This blog looks at why it's important to read the booklets before watching the sessions to ensure you get the most out of your Stress Control course. 

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Stress impacts our ability to concentrate, making it harder for us to understand and remember all the information presented during the sessions. So, in order to get the most out of each session we recommend that you read the booklet before watching the accompanying video. This will not only help you take in a lot more of what you learn during the course, but it can also help put you in a better position when you begin the course, and maintain the positive results well after you have completed the course.



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We carried out a piece of research* where we invited people who were struggling with anxiety and depression to be assessed for help similar to Stress Control (‘StressPac’). The participants completed anxiety and depression questionnaires and attended an assessment interview three weeks before the intervention was due to start. At this stage, scores on the questionnaires were the roughly the same across the group.

We assessed their problems in some detail. If they were suitable for help with their anxiety and depression, we randomly allocated them into:

The Advice Group: These individuals were given personalised advice based on what had come out of the assessment but were not given booklets.

The StressPac group: These individuals were given no personal advice but were simply handed booklets similar to the four ‘Preparing for the course’ booklets and asked to read them before their next appointment.

When they came to the first session three weeks later, they completed the same questionnaires to see if there was any change. The Advice Group had improved slightly, and the StressPac Group had improved a lot in just three weeks.

The two groups then received exactly the same help (based on Stress Control). We assumed any differences would disappear by the end of the intervention. At this point, they filled out the questionnaires again. Both the Advice Group and StressPac Group did well, showing highly significant change but the StressPac Group showed the greater positive change.

We followed them up after one year and then three years after the intervention - both the Advice and StressPac Groups were still doing well but the StressPac Group still showed the greater positive change.

So, from this research, we were able to say:

  • This type of therapy works and, on average, people who take part are able to maintain their improvements in the long-term.
  • Reading the booklets before the course starts gives you an extra boost that helps maintain your improvement.


So, do make sure you read, and work on, the four ‘Preparing for the Course’ booklets before you watch the first video. Then do your best to also read the booklets that accompany the other videos. This will help you get the best out of your Stress Control course.


* White, J. (1995). Stresspac: A self-help anxiety management package: A controlled outcome study. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 23, 89-107.

White, J. (1998). ‘Stresspac’ - three year follow-up of a controlled trail of a self-help package for the anxiety disorders. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 26, 133-141.

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