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Relaxation & Stress Management

Skills Training Program


Develop skills to really relax tight muscles, 

settle a busy brain,   calm emotions,   re-energize body & mind,

and better cope in a busy world...


This group program meets twice a week for 6 weeks (12 sessions in total) to maximize the opportunity to practice and develop strong skills in releasing body tension, and calming and focusing the mind. This educational program emphasizes skill acquisition and education about stress management and high performance. This is not a self-disclosure or therapy group; the purpose is skills practice.

A variety of long techniques (20 minutes) and short techniques (10 to 20 seconds) are presented. All techniques in this program have originated from research into strategies which promote physical and mental relaxation. They have been well studied and the most up-to-date information will be presented.


These techniques are especially helpful in the self-regulation of :

  • headaches
  • muscle tension
  • insomnia
  • Raynaud's Disease
  • essential hypertension
  • pain
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • exam anxiety.

These strategies also help promote :

  • stress management
  • physical and mental relaxation
  • better immune function
  • increased self-awareness
  • improved performance in work, sport, and the performing arts.

Most participants in the 12 session training program report becoming more aware of stress responses, lessening of uncomfortable responses to stress, recovering more quickly from stress, and handling difficult situations more effectively.  

Skills training is emphasized in class and daily practice is very strongly recommended. Like playing the piano or riding a bicycle, invested practice produces effective skills that last a lifetime and can be used anywhere, anytime.


YOU WILL LEARN these self-regulation techniques :

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • muscle scanning & release
  • diaphragmatic breathing
  • quick Body Check
  • Autogenic Training
  • Alphagenic Relaxation
  • imagery / visualization
  • mental rehearsal
  • Quieting Response
  • Open Focus
  • Power Hour
  • worry curbing strategies

This program also includes an introduction to reducing stressful self-talk and an introduction to biofeedback.

Depending upon group composition, there will also be special presentations on how to apply these skills to such areas as insomnia, persistent pain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, TMJ disorder, headaches, panic attacks, and performance situations (sports, exams, speeches, at work).  For the 12 session outline read more....

This program is experiential, which makes it hard for you to get the full sense of its possibilities from simply reading a program description.  
Results from this program are published in this 2023 research article and discussed in this blog post
Perhaps it would help to know what past participants have said...

Some people choose to have a combination of private sessions along with a group program.  For example, you may wish to have 1, 2, or more private sessions to get started right away on training while waiting for the next group program to start. Some individuals benefit from private training after a group program in order to fine-tune skills and tailor them to specific situations.



The next Relaxation and Stress Management Skills Training program begins

on Tuesday,  JANUARY 30, 2024

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

meeting twice a week, on both Tuesday and Thursday, for 12 sessions

(this will be a virtual program via Zoom)

There are no sessions during University of Guelph's Break Week, February 19 - 23. 

If you are unable to attend a session for any reason,
you may make up that particular class at any future Relaxation and Stress Management Skills Training program.  
(Please call ahead to confirm the time and location when making up a class.)



  • $  40 for University of Guelph students   (due to a subsidy from U of G Student Health Services)
  • $  97 for members of United Steelworkers Local 4120   (due to a subsidy from Local 4120)
  • $ 197 for all others

Payment is on-line  (or by cheque or e-transfer, if pre-arranged)

Gift certificates are available.



You are fully registered in the program once you have submitted payment here.



University of Guelph students  - to request your Coupon Code for the subsidized fee, e-mail your name and Student ID number to 

Members of USW Local 4120  - to request your Coupon Code for the subsidized fee, e-mail your name to



It would be ideal to attend all of the 12 classes in the program, however if you miss a class there are class handouts which can help you "catch up". 

You may also pick up the missed classes at any future Relaxation & Stress Management Skills Training program.


UNABLE to attend the JANUARY 2024 program ?

  • Can you come to the next scheduled group program ?
    Following the WINTER 2024 program outlined above, the next Relaxation and Stress Management Skills Training program begins in FALL 2024.
    To put your name on this waiting list... 
  • Join a waiting list to start another program earlier, or meet on a different day / time :
    For those interested in having this program offered at another day or time, leave your name on the Relaxation and Stress Management Skills Training waiting list by e-mailing or call the Stress Management and High Performance Clinic at 519 824-4120, ext. 52662.  Please specify which days and times you prefer to meet. A program can begin anytime there are 6 or more names on the waiting list. 
  • Arrange for a program to come to your workplace or community site : 
    The Relaxation and Stress Management Skills Training program, or selected topics from this program, can be provided on-site at your workplace or community group site.   A 30-60 minute Lunch & Learn session can also be provided.  Call the Stress Management and High Performance Clinic at 519 824-4120, ext. 52662 to make arrangements for sessions at your location. 
  • Make an appointment for private training : 
    Any of the Relaxation and Stress Management Skills Training topics listed above can be provided in private, one-to-one training sessions. Daytime, late afternoon, and evening times are available on weekdays throughout the year. Call 519 824-4120, ext. 52662, or e-mail to make a private appointment for individual training. 



If you wish more information or have any further questions, do not hesitate to e-mail or call Kathy Somers at 519 824-4120, ext. 52662.  

Please leave a message so I can return your call.