Stress Management Interventions

Midland Therapy Services offer anxiety and stress management sessions based at our Wolverhampton office. Kerry has many years of experience teaching both clients and students during her time working for a local college. She teaches various techniques to help people cope with the stress of everyday life. Working in both one-to-one and group environments Kerry is able to provide practical and valuable techniques for remaining focussed, calm, realistic and positive.

In these sessions a mixture of NLP, CBT, mindfulness and other effective interventions are explained. These provide clients with an awareness of their thinking and behaviour and tools to create a more realistic way of dealing with stress and anxiety. Clients often comment as their sessions come to a close that the tools they have learned from their time at Midland Therapy Services gives them the confidence to now feel able to cope on their own.

WHAT IS CBT AND HOW CAN IT HELP WITH STRESS MANAGEMENT ?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the most evidence-based therapies and is well documented for its effectiveness. “The way you think, affects the way you feel” (Clark & Beck). This is the very basis for CBT in the treatment of emotional disorders. When we recognise this it can give us an insight into stress management in our daily lives.

For example, a cognitive behavioural approach for a client with anxiety will challenge rumination, thus easing the worry that causes the anxiety to manifest. Anxiety is future-based – brought about when worrying about an event yet to happen.

CBT is documented as ‘one of the most effective treatments for conditions where anxiety or depression is the main problem’ (Royal College of Psychiatrists) and is stated to be as effective in the treatment of anxiety as medication.

photo-1CBT helps us bring an awareness to our thoughts and allows us to label them accordingly. One example would be when thinking ahead to a new experience and creating a story in our minds of what will happen. These stories are usually disastrous and highly unrealistic, yet we drift into an almost trance-like state allowing negative thoughts to take over. Through CBT, the client can learn to acknowledge when they are story-telling and catastrophising and how these thoughts are affecting how they feel physically and emotionally. It is then easier to acknowledge how this affects their behaviour in response to these thoughts and how a vicious circle can ensue. CBT techniques can then be employed to replace those thoughts with more realistic one, hence breaking the cycle.

Kerry is passionate about helping clients to recognise how their thoughts may be affecting their lives detrimentally. She combines mindfulness and CBT to encourage clients into an awareness of the present moment. This allows clients to live life in the now, rather than dwelling on the past or future and realise how much more satisfying it is to be focussed on the present moment.

WHAT IS NLP?

Neuro Linguistic Programming refers to how we use and programme our language and behaviour. Neuro refers to the mind, Linguistic refers to the language we use (both spoken and unspoken) and Programming is how we process and absorb this language.

Dr John Grinder and Richard Bandler were fascinated with individuals who excelled in their chosen professions. They studied the language and behaviour of these individuals in order to identify a language pattern that could be utilised by others. Their study was focussed on hypnotherapist Milton Erickson, Gestalt therapist Fritz Perls and family therapist Virginia Satir, all highly accomplished and successful individuals in their chosen fields.

This study lead them to develop NLP. Whilst change is generally a slow process, NLP seeks to create a more immediate change. Various strategies are used including modelling which looks at how successful people have achieved that success and how their behaviour and language can be utilised for our own success.

NLP is a science based on behavioural and cognitive approaches. There are many simple strategies that can be highly effective in facilitating profound change in the individual.

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing oneself deliberately into the present moment. We so often live our lives focussed on what we have to do or what we’ve done that we forget to be present in the moment that’s occurring. When we give our full attention to the present moment and what we are doing, it brings about a heightened sense of awareness. This leads to far more fulfilling experiences in our day to day lives.

How often are we doing one thing whilst thinking about something else? We miss so much in our lives when we allow our focus to drift indiscriminately. We eat in front of the TV, we chat on the phone when out walking; how can we fully appreciate that meal or that walk when our attention is focused on other things?

Mindfulness is a non-judgemental practice whereby we deliberately bring our focus to a specific feeling, sound, sight, anything we choose and we place our attention fully with that experience. There are no goals in mindfulness, just a sense of simply ‘being’. This can a valuable tool in stress management.

It is an ideal practice for those encountering stress, anxiety and depression. It can support those with a variety of health conditions including sleep disorders, IBS and various chronic conditions.

Mindfulness mediation does not seek an outcome. It is a practice of becoming focussed and aware of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally without any desire to change anything, it allows us to acknowledge our thoughts without rumination. It is also a practice of becoming aware of our environment without judgement and a need to change anything.

Scientific studies report on the effects meditation has on us both physically and mentally, we now know it aids concentration, reduces stress and anxiety and helps us build a stronger resilience to pain and distress. It can make us emotionally stronger and more able to cope with challenges that may arise.

Kerry has practiced meditation and mindful practice for over twenty years and has utilised many effective techniques to support her clients and students in finding their own ways to cope with issues in their own lives.