Health and Social Work


Cleo Gallagher



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Cleo Gallagher, SWK 499: International Social Work Research
Faculty Mentors: Professor Kimberly Zittel-Barr, Social Work and Professor Beth Tripi, Social Work

Residents in Point Fortin, Trinidad are currently experiencing community-wide stressors following the recent closure of Petrotrin, a company that employed many residents in the area. I hosted and led a workshop open to the public in which members of the community could sign up to voluntarily participate in a session of progressive muscle relaxation and guided-imagery meditation. The session itself took about twenty minutes. Pre-test and post-test evaluations were administered to see whether the workshop relieved stress and tension for participants. Another goal was to gain insight into how the participating people of Point Fortin viewed this technique after completing the workshop. While the sample size was small, quantitative results include that 60% of participants reported their muscles felt tense before the workshop, while 0% reported that their muscles felt tense after. 60% of participants felt at ease before the workshop, while 100% felt at ease after. Qualitative findings show that overall, participants found the technique informative and would be interested in it becoming available more often.

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Using Meditation to Relieve Stress in Trinidad
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