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Stress Management as a Critical Life Skill

Stress Management as a Critical Life Skill
Franklin Stein, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
December 13, 2011


Stress management is a very important skill in the 21st Century.  As we know, stress has been terminally epidemic throughout the world.  Stress causes a number of different ailments. 

Purposes of Course

The purpose of the presentation is to demonstrate how stress management techniques can be applied in occupational therapy practice.  The Stress-Diathesis Model is where stress is conceived as a trigger to symptoms in individuals who are vulnerable to chronic illness.  For example, diathesis means vulnerability and stress is a trigger to those individuals who are vulnerable in terms of illness.  It accounts for the exacerbation of symptoms.  If a person has osteoarthritis, for example, a “stress trigger” can exacerbate the symptoms and worsen it.  Another instance could be a person who has chronic depression, or many episodes of depression during a lifetime.  Stress can be the trigger for those episodes too.

I would also like to present a Stress Management Protocol that can serve as a model to treat individuals in a group using psychoeducation methods. 

Learning Objectives

One specific learning objective is to look at the psychophysiology of the stress response.  Much research has been going on in the last 30 years examining exactly how stress hormones affect the brain, and their relationship to cortisol and other aspects of the stress response. I will talk about stress and its impact on disabilities and illness.  I will give some examples of how stress affects depression and schizophrenia.  I will also describe some of the specific stress management techniques that occupational therapists are using throughout the world.   A stress management group protocol, used by occupational therapists when treating patients in groups, will be discussed.  Finally, we will look at “The Relaxation Response”, the response that Herbert Benson famously wrote up in his book of the same name.

franklin stein

Franklin Stein, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA


Dr. Stein is an experienced educator, researcher, and clinician in occupational therapy. He is author of the Stress Management Questionnaire and Psychosocial Occupational Therapy: A Holistic Approach 2nd edition and editor of Occupational Therapy International. He has presented numerous papers nationally and internationally on stress management.

Related Courses

20Q: Overview of the Stress Management Questionnaire
Presented by Franklin Stein, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
Course: #3349Level: Introductory1 Hour
This is an exciting new series on OccupationalTherapy.com. In this first edition of 20Q, we are taking a look at the work of Dr. Franklin Stein, his legacy over the past 59 years, and in particular, the development of the Stress Management Questionnaire (SMQ), in an engaging Q & A format. This course is part of an exciting new series on OccupationalTherapy.com designed as a salute to the OT pioneers with contributing editor Dr. Franklin Stein. It is presented in an engaging Q & A format and highlights the OT pioneer's journey into occupational therapy and research accomplishments.

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Millions of Americans are negatively impacted by bladder dysfunction. This course discusses the OT’s role in treating incontinence, bladder urgency, and nocturia. It also summarizes treatment applications, practical strategies, successful home programs, and how to become board certified in this specialty field.

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Culture and spirituality are two of the most significant factors that influence the therapist-client relationship and the outcomes of the therapy process. The course examines the aspects of culture and spirituality that are frequently not discussed but help the therapy practitioner understand, relate to, and serve the client more effectively, resulting in better outcomes.

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