Stress and Therapy

Feeling stress is an everyday occurrence. Stress often results from poor work environments, hard to manage kids, worries over doing it the “right way,” disappointing relationships, and demanding schedules. Often our upbringing and circumstances complicate our ability to overcome hurdles in life. Short of winning the lottery or re-writing your personal history, you might think that you or the ones you love are doomed to experience the psychological and physical consequences of stress. Pain, despair, irritation, poor sleep, hopelessness, worry, and isolation are the norm, right?

Decades of research has shown that psychological services can produce profound improvements in a general sense of well-being. In fact, there is a direct link between emotional and physical functioning. When we feel better about ourselves and our lives, our bodies actually work better. However, people differ in their ability to manage stress. Keys to managing stress include your awareness of stress, your ability to think and plan for stress, and how you relax afterwards. Simple environmental changes can have a powerful impact upon the behavioral and emotional functioning of children and their families.

Interestingly, there has been a very consistent finding in what seems to be the key ingredient in therapy. The key is a sense of feeling cared about. It turns out that the experience of empathy has strong curative powers. Of course this makes sense. When you talk about your life and feel understood, a renewed sense of hope is discovered. Next come new ideas and the energy to pursue them. People often know the answers but are blocked by fear, insecurity, and isolation. A genuine connection with a caring other can help overcome these obstacles. Being listened to helps us to listen to others. Therapy can improve relationships as our own needs are understood.

I know that having a better and more organized understanding of anything helps us to relax . I feel better when I know how something works. Parents often feel the same way about their kids. When they know what’s going on and what to do about it, confusing emotions clear and they are left with a sense of purpose, hope and confidence.