Stress is a common experience for us all, and a certain amount of stress is actually good for us. But “stressors” like school failure, financial hardship, job loss, relationship troubles, or traumatic events can overwhelm our ability to cope.
Prolonged stress affects our emotional well-being, causing anxiety and anger disorders, and can even impair our physical well-being, contributing to such disorders as hypertension, ulcers, chronic fatigue, pain, and headaches.
Coping with stress
Stress is usually associated with significant changes in a person’s physiology: hyperventilation, restricted blood flow, excess muscle tension, and less well-known, disrupted (EEG) brainwave patterns. Although all of us are born with some ability to manage stress, if these physiological patterns become chronic, they can cause physical and emotional breakdown.
There are important steps all of us can take to better manage stress, including physical exercise, good nutrition, and regular relaxation and renewal. However, more specific intervention is often necessary. While medication may help for limited periods, many people want a drug-free alternative that enhances their life-long ability to successfully cope with stress.
At the Applied Psychology Centre, we use psychotherapy in the broader context of assessment, diagnosis, and training of basic skills in self-regulation.
Regulation of the body’s stress response
We use advanced biofeedback technology to bring good self-regulation skills within everyone’s reach. With specialized equipment and protocols, you will learn to better control your body’s response to stress — to improve your breathing, reduce your muscle tension, better regulate blood flow and temperature, and learn to better regulate brain- wave patterns underlying the stress response. Moreover, you will learn to recover from stress more rapidly and effortlessly. Everyday functioning will be more relaxed and balanced, reducing the risk of long-term stress-related disorders.
Because stress manifests differently across individuals, we conduct an assessment of how stress is uniquely affecting your ability to cope, and design a stress management program to enhance your ability to regulate yourself and control your unique symptoms.