Stress inoculation

Stress inoculation is a term, which is used for developing anxiety-reducing techniques that can be accessed anytime if needed. This would seem especially be very helpful in the up and down world of web entrepreneurship but this skill can be useful at anytime, by anyone anywhere in the world.


The goal of stress inoculation is to develop a set of procedures that will almost instantaneously put you in a calm state.  Stress Inoculation Therapy (SIT) is used widely as one of the four Tier 1 approved therapies to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). However, it is up to the individuals to use the techniques in their daily lives to bring about the desired results.


Three Phases Stress Inoculation Training Methodology


I. SIT is a flexible and tailored and very useful form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. A Socratic-type exchange is used to educate clients about the nature and impact of stress and the role of both appraisal processes and the transactional nature of stress. For example, how clients may inadvertently, unwittingly, and perhaps, even unknowingly, exacerbate the level of stress they experience. Stress may be due to interviewing, psychological testing, client self-monitoring, and reading materials and more.


II. The second phase of SIT focuses on skills acquisition and rehearsal that follows naturally from the initial conceptualization phase. The coping skills that are taught and practiced primarily in the clinic or training setting and then gradually rehearsed in vivo are tailored to the specific stressors clients may have to deal with.  The specific coping skills may include emotional self-regulation, self-soothing and acceptance, relaxation training, self-instructional training, cognitive restructuring, problem-solving, interpersonal communication skills training, attention diversion procedures, using social support systems and fostering meaning-related activities.


III. The final phase of application and follow through provides opportunities for the clients to apply the variety of coping skills across increasing levels of stressors (inoculation concept as used in medical immunization or in social psychology to prepare individuals to resist the impact of persuasive messages). Such techniques as imagery and behavioral rehearsal, modeling, role playing and graded in vivo exposure in the form of "personal experiments" are employed.


SIT also recognizes that the stress an individual experiences is often endemic, institutional and unavoidable. As a result, SIT has often helped clients to alter environmental settings and or worked with significant others in altering environmental stressors such as hospital staff for medical patients, drill instructors for recruits and so on.


SIT has been conducted with individuals, couples, small and large groups. The length of intervention has varied. It can be as short as 20 minutes for preparing patients for surgery or 40 one hour weekly and biweekly sessions given to psychiatric patients or to individuals with chronic medical problems. In most cases SIT consists of about 8 to 15 sessions, plus booster and follow-up sessions, spread over a period of 3to12-months.

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