Stress

Helping Clients Relax: Techniques that Focus on the Body

Most relaxation approaches understand that the main point is for the relaxation practitioner to attain a greater state of focus and concentration. What’s up for grabs with each technique is that which is focused on, and how. In this article, we explore techniques where the practitioner focuses in some way on the body, either just observing it, or in some cases, actively tensing and then relaxing i... »

Mindfulness Meditation vs Stress

Although only recently embraced by Western psychology, mindfulness practices and techniques have been part of many Eastern philosophies, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Tai Chi, Hinduism, and most martial arts, for thousands of years. The various definitions of it revolve around bringing non-judgmental consciousness to the present experience, so it can be considered the art of conscious living. Mindfuln... »

Helping Clients Identify Sources and Symptoms of Stress

Stress as a perceived demand or threat can come to us from multiple sources, and usually many are occurring at once. In stress management, we can generally refer to stressors as being of a personal or environmental nature. The environmental ones may be general or special. Part of your discussion with a stressed client can usefully centre on which types of stressors the client is experiencing more ... »

Identifying and Replacing Stress-inducing Attitudes in Clients

How willing are your clients to acknowledge unhelpful attitudes and beliefs that they may have? Some of these may be unexamined ways of thinking about themselves and their lives that were given to them by parents and other early caregivers. They may not really be the clients’ attitudes and values, but they were put there so early on, it is hard for clients to tell that they do not belong with them... »

Balance and Stress Management

The world’s religions, most scientific literature (Treadway, 1998), and most cultures’ traditions of common sense and wisdom agree: as human beings, we need balance. That is, we most capably give ourselves an antidote to the stresses of life if we have balanced, nurturing connections with ourselves, between ourselves and significant others, and between ourselves and a higher power (however we conc... »

The Neurobiology of Trauma

In recently published articles we defined and looked at the aetiology of trauma and discussed the prevalence, incidence, and risk factors for ASD and PTSD. In this article we shift our focus to the neurobiological side of things i.e. what happens to the brain during the course of trauma. »

Fundamentals of Stress and Anxiety

Although never quite adequately defined, vague generalisations such as “stress and tension are normal reactions to events that threaten us” are used to describe it. Such threats can come from accidents, financial troubles and problems on the job or with family and through our emotional and physical reactions to the given situations, we become what is termed ‘stressed’. Not that long ago, the terms... »

Six Anger Management Strategies for Clients

“Kassinove and Sukhodolsky (1995) defined anger as a felt emotional state. This private state varies in intensity and duration, as well as frequency, and is associated with cognitive distortions, verbal and motor behaviours, and patterns of physical arousal. Although anger may emerge spontaneously, another person is typically seen as the cause of anger. And it usually includes a perception of blam... »

Case Management of Anxiety and Stress

Leah is a 24 year old woman who was recently discharged from the Army on medical grounds. During her four years in the Army, Leah experienced high levels of stress and anxiety which she coped with by drinking heavily. When she presented for counselling, Leah had been sober for 55 days and was seeking strategies to cope with her anxiety that didn't involve drinking. »

A Case Outlining How to Focus on Solutions

Michelle has come to counselling due to increasing feelings of hopelessness about the direction of her life. She is complaining that she is too "bogged down" in her problems to see where she should be going. This is Michelle's second session with the Counsellor. She has spent her previous session discussing the areas of her life that she is unhappy with. Within this session, the Counsellor decides... »

A Case of Using a Person-Centred and Cognitive-Behavioural Approach to Burnout

Brett is a 36 year old man who works as an accountant for a small family business. The business is failing and Brett will probably have to begin the process of "winding it up" in the near future. His commitment to the business and his friends, the business owners, has intensified the level of stress he is feeling as a result of the business collapse. He has taken a week off work on sick leave and ... »

A Case of Stress

Chris came to counselling because he was experiencing increasing feelings of being stressed, overwhelmed and weighed down by his commitments in life. He has been particularly concerned about his negative thoughts and attitude at work and at home and would like to change this. Chris has been seeing a Professional Counsellor for three sessions and together they have been using an eclectic approach u... »

A Case of Critical Incident Counselling

Wilma is a 36-year-old married mother of 4 children. Wilma has been divorced previously and was subjected to psychological and physical abuse by her former partner. Much of the abuse issues had been resolved previously in counselling 12 months earlier. Wilma gave permission for C to contact her former counsellor to obtain relevant information on her earlier difficulties. »

A Case of a Stressful Life Change

Mary has been married for 13 years and has two daughters aged 9 (Christine) and 13 (Jennifer). About 9 months ago, Jennifer suffered a brain injury after a sporting accident. Since then, Mary and her husband have had to teach Jennifer to eat, walk and talk again. They have attended numerous doctors, and specialists appointments in regards to the treatment and rehabilitation of their daughter. »