SERV has released a Relaxation Video Training to aid consumers and staff dealing with stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The training is led by Dr. Paul Lehrer, a Rutgers professor and SERV Board Member.
“This situation is a recipe for anxiety and stress. It can lead to depressed mood, to problems with sleep, or to loss of temper. It can also interfere with concentration, job performance, and our interpersonal relationships,” Dr. Lehrer said. “Sometimes it is very helpful to have a way to manage or ‘deflate’ the stress, and there are a number of techniques that psychologists have studied over the years that have been proven to help people do this.”
In the training, Dr. Lehrer covers a broad range of topics including muscle relaxation, hypnotism, relaxed breathing, and mindfulness. At the conclusion of each video, he asks that trainees practice what they’ve learned for twenty minutes a day throughout the week until they find the method that works best for them.
“People tend to enjoy and benefit from different methods. Some people do well with only one or two methods, some with all of them,” Dr. Lehrer said. “Participants in training will be able to choose themselves which methods are right for them.”
Paul Lehrer received his PhD in clinical psychology from Harvard University in 1969. After completing his psychology internship at the Stanford Palo Alto Veterans Administration Hospital, he accepted a position at Rutgers University, where he has taught a variety of courses in stress management and cognitive behavior therapy for more than fifty years.
Dr. Lehrer has led workshops on stress management and applied psychophysiology in eight countries and regularly presents them at scientific and professional meetings. He has also published more than 150 scholarly articles and serves as senior editor of the text Principles and Practice of Stress Management, of which the 4th edition will appear this spring.
Throughout his career, Dr. Lehrer has served as the president of many associations, including the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, the U.S. chapter of the International Stress Management Association, and the International Society for Advancement of Respiratory Psychophysiology. A forty-year board member of SERV Behavioral Health System, Inc., he received a Service Award in 2017.