Problem-Solving Training for Effective Stress Management and Prevention

By D'Zurilla, Thomas J. | Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, January 1, 1990 | Go to article overview

Problem-Solving Training for Effective Stress Management and Prevention


D'Zurilla, Thomas J., Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy


According to recent theoretical and research developments in the area of stress and coping, social problem solving (i.e., real-life problem solving) appears to be an important general coping strategy that can have a significant effect on a person's ability to reduce, control, and prevent the experience of stress in everyday living. Although an increasing number of studies have been providing support for this viewpoint, current stress-management programs still provide little or no training in general problem-solving principles. A new stress-management program is described that focuses on training in the application of a general problem-solving coping strategy. The results of three recent outcome studies are reported which, taken together, strongly suggest that problem-solving training is a viable and promising approach to stress management which increases positive psychological resources (problem-solving ability, self-esteem, life satisfaction), while reducing stress and its negative effects (psychological symptomatology, health problems).

Research support has been growing in recent years for the view that stress is often a major factor in the etiology and/or maintenance of both psychological and somatic disorders (Bloom, 1985; Dohrenwend & Dohrenwend, 1985; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). In terms of psychological disorders, Barlow (1985) has sug gested that the average practicing clinician probably sees more stress-related conditions than all other clinical problems combined. With regard to somatic disorders, it has been estimated that as many as 80% of individuals seeking medical care do so because of stress-related illnesses (Pelletier, 1977). These disorders include many anxiety and phobic conditions, depressions, anger and abuse problems, headaches, backaches, chronic fatigue, asthmatic conditions, insomnia, hypertension, bruxism, and gastrointestinal problems (Woolfolk & Lehrer, 1984).

In view of the prevalence of stress-related disorders in recent years, it is not surprising that the demand for effective stress-management treatments has increased dramatically. While stress-management techniques include pharmacological methods and other passive anxiety-reduction treatments (e.g., hypnosis, biofeedback methods; Woolfolk & Lehrer, 1984), the present article will focus on stress-management training, which involves instruction in the application of active coping skills and techniques that enable the client to reduce, minimize, control, tolerate, and/or prevent stress in everyday living. The coping-skills training approach is emphasized here because it seems to hold the most promise for the maintenance and generalization of stress-reduction effects, as well as for prevention (Meichenbaum, 1985; Meichenbaum & Jaremko, 1983).

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN STRESS THEORY

After more than 50 years of stress theory and research, there is still no universally accepted definition or conceptualization of stress. However, in recent years an interactional model of stress has emerged that has been gaining widespread acceptance (Lazarus, 1981; Lazarus & Cohen, 1977; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; McGrath, 1982; Sarason, 1980). According to this view, stress is a multifaceted, dynamic process which involves a complex, reciprocal interaction among a number of different variables related to both the environment and the person (external/internal adaptive demands, cognitive appraisals, coping activities, physiological-emotional responses). Depending on the specific person and environment variables, the nature of the stressful experience may vary considerably between persons and across situations. Indeed, the particular combination of person and environment variables in many situations might be quite unique to the particular individual (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). The major implication of this interactional view for clinical stress management is that the requirements for effective coping are likely to vary from one situation to another, depending on specific characteristics of both the situation (e.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Problem-Solving Training for Effective Stress Management and Prevention
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.