Treatment of general tension: Subjective and physiological effects of progressive relaxation

T. D. Borkovec, J. B. Grayson, K. M. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Exp I found virtually no effects of type of no-treatment condition or demand/suggestion on the self-monitoring of daily tension percentage and severity among 43 overly tense undergraduates during a 4-wk baseline period. Ss given 4 subsequent sessions of progressive relaxation did report significant reductions in tension, which were maintained at a 7-mo follow-up. Exp II included 36 overly tense undergraduates and compared a no-treatment condition to groups given 9 sessions of relaxation with vs without muscle tension release. Counterdemand instructions were in effect for the 1st 7 sessions. Relaxation with tension release produced reductions in daily tension percentage significantly superior to no-treatment during the counterdemand period, whereas relaxation without tension release did not differ from either group. Treatment effects maintained at a 5-mo follow-up. No treatment effects were found on several during-session physiological measures, although Session 1 physiological reduction predicted improvement in tension percentage. Presence or absence of tension release significantly influenced the number of relaxation cycles necessary to produce reports of deep relaxation, frequency of practice, and successfulness of eliminating daily tension at follow-up. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-528
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1978

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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