General Well-Being Programs: Nutrition, Exercise, and Stress Reduction

Some programs that contribute to general well-being can be used as adjuncts to all approaches to helping. There are ready-made programs that can help people in general improve the quality of their lives by eating well (Booth, 1994; Ogden, 2010; Somov, 2008; Taubes, 2011; Wansink, 2011), exercising (Azar, B 2010; DeAngelis, 2002; Hays, 1999; Johnson, L., 2010; Landro, 2010; Nieman, 2010; Ratey & Hagerman, 2008; Servan-Schreiber, 2004), and reducing stress (Benson, 1975; Benson & Proctor, 2010; David, Eshelman, McKay, and Fanning, 2008; Melbourne Academic Mindfulness Interest Group and Monash Academic Mindfulness Interest Group, 2006). All well-being programs demand selfregulation, something that is sorely needed by many clients. There are also social reasons for using such programs. Researchers have indicated that if people were to eat properly, exercise regularly, and reduce and manage stress in their lives, our national health care bill would be reduced by over 30%. Clients who manage stress well have a better chance of dealing with problem situations. Changing Unhealthy Habits (a supplement to the Mayo Clinic Health Letter, February, 2007) is typical of the practical science-based literature that forms the basis of general well-being programs. The Harvard Medical School also publishes a wide range of special reports on mental health, including stress management. This literature reviews the research and packages the results in practical ways to appeal to both practitioners and clients. At any rate there is a very rich literature on both ready-made and wellbeing programs (for instance, go to to find hundred on articles on mindfulness listed by year of publication—what did we do before Internet search engines?). Anyway, the literature is yours to devour.

The Three Stages of the problem-management process constitute planning for life-enhancing change. But talk is not change. Change calls for action; that’s why we have discussed the various ways the stages and tasks of the problem- management process should stimulate action on the part of clients. Endless sessions that do no more than discuss problems and “consider” changes are a lot of blah, blah, blah. Introducing a feedback system into therapy is one of the best ways of assuring that talk leads to action. So we move on to the last chapter which deals formally with implementation. Hopefully we have been talking about implementation throughout this book.

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