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Stress Institute

Housed in the Department of Psychology at Roosevelt University, the Stress Institute offers training in the Comprehensive Stress Management and Meditation/Mindfulness System for students and health professionals in clinical or industrial/organizational psychology, pastoral counseling, social work, counseling, nursing, and rehabilitation.


The Comprehensive Stress Management and Meditation/Mindfulness (CSMMM) System

The Roosevelt University Stress Institute, and its sister institute at Spain’s University of the Basque Country, are recognized around the world for research and teaching.  Our philosophy is that different approaches to stress management and meditation/mindfulness have different effects for different people and that techniques work best when they are combined and integrated.  We focus on meditation/ mindfulness as a useful practical and conceptual integrative tool.

Stress management used to involve one or two techniques, the “one size fits all” approach (for example, just yoga, assertiveness, or relaxation).  Today, serious programs offer and integrate a careful selection of approaches often including meditation/mindfulness.  Together, such training reflects the new look in stress management, the “Comprehensive Stress Management and Meditation/Mindfulness (CSMMM) System.”  Our approach to the CSMMM System includes: training in interpersonal problem-solving (problem definition, time management, assertiveness, anger management), cognitive restructuring (irrational unproductive negative thinking), and the six Universal Family Groups of Relaxation/Meditation/Mindfulness (yoga stretching, progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, autogenic exercises, imagery, and meditation/ mindfulness).  All approaches are presented in the guiding framework of meditation/mindfulness.  Students learn how to construct individually-tailored relaxation recordings that combine multiple approaches.  Training is also offered in assessing relaxation, evaluating programs and approaches, and presenting stress
and relaxation workshops.

Training focuses on personal exploration as well as professional theory, research, and practice.  We emphasize critical thinking and focus on popular extraordinary and often distracting and distorted claims associated with stress management and meditation/mindfulness.  These include claims related to complementary and alternative medicine, energy treatments, pseudoscience, the paranormal, spiritual and mystical experiences, and destructive religiosity.

Available only on the Chicago campus.


To complete our Comprehensive Stress Management and Meditation/Mindfulness (CSMMM) System, students must take the following courses:

PSYC 203: Coping with Stress

PSYC 373/473: Relaxation & Mindfulness (Prerequisite: 9 semester hours of college credit in psychology)

PSYC 379/479: Relaxation Scripts & Workshops (Prerequisite: 9 semester hours of college credit in psychology.  Must be taken concurrently with Psyc 373/473.)

PSYC 346/446: Critical Thinking & Paranormal (Prerequisite: 9 semester hours of college credit in psychology)


About the Founder

The founder and Director of the Stress Institute is Jonathan C. Smith, PhD.  Dr. Smith is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Professor of Psychology, and a nationally recognized authority on stress management, relaxation, meditation, and mindfulness.  He is the author of 22 books and numerous articles.  Dr. Smith’s writings are a standard part of clinical programs across the country.  Dr. Smith has helped develop stress programs for major organizations and corporations.


Free Stress Management Programs

Advanced Stress Institute graduate students perfect their skills by practicing on volunteer Roosevelt University students.  Students can arrange for a series of sessions and learn our approach to Comprehensive Stress Management and Meditation/Mindfulness.  There is no fee.  Serving as a volunteer can provide an excellent introduction for individuals considering work in stress management or in human services.  This volunteer program is not a substitute for counseling or psychotherapy.

In addition, the Stress Institute offers free workshops for businesses, hospitals, clinics, and educational institutions.  Workshops are provided by advanced students under professional supervision.


Stress Research

Stress Institute students and faculty are actively involved in research on relaxation and stress.  We are proud that over forty of our students are now published authors.  Outside researchers are invited to participate in co-authored research.


Free Relaxation Workshop Download

The Stress Institute is pleased to offer an audio recording of Dr. Smith's introductory workshop on relaxation.  He explains the latest in relaxation theory and demonstrates six major family groups of relaxation, including:

  • Yoga stretching
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Breathing exercises
  • Autogenics
  • Imagery
  • Meditation

You can demonstrate for yourself a major Stress Institute discovery that different approaches to relaxation have different effects.  This workshop works best with the Relaxation States Map and the free audio file (43 minutes).
(c) 2006, Jonathan C. Smith, PhD.  Reprinted and posted by permission.|


Contact The Stress Institute:


Roosevelt University
430 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL  60605
E-mail: StressInstitute@aol.com