​​​STRESS BUSTERS II: A COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY COURSE FOR EVERYONE 
Everyone feels stressed at times,  and managing that stress can often be pure chance or luck because managing stress is not routinely taught in schools or elsewhere, and often people are not aware of what they can do to stay well and improve how they feel.  Yet if stress stays, negative consequences can follow - time and energy get wasted, relationships become impaired, and many physical ailments or more significant emotional problems can follow.  Additionally, at such times people may not always be fulfilling their potential towards optimal contentment and functioning.   

SO WHAT IS STRESS BUSTERS II? 
Stress Busters II is an informal community course to help people understa
nd and manage stress (an umbrella term for lots of feeling states). It is the second of five courses in our Mood Managers "I-can-manage-mood" series and it aims to help people manage how they feel, rather than having those moods manage them!  The latter happens when people get swept along in anxiety, stress, low mood etc. Our Stress Busters workshop:

  • is an informal, psychology course suitable for delivery within organisations, or community settings for the general public
  • it is a CBT course based on principles from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which are known to be effective in treating stress and anxiety 
  • those attending gain new skills and insights about themselves, and the best ways to manage stress and feel great!  Why wait till you take a hit, or go to therapy, to gain this information? All of need to know how to cope and manage emotionally, so that we manage how we feel, rather than have our moods manage us, and 
  • the content of  Stress Busters is based on the very latest research evidence, but presented in an informal and relaxed way, and with supporting notes to aid recall and understanding. 


WHO IS THE COURSE FOR? 
Stress Busters is for men and women of any and all ages, backgrounds, faiths and cultures.  Attendees are not those with any very serious emotional problems. In such cases one-to-one or group CBT counselling may be a more appropriate option.  Additionally, those attending tend to be:

  • kind and caring people because they are interested in how they and others are feeling, and 
  • smart because they recognise the need for information given the role of stress in shaping most parts of most days incl our physical health, quality of relationships, quality of life, general emotional well-being, and productivity! 


WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT? AND WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS?
Talks about stress can be fitted into to whatever time slot is available.  This Stress Busters II course is usually undertaken over one day, or weekly over 5-6 sessions. Day courses happen anywhere in the UK, or on the island of Ireland - based on invitations from groups and organisations.  Weekly sessions typically are in two parts (of around 90 mins in total):

  • ​the first or main part of each session is the seminar delivered by an experienced course leader. During this seminar, there is no group work or sharing so that the privacy of attendees is protected. 
  • after a short break the last half hour or so is more interactive or practical, e.g. a gentle meditation, or having a question and answer session


Attendees can contribute as much or as little as they wish on courses, e.g. by posting written questions into a mailbox, or by listening rather than speaking in any discussions.
 This course is educational rather than counselling, so at no point will attendees ever be asked in front of others to answer a question directly, or to talk about how they are feeling. Instead, all information will be on slides and in handouts.  Additionally, at all times it is quite fine simply to say “Ill pass on that” or "no comment"  if you do not wish to speak with fellow-attendees.
 

ANY FOLLOW UP SUPPORTS FROM STRESS BUSTERS? 
Absolutely -  if people wish! We believe learning should be fun and ongoing throughout life, particularly when people live busy lives and we do forget things or priorities simply change.  For these reasons, and because we like to think of ourselves as "the personal development people", we aim to offer a range of no-obligation opportunities so that people can select the best supports for them at any given time, and at low /no cost: 

  • Moodsters: When people finish the 6-week "Stress Busters" course they are eligible to join "Moodsters". While "youngsters" are people who are young, we came up with the name "Moodsters" to describe people who have an interest and this "stress buster" training in mood. Given that Moodsters have been through the same training, they have a common language and shared set of ideas and insights which should make conversations easy.  Moodsters can avail of discounted prices at many of our "I Can Centre" classes and events, including meditation classes.  Moodsters can also go out socially for fun, enjoyment and further ongoing peer support.  
  • Meditation classes: meditation classes are really great follow-up opportunities to take time out to experience relaxation and calmness. These low cost classes also offer opportunities for continued learning, and peer social support with others.  Those graduating from our basic 6 week mindfulness meditation class can then meet up socially with similar others from around the region, and/or do further training in mindfulness to become advanced practitioners (more information on the advanced practitioner course will follow) 
  • DAKtivism is another I Can Centre concept that we hope will offer further peer opportunities for learning, fun, and support while also improving the well-being and lives of others. Specifically, in a link with our sister site The Kindness Centre [click hereMoodsters and others will be invited to become DAKtivists - those who actively commit to performing at least one daily act of kindness for themselves, or others in their families, organisations, or communities.  More on this initiative will follow shortly - keep checking our facebook page, or our Kindness Centre website.  
  • Stress Busters: Moodsters can also retake the Stress Busters course at any later point. With busy lives, people can forget aspects of the psychology of stress, or, just want to rejoin a group for encouragement and support.  This is quite fine to do.  

Those completing "Stress Busters II" can take Stress Busters I (if they wish to learn techniques to self-care), or they an go straight to "Stress Busters III" (available from Jan 2018).  Stress Busters III gives further information, techniques and tips for managing stress-related cravings and compulsions. All of us  have compulsions or cravings of some kind that help with stress, e.g. compulsive tendencies towards facebooking, gaming, shopping and even nail-biting. Through Stress Busters III we draw on the best evidence from the addictions literature, and from findings on OCD, to offer people techniques and insights that we hope will enhance health and well-being, and prevent a "small" or potential problem from becoming a large or costly one. People will be able to attend Stress Busters III even for information and at no point will anyone be asked in the class to talk about their particular compulsions or cravings;  instead, the slides and handouts will have all the information needed. 


CERTIFICATES AND MEDALS
Those fully completing Stress Busters will get a Certificate of Achievement and have the option of doing a personal project (information given at the first session). 


Do get in touch with any queries, or to chat further.