Is it effective?
There have been a number of randomised controlled trials on the effect of relaxation therapy for people with depression. In general, these studies have found that relaxation therapy works better than no treatment, but not as well as psychological treatments such as cognitive behaviour therapy. The longer-term effects of relaxation therapy are uncertain.
Are there any disadvantages?
Relaxation therapy is not for everyone. Some people who are very depressed or anxious, or who have other types of mental health problems, can find that relaxation doesn’t help. It might even make them feel worse. It's best to check with your doctor before trying relaxation therapy.
Where do you get it?
Community groups often run relaxation classes. There are also therapists who teach relaxation, who can be found in the Relaxation Therapy section of the Yellow Pages. Books and audio files giving instructions in relaxation therapy are available from bookshops and online. You can also download our BluePages relaxation program (see below).