Therapy Toronto Psychotherapy Definitions
- Stress is usually defined as excess physical, emotional or psychic strain.
This allows us to include a wide range of subjective experiences within it. Clearly, the factors creating stress vary greatly for each of us.
Is stress a symptom, a pointer to an underlying issue, or a physical condition that creates emotional reactions in us?
Many people think stress boils down to a single factor, and some believe that it is a natural and inevitable aspect of the intensity of modern life in post-industrialized societies.
Within the psychotherapeutic community, it is often viewed as as a condition that requires alleviation before we can investigate and change its underlying causes.
Such causes may be both external to the psyche (relationship, finances, illness, civil disorder, etc.) or internal (negative personal history, low self-esteem, grief).
While in every age people have always complained of the pressures under which they were living, this does not mean that all forms of stress are negative.
The great Austrian-Canadian researcher Hans Selye was able to demonstrate conclusively that all significant events create the same stress reactions on a purely bodily level.
Selye coined the word 'eustress' to contrast the traditional term 'distress' with mood changes due to positive stressors.
While people most often seek help to manage distress stressors, all of us can benefit from using both forms of stress to their best advantage.
Some of the therapists on the site make a specialty of working with people under stress.