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SIT and Hardiness Training

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Assess the extent to which SIT and hardiness training have been shown to reduce levels of stress and illness. Stress inoculation training ( SIT ) and hardiness training are two well known psychological approaches to dealing with stress and learning how to manage it in a way that severely reduces stress levels by focusing on how to deal with the stressors themselves, not just the symptoms. From this perspective, the causes of stress are dealt with first, which in turn eliminate the symptoms of stress and equips clients with the adaptable skills to deal with stress in the long term; they learn how to build resistance against the negative effects of stress while appraising stressful situations. As a method of dealing with stressors, stress inoculation training takes a problem-focused approach to coping with the causes of stress. SIT was proposed by Meichenbaum in 1985 as a form of cognitive therapy by taking the approach that anything that can be changed must not be the cause of stress, but instead the way that the person thinks and reacts to the stressors. ...read more.


However, it is very time consuming and requires money and motivation, so dedicated, wealthy people usually succeed best with this form of stress management. Stress inoculation training has also been criticised for possibly being too complex, with the effectiveness being said to be down to the positive thinking and relaxation that helps, instead of all the elements of SIT itself. Another psychological method of coping which has been shown to reduce levels of stress and stress related illnesses is hardiness training. According to Kobasa (1979) certain types of people have a similar personality called the hard personality, who show higher resistance to stress than other personality types. Kobasa developed the idea further as a way to train individuals to become hardier through specialised training. The hardy personality has been seen to contain three characteristics: control, where the individual views themselves as having complete control over their lives instead of any exterior forces, commitment, in which the individual is actively involved in the world around them instead of playing a passive role and challenge, where they view threats as challenges to be overcome or problems to be solved. ...read more.


Nevertheless, this is only one amongst other studies which have shown that hardy individuals are at a much lower risk of stress and stress-related illnesses because they are able to handle the physiological reactions to stress far better than other personality types. It can be seen that as psychological methods of dealing with stress, both stress inoculation training and hardiness training have been shown to significantly improve an individual's ability to deal with stress and subsequently lower the risk of suffering from stress-related illnesses. Both of these approaches treat the causes rather the symptoms and involve the acquisition of new skills which provide long term methods of dealing with stress. They also both teach clients to view stress as problems to be solved, but are expensive, time consuming and require much effort and dedication. Each individual is different and so different approaches to stress are likely to have varying levels of success - the key is to finding a method which works for the individual, as there can be no universal approach to lowering levels of stress and stress-related illnesses which works perfectly for everyone. ...read more.

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