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Understanding and Managing Stress in Modern Life

Stress is a physiological and psychological response that occurs when an individual perceives a discrepancy between the demands placed upon them and their ability to meet those demands. It is a natural reaction to challenging situations, and it can manifest as a state of mental or emotional strain, often accompanied by physical symptoms like increased heart rate, muscle tension, and heightened alertness.

Stress

Much like anxiety, we all experience stress, but high levels of stress can lead to acute and chronic disease states and even contribute to mental health disorders. Learning what stress is, how it presents physiologically, identifying current (maladaptive) coping and replacing with healthy and adaptive coping are but a few strategies to treat those who suffer from extreme stress. In addition, familial patterns of coping are examined, as well as current triggers and those situations which promote high levels of stress and impede typical functioning.


Educator Stress

This was a serendipitous issue that became prevalent throughout my and my children’s lives. It seemed as if every year one of them had a teacher who “always yells” and provided a tension-filled learning environment that actually contributes to children’s stress and anxiety and negatively impacts their ability to learn.


Educator burnout is also very real, especially in today’s sociopolitical climate, and learning to recognize it far before it begins to settle in is paramount to career longevity. I teach educators how to recognize the signs and symptoms, provide psychoeducation on the physiology of stress and anxiety and the importance and different forms of coping.


Smoking Cessation

Helping clients quit smoking and advocating for smoke-free environments is one of my passions. I have experience counseling patients with varying degrees of motivation to quit smoking and I’ve spent the last two years researching the effects of smoking and secondhand smoke on the human body and developing children.


As with everything else, I believe a thorough understanding of how nicotine interacts with the brain, the neurobiology of addiction (including why smoking is so addictive) and how smoking adversely affects every human organ system (as well as contributes to disease states of those around smokers) is paramount to treatment. I believe understanding what is happening in our bodies, what to expect during the cessation process and having someone to walk the client through tobacco cessation while assisting with collateral issues such as motivation, finances, withdrawal, etc. can contribute to smoking cessation success.



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