Relaxation Skills

Relaxation Skills

This 2-day Relaxation Skills Training programme forms part of the Institute of Leadership Approved Performance Coaching and Stress Management Development Programme.

The programme provides an overview to relaxation skills training. It has been designed for practitioners wishing to use relaxation techniques and skills within their practice including psychologists, coaches, counsellors, and health trainers. Research has found that relaxation techniques can reduce stress, anxiety and blood pressure, and enhance performance and wellbeing. With regular practice, learning relaxation skills can become a useful coping strategy. Hence their use within relaxation based coaching and counselling based practice.

Although many practitioners already use relaxation techniques in their practice, they may not have attended a formal course. This programme is run in association with our affiliated faculty, the Centre for Stress Management, and is recognised by the International Society for Coaching Psychology (ISCP) and Approved by the British Psychological Society Learning Centre for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). (This programme is not suitable learners who are already experienced and/or very knowledgeable about a range of relaxation techniques.)

This programme covers the theory, research and practice of relaxation skills. It will consider how the Learners can integrate relaxation techniques and strategies within their field of practice including coaching, counselling, training and health-related fields. Learners will have the opportunity to practise relaxation skills and techniques in Zoom breakout rooms.

Topics include the application of a range of relaxation techniques including breathing, deep breathing, box breathing, cyclic breathing, Benson Relaxation Response, RE-LAX method, cued-breathing, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Multimodal Relaxation Method, nature based interventions including the use of photographs, grounding and imagery techniques. The indications and contra-indications of relaxation techniques will be discussed. The programme is suitable for any professional wanting to learn more about relaxation skills and techniques.

Short videos will be shown to demonstrate some of the techniques.

Learners are provided with a printed workbook. Also there is access to online resources including articles.


To become knowledgeable about the theory, research and practice of relaxation.


This skills based workshop will help learners to:

  • understand the Stress and Relaxation Response from a psycho-biological perspective
  • increase knowledge in the application of a range of relaxation skills and techniques applied in different settings (ie face-to-face and over virtual platforms)
  • have practised a number of relaxation techniques within group and triad exercises
  • increase knowledge in relaxation research that can inform practice
  • increase understanding on how to monitor physiological and psychological measures of the Relaxation Response
  • reflect on how relaxation techniques can be integrated within their own practice

The trainer is Professor Stephen Palmer PhD and/or Dr Siobhain O’Riordan PhD. Both trainers are award winning psychologists who have run relaxation workshops and masterclasses at international psychology conferences and are award winning psychologists.