Stress management

Dianne T. Kenny*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    What is stress management? Stress management interventions arose in the 1960s with the growth of the community mental health and crisis intervention movements, disenchantment with medical model approaches to mental health and dissatisfaction with traditional psychiatry, the development of behavioural and cognitive–behavioural therapies, the growing acceptance of psychological problems within the community and the surgence of self-help approaches to psychological wellbeing (Auerbach, 1986). There have been literally thousands of articles written about stress management. A search of the PsychInfo datatbase shows 3433 articles published between 1958 and 2004 on various applications of stress management, such as stress management in health care, occupational settings, educational settings, community programmes and critical incident stress management. It is difficult to find an adequate definition of stress management that is sufficiently inclusive to incorporate all the stress management strategies and interventions which currently occur in the literature under this nomenclature and to be sufficiently exclusive so as to differentiate these interventions from other types of psychological treatments. In its broadest definition, stress management interventions are designed to assist people to cope with stressors and with the negative emotions, physiological arousal and/or health consequences that arise from these stressors by changing their cognitive and emotional responses to the trigger events. To distinguish stress management from many psychological interventions, a number of caveats must be invoked. Firstly, stress management is generally applied to adequately functioning individuals who may be facing difficult circumstances in their occupational or social settings.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine
    EditorsSusan Ayers, Andrew Baum, Chris McManus, Stanton Newman, Kenneth Wallston, John Weinman, Robert West
    Place of PublicationCambridge
    PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Electronic)9780511543579
    ISBN (Print)9780521879972, 9780521605106, 0521605105
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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