Shawna Freshwater, Ph.D.   ·   Clinical Psychologist, NeuroPsychologist & Holistic Healer   ·   Contact for your free 15-minute consultation

Stress Management Therapy

The Epidemic of Modern Life in Our Society is STRESS

Stress itself is not a disease, but it leads to a breakdown in psychological, body and brain functioning.  Stress is disease causing. If stress is not relieved damage occurs. As your body and brain experience your reactions to stress triggers, You have become the stressor itself.

Three Inter-related Phases of Stress Damage:

  1. Psychological and Neuronal (brain) Damage:  begins with A) feeling mentally tired, drained of energy which can mask as depression, anxiety, panic. B) Brain fatigue results in impaired focus, impaired attention/concentration, impaired learning of new information, and impaired memory recall of recent information. It can mask as attention deficit disorder (ADD).  Stress also causes brain inflammation that can lead to irreversible Mild Cognitive Impairment and incipient dementia.
  2. Behavioral Damage: Negative changes in behavior most often show up in 2 major areas: relationships and work.  A) friction or arguments B) less productivity and creativity, C) distracting avoidant behavior (e.g. compulsions, addictions, substance abuse) .
  3. Physical Damage: Physical fatigue, allergies, asthma, skin conditions, headaches, compromised immune system functioning, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, heart disease, heart attack, brain inflammation, stroke and et cetera.

Causes of Stress

We all react differently to stressful situations. What is stressful to one person may not be stressful to another. Almost anything can cause stress. For some people, just thinking about something or several small things can cause stress. How we react to a situation will affect how stress affects us and our health. A person who feels they do not have enough resources to cope will be more likely to have a stronger stress reaction, and also can trigger health problems.

Common Stress Triggers:

  • who am I ?  What is my life purpose? 
  • being bullied 
  • discrimination 
  • job issues or retirement
  • lack of time or money
  • bereavement
  • family problems
  • illness
  • moving away from home
  • college
  • relationships, marriage, and divorce

Other commonly reported causes of stress include:

Experiences that are generally considered positive, but also can lead to stress, include pregnancy, having a baby, going on a trip, moving to a nicer house, relocating to another city or country, and being promoted. All of these situations often involve a major change, extra effort, new responsibilities, and a need for adaptation. They are also steps into the unknown. The person wonders if they will cope.

Acute, Episodic and Chronic Stress

Repeated acute, episodic, or prolonged periods of stress can significant adversely affect your physical and mental health. Stress wreaks havoc. To learn more about the significant health hazards of stress. Here is a link to a published article: 3 Types of Stress and Health Hazards.

A persistently negative response to changes and challenges can have a detrimental effect on health and happiness. However, being aware of how you react to stressors can help reduce the overwhelm of feelings and effects of stress, and to manage it more effectively.

Working Through Stress and Learning To Cope More Effectively

There are many techniques to deal with stress, the underlying issues that trigger stress, and the hazards of stress. If you feel stressed out, or overwhelmed, you should know that life doesn’t have to be this way. Together, you and Dr. Shawna, will look into your life to find the sources of your stress, stress triggers, and figure out what to change, or implement. These things may involve your work, your family, or all other areas of your personal life. You will also learn techniques and coping skills to help you relax.

Dr. Shawna is an expert at stress management. She will help you sort through issues and find the best ways to cope in healthy ways and move forward. In addition to being a licensed clinical psychologist, and neuropsychologist, Dr. Shawna is also a holistic healer (Mind-Body medicine) and meditation instructor.

Dr. Shawna is a Master Reiki-Tummo healer (balancing Chakras and Bio-Fields-Energy of the body).  She also uses techniques learned from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction which is based on ancient healing practices and combines yoga techniques and mindfulness meditation.

It is not necessary to practice yoga or meditation, but Dr. Shawna will teach these proven scientific techniques if you have an interest. She also does energy healing (Reiki-Tummo- balancing the bio-energy fields of the body) if you are interested and need a quick fix to relax.

Typically, individuals who visit with Dr. Shawna for stress management counseling are experiencing problems sleeping, difficulty relaxing, constantly feel a pressure to do the next thing on their agenda, and just want to relax or chill out, but seem to have forgotten how.

These individuals are typically very busy, high achieving, and ambitious people who work hard and are searching for a sense of tranquility and balance in their life.

Past research has found that chronic work-related stress corrodes health in two major ways: directly, by affecting the nervous and hormonal systems that control heart rhythms, blood vessels, blood clotting, inflammation, and other factors; and indirectly, by fostering unhealthy coping mechanisms like smoking, unhealthy eating, self-medicating, alcohol abuse, and lack of exercise.

Dr. Shawna will work with you to learn about sources of stress in your life, as well as ways that you have tried to manage stress in the past. Once Dr. Shawna has learned about your personal stressors, she will recommend a program to help you de-stress or chill out. Individuals often benefit from sampling a variety of techniques to find the ones that are most relaxing and restorative to better health and productive functioning.

For example, some individuals need support in learning how to structure their day to include stress-relievers, such as exercise and time spent in non-work related activity, while other individuals are searching for specific tools to help them put their stress aside and enjoy themselves during downtime. Still other individuals benefit from guided relaxation therapy to help reduce stress on the spot. Others need a super quick emergency fix of bio-fields energy balancing (Reiki-Tummo healing). What ever is best suited for you, Dr. Shawna will flow with you to tailor a stress reduction program for your particular needs.

The order in which these skills are presented is individualized to each patient’s needs, goals, and interests. Anxiety Therapy and Stress Management Therapy can be completed during live in-office visits, and/or by video conferencing for patients who live far away or are simply too busy for office visits.

Flow and chill out,
Dr. Shawna