Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Michael Bertoch


In order to assess the relative efficacy of audio-taped relaxation as compared to live-therapist induced relaxation, 80 volunteer subjects were randomly assigned to one of the following eight groups: (1) live-therapist (male) contingent, (2) live-therapist (male) non-contingent, (3) taped contingent (male), (4) taped non-contingent (male), (5) live-therapist (female) contingent, (6) live-therapist (female) non-contingent, (7) taped (female) contingent, and (8) taped (female) non-contingent. The subjects were exposed to treatment conditions for five sessions during which they received a relaxation sequence via either a live-therapist or audio-taped format in a contingent or non-contingent (subject controlled pace or non-subject controlled pace, respectively) progression. The subjects were monitored with an EMG and Skin Temperature device for 10 minutes following the relaxation sequence. Following the relaxation sequence, each subject was administered a subjective relaxation scale. The first session data were compared to the last session data via a 4 way ANOVA at a .05 alpha level.

The analysis of variance indicated that all groups on all of the dependent variables became more relaxed (EMG reduction and skin temperature increase) from pre to post period monitorings. On the variables of EMG and skin temperature, the live-therapist and contingent progression groups produced greater relaxation than did the taped and non-contingent groups. The combination of live-therapist and contingent progression proved to be the most effective in reducing EMG and increasing peripheral skin temperature. (Both indications of relaxation.) All the treatment groups responded similarly on verbal report with the live-therapist contingent and taped-therapist non-contingent groups decreasing most on the verbally reported subjective scale. Implications for the use of live and taped-therapist presentations along with contingent progression formats were discussed.