The Management of Stress – Cognition; Stress Inoculation Therapy

In the video below Dr. Donald Meichenbaum discusses the 3 key concepts relating to Stress Inoculation Therapy.

1.  Conceptualisation.  The ‘inner critic’ that contributes towards self doubt and poor performance is analysed and challenged through collaboration and therapeutic alliance. (What’s the problem?)

2.  Skill acquisition and rehearsal.  Coping strategies are taught that helps the individual with their specific issues. (What do I need to do to deal with it?)

3.  Application – The individual applies their new and more effective skills in the real world (I can do this!)

Here is an example of how Meichenbaum focusses his clients on the relationship between thought and behaviour.

I want clients to “take my voice with them.” The portions of my voice that I want them to take are “ACTIVE TRANSITIVE VERBS” such as “notice, catch, anticipate, plan” and the like.

NOTE: There is a need for clients not only to change, but to have the client take credit for these changes. The psychotherapist should ask the client the following questions:

“How did you handle this situation differently from how you handled this in the past?’
“Where else did you do this?”
“How long has this been going on?”
“How did you pull this off (accomplish this)?”
“Are you telling me… are you saying to yourself that IN SPITE OF….., you were able to notice …catch yourself…use your coping techniques of….How did that make you feel?”
“What does this mean about you as a person?”

Read an interview here with Meichenbaum on his method and trauma.

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