News Release

March 1, 2006

Contact: Maureen McGuire, 860-679-4523

Minimizing Stress & Anxiety

Six-Week Program at UConn Health Center

Farmington, Conn. – The University of Connecticut Health Center is offering two six-week group therapy programs to help people cope with anxiety, depression and stress-related illnesses, including the stress of having a chronic illness.

Two programs of the Personal Health Improvement Program will run weekly at the 10 Talcott Notch Medical Office in Farmington. One group will meet in the evening, starting on Tuesday, March 21, through April 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The second group will meet in the morning, starting on Thursday, March 23, through April 27, from 10 a.m. to noon. Both groups will be facilitated by Norman Andrekus, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist with extensive experience in developing the mind-body connection through the study of Buddhism, yoga and behavioral medicine.

“This program is designed to teach participants new ways of observing their symptoms with a fresh perspective that emphasizes the importance of the mind-body connection,” explained Dr. Andrekus of the Health Center’s Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Andrekus employs interactive lectures, discussions and small group activities to help participants learn how to reduce stress and respond to everyday situations more effectively.

The Personal Health Improvement Program is a clinically tested and proven way of reducing stress related illness. The curriculum was originally created by Matthew Budd, M.D., the former director of behavioral medicine for the Harvard Pilgrim Medical Group. Dr. Andrekus has expanded this program using behavior change principles of cognitive psychotherapy.

“Research shows that chronic symptoms such as pain, fatigue, ongoing headaches, insomnia and depression can be related to everyday stress and moods. The skills learned in this program help participants learn to recognize their typical reactions to daily stress, and show them new ways to change negative patterns,” Dr. Andrekus added.

“Anyone who is experiencing ongoing stress-related physical symptoms, chronic illness or other pain, discomfort or imbalance in their lives may want to take a serious look at this program. Though the program meets for only six weeks, we hope to give participants tools and resources they can draw upon throughout their lives,” he said.

Class registration is limited. For more information call 860-679-6700.

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

Note: News professionals are invited to visit the UConn Health Today news page ( for regularly updated news and feature stories, photos and media stories. News releases are archived at UConn Health news and information is also available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.