We all suffer from stress at times and, according to HSE Clinical Psychologist Jennifer Edgeworth, this is a normal part of the human condition. But it’s no harm to be able to control those stress levels.
That’s why the HSE is offering a six-session Stress Control course, free of charge to those who need it.
Each session will last 90 minutes, with lectures provided by Dr Jennifer Edgeworth and Dr Paul McGrath, both of whom are Clinical Psychologists with the HSE.
Each session will deal with a different topic - controlling your thoughts, changing behaviour, controlling your sleep, relaxation skills - and booklets will be provided to support the information in each session.
“We do not encourage anyone to discuss any aspect of their personal life or problems in the class. In fact, we actively discourage it,” said Dr Edgeworth about the privacy of the class.
“We would like them to listen to the information and skills being discussed by the psychologists, take them away and try to apply them in their own lives. If people feel they need to discuss problems in detail, then we would encourage them to seek a referral to individual therapy.”
The course is based on the Cognitive Behavioural (CBT) model of psychological therapy. There is considerable scientific evidence that this particular approach works extremely well with stress, anxiety and depression problems.
“One of the big benefits we have found is that people realise that they are not alone. There will be other people there who are just like themselves,” said Dr Edgeworth.
“We all need stress control skills at times. In fact, the last time I rant it in Athlone, we anticipated about 30 to 40 people attending, and over 80 turned up. The facilitators needed every little bit of their stress control skills that evening!”
The course was initially offered in Longford in 2015, and 91% of attendees reported that they would be extremely or very likely to use what they learned, while 87% said the training was extremely beneficial or very beneficial.
There is no referral required and no attendance sheet - you don’t even have to bring a pen and paper. Simply turn up, take a seat and relax while you learn to be your own therapist.
The course will begin on Tuesday May 9 at 10.30am and will take place in the Family Centre in Longford. It’s free and open to all who wish to attend.