David W. Kidder, Ph.D.
Psychological Technologies, L.L.C.
This video is designed by Dr. David Kidder, Counseling Psychologist, to bring you to a state of relaxation as you watch and listen. You will see beautiful scenes of mountains, forests, streams, waterfalls, sunrises, and flowers. You will hear peaceful acoustic piano, guitar, and synthesizer melodies. Among these rich images and sounds you will hear inspirational messages and suggestions to help you relax. Later in the tape you will have the option of experiencing the music and scenery without the inspirational messages. Dr. Kidder will also instruct you in the use of this tape on a regular basis for stress management. The video has been successfully field tested with volunteer patients in a psychotherapy practice and with general volunteers from the community. Approximate running time is 60 minutes, but the music video portion is approximately 25 minutes.
Copyright 2000 Psychological Technologies, L.L.C.
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Eastern Mountains Relaxation video:
Evaluation of Effectiveness
The Eastern Mountains Relaxation video uses many of the principles of relaxation that make relaxing imagery effective. In addition, the video was designed with a principle of social influence in mind that was described by Milton Erikson in his theory of the change processes in psychotherapy. He believed that a therapist or facilitator is more effective in bringing about change in the patient or subject if the therapist first tries to match the patient’s mental and emotional state, level of activity, and behavior. Then the therapist gradually changes his/her behavior during the interaction toward the desired state. In this way the patient is led to the desired state rather than having to make the leap by himself. In the relaxation video, nature scenes and musical selections were ordered from most energizing to most relaxing in order to lead viewers from their initial state of activity to a more relaxed state.
Some of the other active ingredients of this tape are as follows. A passive attitude is encouraged (no actions are required of the participant other than viewing and listening). The musical selections were chosen from a great many instrumental compositions and then ranked by volunteers for their ability to induce relaxation. The inspirational messages and verbal affirmations were designed to further guide the consumer in the way to relax and de-stress. The combination of nature scenes, musical selections, and intermittent verbal statements tend to distract the person from unhelpful and distressing thoughts.
Three field studies were performed with the Eastern Mountains Relaxation video prior to its offering to the public for purchase and use. Twenty four out of twenty eight adult subjects in the three studies reported an increase in feelings of relaxation during the time they viewed the video. In the first study, thirteen psychotherapy patients were referred by professionals other than Dr. Kidder for viewing and evaluation of the video. Ten of 13 patients reported having problems with anxiety. Ten of 13 patients reported viewing the video after their therapy sessions. A person other than Dr. Kidder gave them instructions. Each patient viewed the video separately and completed an evaluation questionnaire before and after viewing. Patients were asked to rate how relaxed they felt before viewing the video on a five point scale as follows:
1. On a scale from one to five rate how relaxed you feel at this time.
|1 ||2 ||3 ||4 ||5 |
|Not relaxed at all ||A little relaxed ||Moderately relaxed ||Relaxed a lot ||Very relaxed |
The patients were then asked to make this same rating after they finished viewing the video. Twelve of thirteen participants reported an increase in feelings of relaxation between the two ratings. One remained "a little relaxed". The average relaxation rating before viewing was 1.9. The average relaxation rating after viewing was 3.85. On average the patients reported feeling a little relaxed before viewing and between moderately relaxed to relaxed a lot after viewing the video.
These patients were also asked to rate the video overall on its effectiveness in eliciting the relaxation response for them. They were presented with the following rating scale and anchors:
|1 ||2 ||3 ||4 ||5 |
|Does Not Elicit This Quality At All ||Elicits small amount of this quality ||Elicits moderate Amount of this quality ||Elicits a lot of this quality ||Elicits Very Much of this quality |
On a scale from 1 to 5 where 1 is the least and 5 is the most, how much does this music video elicit the following response from you? Circle your choice.
Relaxing 1 2 3 4 5
They rated the video an average of 4.23 on this scale. On average they believed that the video elicited a lot of the quality of relaxation.
A second study was performed similar to the first with patients in an outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation program in a local mental health clinic. Eight patients participated in a group meeting during which a facilitator led them in a discussion of stress and stress management just prior to the Christmas holidays. The facilitator was someone other than Dr. Kidder. She also taught them some stress management techniques such as breathing for relaxation. The video was then shown to the group. The same ratings as in the above study were used. Seven of eight patients reported an increase in their feelings of relaxation from just before to just after viewing the video. Six out of the eight reported feeling moderately relaxed before viewing the tape, and six out of eight reported feeling very relaxed after viewing the tape. The average rating before viewing was 2.65, and the average rating after viewing was 4.5. On average they reported feeling a little relaxed to moderately relaxed before viewing and relaxed a lot to very relaxed after viewing the video. These patients rated the video an average of 4.25 points on the scale measuring how effective it was in eliciting the relaxation response. On average they believed that the video elicited a lot of the quality of relaxation.
Finally, a third study was done with community volunteers from a local church. Seven participants viewed the video as a group and completed the evaluation instrument. Dr. Kidder gave instructions to this group. These questionnaires were not identified by the participants so that they could be free to give honest responses without Dr. Kidder knowing who had given which responses. Five participants gave a rating of 4.86 on quality of relaxation. This is between relaxed a lot and very relaxed. The seven participants reported an increase in their feelings of relaxation from before to after viewing the video. Although two of the respondents did not change their ratings from before to after, one of these rated himself very relaxed both before and after. The average rating before viewing was 3.14, and the average rating after viewing was 4.71. They rated themselves on average just above moderately relaxed before viewing and between relaxed a lot and very relaxed afterward. The participants rated the video’s overall ability to elicit the relaxation response at 4.86. They believed that it elicited between a lot and very much relaxation.