Stress Inoculation Training

Toward a General Paradigm for Training Coping Skills
  • Donald Meichenbaum
  • Roy Cameron


Stress inoculation training originally referred to a relatively specific set of operations (Meichenbaum & Cameron, 1972). In order to evaluate the efficacy of a skills training approach to anxiety management, a study was conducted using phobia as a target problem. Treatment involved three phases. It began with an educational phase that clarified the cognitive, affective, and physiological concomitants of the client’s avoidant behavior. The Schachter (1966) model of emotion was presented to the client, who was encouraged to view anxiety as a reaction involving negative self-statements and images and physiological arousal. It was suggested that acquisition of two skills, namely, coping self-statements and self-directed relaxation, would help ameliorate the problem. This initial phase was followed by a skills training phase: specific types of coping self-statements and relaxation skills were learned and rehearsed. Finally, during an application phase, the client actually tested out the skills in a stressful laboratory situation (unpredictable electric shock was administered). This treatment was found to be more effective than imaginal systematic desensitization, then the standard treatment for phobia.


Coping Skill Coping Response Transactional Model Stress Inoculation Coping Capability 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald Meichenbaum
    • 1
  • Roy Cameron
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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