Spring Life Enhancement Workshops at UB Will Address Stress, Social Anxiety, Chronic Insomnia, Smoking

Workshops open to the entire Western New York community

Release Date: February 6, 2003

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Completely stressed out? A nervous wreck in social situations? A chronic insomniac? Smoking like a fiend, despite your attempts to quit?

Well, you're luckier than a lot of folks because this spring, the Psychological Services Center at the University at Buffalo will offer four, eight-week Life Enhancement Workshops, facilitated by a team of clinical psychologists, to help you address your problems.

The group workshops, which begin in March, will focus on resolving problems related to stress, social anxiety, insomnia and smoking.

The Psychological Services Center, located in 168 Park Hall on the UB North (Amherst) Campus, is affiliated with the graduate program in clinical psychology in the UB Department of Psychology, and offers therapies whose effectiveness is backed by a body of research. Clinic services are open to the Western New York community.

Center services are provided on a sliding-scale basis, determined by income and family size. Each workshop participant will pay tuition of $60 to $375, which will cover 16 hours of group therapy -- a significant reduction in the center's regular hourly consultation fee. A $15 flat fee for the screening interview will be applied toward the tuition, and some workshops will charge an additional $5 fee for materials.

Interested persons must come in for a screening interview, at which time they and a Psychological Services Center clinician will decide whether the group is right for them. Call 645-3697 by March 12 to schedule an appointment.

Each group will be led by an advanced doctoral student -- in training to become a clinical psychologist -- who will work under the close supervision of a member of the UB psychology faculty who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology.

The Smoking Cessation Group will meet from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Mondays from March 24 to May 12. Therapists will help participants employ only methods that have been empirically proven to be very effective to assist participants to quit smoking.

The Overcoming Insomnia Group will meet from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, from March 27 to May 15. Beth Cohen, Ph.D., director of the Psychological Services Center, says approximately one in 10 adults suffer from chronic insomnia, a condition that can produce medical and psychological problems, in addition to daytime fatigue. Medications can help improve sleep, but they are not a long-term solution. Longer-lasting results can be obtained by the use of behavioral treatments like those to be taught in this group.

The Stress Management Group will meet from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from March 26 to May 14. "Stress is a fact of life we can't avoid," Cohen says. "No one escapes. What's important, though, is how we react to it. This workshop is for people who want to do a better job managing the stress in their lives. It will teach a broad range of proven stress-management techniques, including relaxation, time management, worry management and coping skills."

The Control Social Anxiety Group will meet from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from March 26 to May 14. It is designed to help people who are so shy they think something is wrong with them or are afraid of social or performance situations because they are worried they'll be humiliated or appear nervous. There is hope, Cohen says, "because research has proven that cognitive-behavioral therapy is very effective in treating social anxiety and this group will employ proven methods to help participants feel more confident in social situations."

Why group therapy? "Group approaches to personal growth are often the most effective way to explore and support changes you want to make in your life," Cohen says. "Groups help reduce the sense of isolation that sometimes accompanies personal problems and offer opportunities both to find help and to offer insight and support to others."

In order to get the most benefit from the workshops, Cohen says it is important for participants to attend the group for the entire eight weeks. For this reason, the tuition fee, which covers the cost of the entire workshop, will not be refunded for missed sessions.

Media Contact Information

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