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The Stress-Busting Program For Organizations

The Stress-Busting Programs (SBP) are evidence-based and proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and improve the quality of life for family caregivers.

Master Training Dates in San Antonio, TX

Location: 8637 Fredericksburg Road, Suite 100; San Antonio, TX 78240


February 26-27 (Dementia SBP) | May 27-28 (Chronic Illness SBP) | August 26-27 (Dementia SBP) | November 4-5 (Chronic Illness SBP)

Cross-training available on request

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The Stress-Busting Program was developed by Dr. Sharon Lewis and the UT Health San Antonio. The SBP meets the Administration on Aging’s highest criteria for evidence-based programs and has a proven track record of success in helping family caregivers to manage their stress and cope better with their lives. The are four programs available: Stress-Busting Program for Family Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease or Related Dementias, Stress-Busting Program for Family Caregivers of Person with Chronic Illness; Un Camino Hacia el Bienestar Program Par Eliminar el Estres De Las Personas Que Cuidan a Sus Familiares (Spanish Language Dementia Program Adaptation), and Stress-Busting Program for Caring Professionals Combating Compassion Fatigue and Burnout.Participants receive everything they need including a handbook, access to relaxation strategies videos, and a meditation. The Stress-Busting classes are led by two trained group facilitators who can provide the program at churches, senior centers, senior housing, assisted living, and other locations that are convenient for family caregivers.The WellMed Charitable Foundation is looking to work with interested organizations to provide the Stress Busting Program to their caregivers. Agencies interested in empowering caregivers by providing the Stress-Busting Programs in their local communities should contact the non-profit WellMed Charitable Foundation at or by calling 866-390-6491.

Program Information

The program consists of 90-minute sessions that occur once per week for 9 weeks. The program is conducted in a small group setting with two trained group facilitators. Participants are provided with many resources including a handbook covering class material, a meditation CD, and a relaxation strategies DVD. Program handbooks for caregivers to participate in the program are available for purchase separately. 

Week Title and Content  
1 Getting Started: Group introductions, purpose, and expectations of program. Relaxation Breathing
2 Stress: Effects on Mind, Body, and Spirit: Causes of stress, mind-body-spirit connections to stress. Meditation
3 Caregiver Stress and Relaxation: Effects of stress, relaxation response, creating a relaxation environment. Imagery
4 Facing Challenges: Understanding and managing difficult and challenging situations when caring for someone with dementia or a chronic illness. Hand Massage
5 Grief, Loss, and Depression: Grieving process and losses related to caring for someone with dementia or a chronic illness. Art
6 Coping with Stress: Discussion of changeable and unchangeable stressors. Changing roles and relationships. Use of coping strategies. Aromatherapy
7 Positive Thinking: Changing the way one can think (cognitive restructuring) and how to view situations in a more positive framework. Twisted thinking is discussed. Journaling
8 Taking Care of Yourself: Healthy Living: Integrating the strategies learned in earlier sessions to help develop a healthier lifestyle. Emphasis on incorporating good nutrition and sleep habits, exercise, and hobbies into daily routines. Music
9 Choosing a Path to Wellness: Final integration of first 8 sessions and applying it so caregivers will be empowered to take care of themselves. Caregivers create a plan to do this and focus on healthy living. Discuss assertiveness skills.  

Training Availability

The program is delivered using a Master Trainer/group facilitator model. Master Training is available to organizations that purchase a license and take the Master Training course. Master Training sessions are conducted in San Antonio, Texas over a two-day period. Training can also be conducted outside of San Antonio for groups of 8-10, but arrangements must be made separately.The Master Trainer session lasts two days and includes:

  • Subject matter content
  • Role of the facilitators
  • How to administer the program
  • How to train group facilitators

At the end of the training, persons who successfully demonstrate knowledge and ability to facilitate groups will:

  • Acquire provisional certification as Stress-Busting Program Master Trainers
  • Be qualified to facilitate Stress-Busting Program groups
  • Be qualified to train group facilitators

Master Trainer certification will remain with the licensing organization. If a Master Trainer leaves the licensed organization, he or she will no longer have Stress-Busting Program certification to hold groups or train facilitators. The organization may contact us to arrange training for new Master Trainers.

Program Qualifications

  1. From 1996 to 2010, the Stress-Busting Program was developed through funding from the National Institutes of Health. From 2010 to 2012 the Stress-Busting Program was disseminated with funding from the Administration on Aging in partnership with WellMed Charitable Foundation into the community in central and south Texas using a master trainer lay leader model.
  2. The Stress-Busting Program is recognized by the Administration on Aging as the highest-level criteria for an evidence-based program and by the VA as evidence-supported program.
  3. Lewis, SL, Miner-Williams, DM, et al. 2009. A Stress-Busting Program for Family Caregivers. Rehabilitation Nursing. Vol 34, No. 4; July/August.
  4. Spanish Stress-Busting Trial


As the State Director for the family caregiver program I have seen a tremendous change in the attitudes of the families.  South Dakota facilitators have taught over 15 Stress-Busting classes throughout the state and all have made the same comment, it’s like a light bulb went off in our families.  They understand how important it is to take care of themselves.  Most important, they have realistic expectations of themselvesBobbie Jo Leggett, South Dakota State Program Director, CAREgivers by AG

For more information contact the WellMed Charitable Foundation at or by calling 866-390-6491.


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