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Progressive Muscle Relaxation (Archived)

NOTE: An improved version of this resource is available here: Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Older versions of a resource may be archived in the event that they are available in multiple languages, or where data indicates that the resource continues to be frequently used by clinicians. 

Muscle tension is one reaction to stress and anxiety. This exercise includes instructions for Progressive Muscle Relaxation, a technique for promoting physical relaxation.

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Everything you could need: a PDF of the resource, therapist instructions, and description with theoretical context and references. Where appropriate, case examples and annotations are also included.

Exercise only (PDF)

A copy of the exercise in PDF format.

Editable version (PPT)

An editable Microsoft PowerPoint version of the resource.


Languages this resource is available in

  • Arabic
  • Armenian
  • Bengali
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Czech
  • English (GB)
  • English (US)
  • French
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
  • Marathi
  • Pashto
  • Persian (Farsi)
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (European)
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Slovenian
  • Spanish (Dominican Republic)
  • Spanish (International)
  • Urdu
  • Welsh

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Techniques associated with this resource

Introduction & Theoretical Background

Physical relaxation is a foundational skill from which many clients benefit. Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a technique for promoting relaxation and activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This worksheet includes simple step-by-step instructions for relaxing each muscle group in turn to promote a strong feeling of physiological relaxation.

References And Further Reading

  • Bernstein, D. A., Borkovec, T. D. (1973). Progressive relaxation training: a manual for the helping professions. Champaign, Illinois: Research Press.