Abstract

There is a large evidence base that demonstrates the efficacy of abbreviated progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) in the treatment of a wide variety of psychiatric and somatoform or psychosomatic disorders. A review of literature published in the last decade suggests that, in recent years, abbreviated PMR has been used primarily as an adjunctive therapy for people with a range of physical health problems. Doubts remain about its applicability to schizophrenic and severely emotionally and behaviourally disturbed populations within secure mental health settings. This article describes the development and evaluation of a relaxation training programme using abbreviated PMR techniques for female service users detained in conditions of medium security. More rigorous experimental evaluation is necessary to draw firm conclusions but preliminary results are positive and suggest that a group relaxation training programme that teaches abbreviated PMR techniques could be a useful intervention for this client group.