FAQ: Stress busters

Below are FAQ for our community CBT course "Stress Busters". Courses can take place in a range of places incl Belfast, Lisburn, Newry, Dundalk and Dublin - check calendar for course dates and times, and/or get in touch to register your interest or to go onto our mailing list. 

 Q) You have said that the mood and stress courses, like Stress Busters, are educational rather than counselling. Can you say a bit more about that?  Yes, we take an educational rather than a therapeutic approach in our training courses, and so our aim is to teach, not treat. In a therapeutic context for example, the focus can be on problems, losses and deficits, but in our approach, the focus instead is on giving up-to-date information, while developing students' strengths, interests and active problem-solving skills.  Our goal therefore, is to empower individuals with information, awareness and resources, so that they can make progress towards their chosen goals.  
This empowering process is supported though a number of mechanisms:​​

  • ongoing, open communication with course tutors  to ask questions as these arise, either directly, or via the class mailbox which will be in available at each session
  • ongoing, informal training courses on the same theme but at different /deeper levels,
  • peer support through Moodsters social events and activities, and
  • one-to-one meetings with staff to discuss learning and support needs, including any additional resources within local communities.​

Q) Is everyone on your stress / mood courses likely to be depressed or anxious?
Not at all.  In fact personalised one-to-one CBT  may be more appropriate for people who are very highly anxious or depressed.  Nevertheless, ideally everyone would do Stress Busters / mood managers course as men and women of all ages, backgrounds and cultures need to know how to manage modern life challenges of stress, anger, anxiety, low mood etc.  It is our mission at The I Can Centre to give people that information and ideally before a significant hit or emotional challenge occurs! This way people can take back control so that they manage their moods, rather than have moods manage them! 

Q) What if someone I know is on the course?  I wouldn't want anyone to think I was anxious or depressed.
Any one of us can feel down or anxious at times, and this is not a reflection of weakness or "something wrong".  The opposite - such feelings can be a healthy response to common life experiences such as bereavement, loss or change. Longer term, these feelings can become prolonged simply because people do not have the right information or support to improve and manage how they feel.  Indeed this concern lead to the development of our Centre so that people might get this needed support and information to lift mood and ultimately feel great. 

Nevertheless, it is not necessary to explain why you are attending, though many do tell others quite reasonably that they are there "just for information", or to support a friend or family member.Typically attendees feel happy to have completed our courses and proud to show off their certificates. This is because attendees are: 

  • kind and caring people because they are very interested in how they and others are feeling, 
  • intuitive because they are able to recognise the huge role of mood in shaping so much of our every day experiences, including physical health, sleep, diet, the frequency and quality of relationships with others, our productivity and ability to concentrate,  our general emotional well-being, and our ability to gain enjoyment and quality from life, and 
  • wise because they want to learn more, and ideally before a hit or an emotional emergency arises with subsequent high costs!

Kind, caring, smart people are likely to meet with each other socially, and to find their way to one of our courses!  Therefore if you bump into someone you know, just smile, say “hello” and chat as you would normally.


Q) My reading or writing skills are not great – does this mean I should not attend?
Please do not let any writing or reading problems put you off. Instead talk to us to find solutions as your experiences, comments, views etc are most important, and you have the same right to information as anyone else:  In terms of the slides themselves, these have lots of pictures and graphics which should help you remember the discussion / point being covered; you can also phone us to get clarification where needed.

  • typically when people arrive for each class they will being a completed mood survey, but if you don’t have a family member to help, come early to the class and a member of staff will assist you in filling out the mood survey. 
  • at the end of every session, attendees will drop off a feedback sheet into the mailbox, but you can meet with a staff member in a private area to give your comments which he / she will write down on your behalf. 

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.  

Nelson Mandela