Q: What is CBSM?
A: The cognitive-behavioral stress management program explained in this workbook employs a combination of relaxation techniques with cognitive-behavioral ones such as anger management and assertiveness and effective coping training. The workbook outlines a comprehensive strategy that patients may follow either with a therapist or independently to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Q: What are the goals of the program?
A: The program provides information about how to respond to stress with relaxation techniques. It guides patients through the strengthening of their social support network and facilitation of discussion and conversation with other people about their HIV.
Q: How does stress impact HIV?
A: HIV is a virus that weakens the immune system and makes the body more vulnerable to infection and disease. Stress also impairs the functioning of the immune system and furthers your body's susceptibility to illness.
Q: How might I benefit from group therapy?
A: Many people with HIV retreat from social situations following their diagnosis because they find the discovery of their newfound medical condition extremely difficult to digest. A productive way to reduce isolation is to seek out support from other HIV+ people with whom you can talk and exchange information. You will likely discover that interaction with people who understand your difficulties firsthand is an effective stress management strategy.