Stress inoculation therapy

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Stress Inoculation Therapy (SIT) is one of the four Tier 1 approved therapies for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). By itself, SIT will achieve little longterm effect with PTSD, though when combined as part of the more broadly encompassed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) solution; whether cognitive or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), in conjunction with SIT and behavior therapy, such as Exposure Therapy, the end result is longevity symptom management. SIT is relatively an older term and more entrenched within overall therapy models nowadays which many simply refer to as "Dead Link Removed" and such terms, or the newer coined term, "Mind Body", which is another form of stress management and relaxation. New names all based on an older name and technique.

What Is Stress Inoculation?

Stress Inoculation is a technique that begins educating the sufferer about stress, its effects and how stress itself creates the negative outcomes being experienced, through to more exposure based exercises, by putting into practice the theory itself, in order to manage stress more effectively. In a nutshell, it is a preemptive strike by recognizing stressful situations and controlling stress, before it controls you through producing negative symptoms.


As outlined, SIT is encompassed within other therapies for PTSD, however; when done by itself for a client who's only problem is stress management, then SIT has a procedure that follows a basic outline.
  1. Education about stress, its impact, how much or little you control based on situations, and learning basic breathing procedures.
  2. Skill building and rehearsal. Tailored specifically to the person and can encompass all or one off: emotion regulation, relaxation, cognitive appraisal, problem-solving, refuting irrational ideas, fear conditioning, communication and socialization skills.
  3. Application of techniques and education put into daily life.
Skill Building

This is the real core of SIT. With PTSD, SIT is encompassed within a framework model and not applied uniquely. Because issues with trauma overlap, and interrelate between various therapy models, SIT aspects are tailored upon client severity.

Stress Inoculation can range from improving self esteem to a complete rebuild of core foundational belief systems. SIT by itself can improve a persons life and reduce PTSD symptoms, though until the core of the trauma itself is resolved, a traumatized brain will constantly challenge new beliefs, usually progressively unravelling the SIT work itself.

Duration & Outcome

SIT can range from a simple problem impeding a persons life where they're simply stuck, taking 20 - 40 minutes of a therapists time, to a year of weekly or bi-weekly therapy sessions. Either way, the end result still relies on the person themselves to put techniques into action within their daily lives and enforce the change required.
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