Stress Matters

What is the Stress Matters Course?

Stress Matters is a six week psychoeducational course aimed to help client understand what maintains stress and learn effective coping skills to better manage stress.

Each course usually takes a maximum of 30 participants.

The course will be run remotely so access to a device capable of making video calls (a mobile phone, laptop, tablet, desktop computer with camera) and an internet connection will be required. Resources will be available online and you will be asked to complete a weekly set of questionnaires to help you monitor progress, so access to the internet and a work email address will also be required.

Suitable candidates for the course will be identified at either assessment, during a waiting list review, or at the start of treatment.

Course Overview

Session 1:  What is stress management  and controlling the physical symptoms

  • Course overview and aims
  • Identifying symptoms of stress
  • Five areas formulation –the vicious cycle of stress 
  • Goal setting 
  • Diaphragmatic breathing  and relaxation to begin controlling  the physical symptoms of stress

Session 2: Managing the physical symptoms

  • Identify the physical symptoms of stress and stress related issues including depression
  • Understanding the fight/flight/freeze response
  • Controlling the physical symptoms through breathing and relaxation 
  • Raising awareness of the role of caffeine, exercise and diet
  • Sleep management techniques and encouraging healthy sleep habits

Session 3: Thinking your way out of stress • Understand how the way we think can trigger and maintain stress

  • Recognise unhelpful thinking patterns
  • ‘Quick-fix Questions’ to challenge unhelpful thoughts 
  • Introduce thought challenging to change unhelpful and negative thinking

Session 4: Managing worry and acting your way out of stress

  • Explore the role of worry in stress and understand links between worry and stress
  • Introduce Worry Management strategy to manage worry
  • Problem Solving: How to find solutions to practical problems
  • Balancing activities, specific focus on pleasurable activities 
  • The importance of practicing self-care

Session 5: Getting out of your comfort zone 

  • Understand the role of avoidance and escape and safety behaviours in maintaining stress and anxiety
  • Introduce habituation and graded exposure to help face fears. 

Session 6: Maintaining your progress and the future

  • Medication management 
  • Consolidate learning through a review of course learning points
  • Relapse prevention planning- controlling for future and managing set backs
  • Course evaluation