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Digital Seminar

The Art of Perfecting Muscle Relaxation: Alleviate Tension, Pain, Fatigue, Insomnia, and More

Jennifer L. Abel, PhD
1 Hour 24 Minutes
Feb 19, 2016
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


  • Do you teach Progressive Muscle Relaxation to your clients?
  • Do you take at least 45 minutes to teach these techniques?

If you answered “no” to either of these questions, join international speaker and clinical psychologist Jennifer L. Abel, Ph.D., for 90 minutes and put the power of Progressive Muscle Relaxation to work for you!

Dr. Jennifer L. Abel will teach you strategies to maximize the effectiveness of progressive relaxation gained from over 20 years’ experience perfecting the craft. Jennifer began her work on these techniques as the associate director of SADI (Stress and Anxiety Disorders Institute) under the direction of T.D. Borkovec – a co-author of Progressive Relaxation Training: A Manual for the Helping Professions. Dr. Abel built upon this work; adding popular elements of muscle relaxation of her own design including sponge imagery and the Tin-Man to Scarecrow technique.


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 1.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Jennifer L. Abel, PhD's Profile

Jennifer L. Abel, PhD Related seminars and products

Jennifer L. Abel, PhD, international speaker, author and clinical psychologist, has specialized in the treatment of anxiety disorders for over 20 years. Before opening a private practice, she served as the associate director of the Stress and Anxiety Disorders Institute at Penn State under the direction of the leading expert in Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), T.D. Borkovec.

Her first book, Active Relaxation (Self-Published, 2010), has received outstanding reviews from mental health care professionals and anxious readers alike. Her second book, Resistant Anxiety, Worry, and Panic: 86 Practical Treatment Strategies for Clinicians (PESI, 2014), has received praise from top experts in anxiety management. Jennifer is also the author of The Anxiety, Worry & Depression Workbook: 65 Exercises, Worksheets & Tips to Improve Mood and Feel Better (PESI, 2018) and the Melt Worry and Relax Card Deck: 56 CBT & Mindfulness Strategies to Release Anxiety (PESI, 2016).

Dr. Abel has published many articles in professional journals and wrote a pamphlet about GAD for ABCT. She has been quoted by several popular magazines (e.g., Health, Prevention, Glamour) for her expertise in Worry. Dr. Abel presents to the public (e.g., Working Women’s Survival Show), as well as professionals (e.g., Australian Psychological Society; Anxiety Disorder Association of America).


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Jennifer Abel is in private practice. She receives royalties as a published author. Jennifer Abel receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Jennifer Abel has no relevant non-financial relationships.


  • Individualize progressive relaxation to your client by using alternative tensing strategies, carefully debriefing, and applying this knowledge to subsequent phases.
  • Create a more effective pattern by learning words and phrases to include and avoid.
  • Reduce clients’ adaptation levels, proven to have a positive effect on headaches, blood pressure, insomnia, fatigue, sexual satisfaction, and chronic pain.
  • Employ 5 stages of progressive relaxation, Socratic reminders, sponge imagery, and the Tin-Man to Scarecrow technique.


Background on PMR

  • History of PMR
  • Lowering adaptation level - the key mechanism
  • Benefits of PMR

The First Session:

  • Explaining history, benefits, and rationale of lowering adaptation level to the client
  • Three reasons we tense despite the fact that the goal is relaxation. 
  • How to teach the 16 muscle groups and other important pre-training info.
  • 12 tips to maximize the effectiveness of relaxation patter.
  • 10 tips on the importance of debriefing.

Beyond 16 muscle groups:

  • Differential Relaxation - The key to PMR benefits.
  • Tailor PMR to each client, maximizing effectiveness.
  • 7 muscle group, then 4 muscle group
  • Recall - deep relaxation without tensing

Beyond PMR:

  • Tin-Man to scarecrow
  • Sponge imagery
  • Socratic reminders to reduce tension and maximize energy

Target Audience

Addiction Counselors, Counselors, Teachers/Educators, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, Social Workers, and other Mental Health Professionals

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