Theory and practice of stress management  2022/2023. I. semester

About the course


1) About the course


Name of the course: Theory and practice of stress management

The goals of the course in point of view of the education:

Stress often plays an important role in the development and course of somatic and psychiatric disorders, as well as in the maintenance of self-harming behaviors (e.g. addictions, emotional eating). Therefore many professional guidelines (e.g. in cardiology or psychiatry) recommend the improvement of stress management as part of treatment. Healthcare workers, including dentists themselves are particularly exposed to high stress load that is risk factor of the burnout syndrome.

Therefore, it is highly important for all physicians and dentists to beware and apply or – where appropriate – to explain to their patients the major stress management techniques that are well used during medical and dental treatments as well as in everyday life. If necessary, physicians and dentists shall be able to recommend a participation in some of the evidence-based a behavioral treatment programs.

This course is based on an evidence-based behavioral medicine program (Williams LifeSkills Program,, ), that is internationally used. The main goals of this model program are the learning and the acquisition at a skill level of stress management and communication techniques that can be used in everyday life to reduce physical and mental tensions, to improve conflict management, and to build supportive relationships by communicating effectively.

The course is held in a small group, with problem-oriented tasks and practices, where participants have the opportunity to learn, acquire and practice basic stress management skills that can be successfully applied both during the university studies and the medical profession, as well as in many other areas of everyday life.


Competencies acquired by completion of the course:

Students will learn the physiological and psychological foundations of stress, and acquire effective stress management techniques that can be used during both their university years and in everyday practice with patients.

Their coping strategies, communication skills, conflict management techniques, and personal effectiveness can develop during the course, that are of major importance in the practice of the medical and dental profession, both in cooperation with patients and colleagues, and in burnout prevention.

The training-type method of the practices, conducted in small-groups strengthens the ability to work in a team, and contributes to the development of the professional personality of the students.


Schedule and topics


Theory and practice of stress management seminars will take place on Tuesdays, 17.30-19.00

The first seminar will take place on 6th September, 2022.


Location of the course :


Teacher of the course: Zana Ágnes PhD, family therapist, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy consultant Williams LifeSkills facilitator



Topics of the practical sessions, divided in to weeks:

  1. Introduction. The theory of stress. Psychophysiological foundations of stress.
  2. Formulation of problems. Awareness of thoughts and feelings, log-entry technique.
  3. Analysis of stressful situations. Techniques for reasoned decision making.
  4. Cognitive techniques to manage negative thoughts and feelings.
  5. Stress reduction techniques: relaxation, mindfulness.
  6. Creative problem solving. Conflict management.
  7. Assertive behavior 1. Formulation of requests.
  8. Assertive behavior 2. Saying No.
  9. Effective communication techniques: Speaking up and listening.
  10. Empathy with groups and individuals.
  11. Time management. Improving personal effectiveness.
  12. Management of common stress situations during university studies: exams, patient care, working in teams.
  13. -14. (double lesson on the last week) Defining priorities. Overview of the learned skills. Summary and feedback. Written essay on what has been learned.


The course is a skills training consisting mainly of practice, with 8-15 students.

Students can register via the Neptun system. Acceptance at teh course is by order of registration.


Contact: Secretariat of the Semmelweis University, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, NET Building, 20th floor, Room 2015; E-mail: titkarsag.magatartastudomany[at];

Tel:  +361210 2953; +36206701937 or 210-2930 extension 56126 or 56114



3) Requirements

Theory and practice of stress management

Elective course               Credit value: 2

Lessons (in hours):          lectures:    0      practicals:     28   seminars: 0


The course is a skills training consisting mainly of practice, with 8-15 students.


Students can register via the Neptun system. Acceptance at the course is by order of registration.


Pre-study requirements and prerequisites of course registration and completion: none


Special academic work required for completion of the course :

Completion of the tasks assigned during the course (individual, small group and large group tasks). Completion of homework (written tasks based on supplementary materials of the course, communication and relaxation practice).


Attendance on practices and lectures, replacement in case of missed sessions:

Recording an attendance sheet on participation at the sessions. Active participation in at least 75% of the total number of the sessions.  Making up for absences is not possible.

Consequences of absence from sessions and exams:

Refusal of the signature if more than 25% of the sessions is missed.

Method of checking acquired knowledge during the study period :

Completion of written task assignments based on the handouts issued in the course. Oral report on homework during practices.

Requirements of an accepted semester (signature of the lecturer):

Attendance of at least 75% of the seminars is a prerequisite for getting the signature.

Active participation at the seminars. Completion of the written tasks during the seminars and given as homework. Successful completion of a final essay exam.


Type of the exam:

Practical grade


Requirements of the exam :

Practical grade based on the above mentioned requirements.

The topics of the homeworks and of the written examination are in accordance with the knowledge transmitted during the sessions (see detailed thematic of the course).


Grading of courses :

Completion of the oral and written tasks during the seminars; completion and reporting on the written and oral homeworks; result of the written examination will be assessed together.


Exam registration:

practical grade, so there is no exam registration


Rules of repeating exams:

not relevant


List of textbooks, lecture notes and recommended textbooks:

Compulsory literature:

Williams Life Skills Workbook and other handouts, provided by the teacher

Williams RB, Williams VP. Adaptation and implementation of an evidence-based behavioral medicine program in diverse global settings: The Williams LifeSkills experience. Translational Behav. Medicine 2011;1(303–312)

Recommended literature:

Williams, Redford & Williams, Virginia: In Control: No more snapping at your family life, sulking at work, steaming in the grocery line, seething in meetings, stuffing your frustration. Rodale, 2006.