intensive individual counseling. These subjects were randomly divided into an experimental group and a waiting list control group. The program consisted of an individual intake interview, six one-and-a-quarter hour weekly group sessions, a group follow-up session three weeks later, and an Individual follow-up Interview. A battery of six tests assessed the changes In the clients* abilities to manage stress and related problems and these measures were taken before and after the program. The test results indicated a decrease in the level of depression of the subjects who were treated. The program was evaluated as a success based on this result.