We can all feel a little stressed at times. Modern life can be fast paced and it often feels like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Work stress and relationship stress are particularly common. If you’re looking for stress treatment in Harley Street, London, I can help, offering a flexible approach to therapy for stress.

oppressive stairway as a metaphor for stress and its treatmentA little stress probably does no harm – in fact it could be argued that some stress provides the motivation and energy required to get through tasks at a satisfactory rate. But sometimes the pressure builds too much, we become overstretched and overwhelmed and any initial gain in performance is lost as our functioning becomes impaired. This impairment causes yet further stress and we start to question whether we can cope. If we are unable to manage or avoid whatever is resulting in our stress, the symptoms can become chronic, taking their toll both psychologically and physically.

What is Stress?

Although we say we feel stressed, stress is not purely an emotion, like anxiety for example. It is a response to a demand or pressure we feel we are under. The response is physical (e.g. muscle tension), emotional (e.g. anxiety), behavioural (e.g. working longer hours) and cognitive (thoughts, such as “I can’t cope”). The thing that results in stress is called a stressor. This can be thought of as external (e.g. a deadline for a report) or internal (e.g. trying to do tasks to one’s own impossibly high standards). Stressors can be the result of bad things happening (e.g. being made redundant) or good things not happening (e.g. being unexpectedly overlooked for promotion).

What happens when I get stressed?

Stress starts when the “fight or flight response” is triggered. The fight or flight response is our automatic survival mechanism, evolved from our earliest ancestors who lived in a time when every day was literally a fight for survival. When danger is perceived, a hormone – adrenalin – is released into the body by the sympathetic nervous system to “switch on” the fight or flight response. It is the job of the fight or flight response to make us ready to do battle or to run away. This takes a lot of energy, so energy is diverted to this task and away from other functions (such as digestion). And a change in breathing and heart rate ensures muscles are optimally oxygenated and ready for action. Another hormone – cortisol – is released more slowly to maintain some of the activities which were started by the adrenalin. When the danger passes the parasympathetic nervous system releases noradrenalin to “switch off” the fight or flight response and return the body to its normal state. So far, so good. However, when the fight or flight response is constantly being triggered, cortisol levels remain higher in the body, leading to a constant state of stress, in which the response continues to “borrow” resources from other bodily functions (such as digestion), which in turn may result in various physical issues. These may include:

Muscular – aches and pains including headaches
Cardiovascular – including angina and palpitations
Reproductive/sexual – including impotence and issues with the menstrual cycle
Central nervous system – including insomnia and anxiety
Respiratory – including hyperventilation
Gastrointestinal – including nausea & IBS
Immune system – including being more susceptible to cold and flu viruses

Why do some people suffer with stress in certain situations while others don’t?

Let’s look at an example. Two work colleagues, Bill and Bob, do the same pressured job but only Bob feels stressed. How can this be? Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for stress, believes that the answer lies in how they each perceive the work. Bill thinks “I’m no superhuman and I can only do so much in a day”. With this attitude he always finishes his job on time and finds it easy to switch his mind off work and on to other things away from work. Crucially, he is also able to keep his mind on the task at hand when at work, thereby working effectively. Bob, on the other hand, thinks “If I don’t get everything on my desk cleared away every day, I’ll become overwhelmed, won’t be able to do my job properly and be fired!” Bob spends so much time worrying about what might happen – at work and when trying to sleep – that he is tired and less efficient, makes mistakes and usually stays late to correct errors and to clear his workload. The more stressed he becomes, the less efficient he becomes, which leads to more stress and round and round vicious circle goes.

Stress Treatment in Harley Street Medical Area

A Flexible Approach to Stress Treatment

As a fully-trained and experienced therapist, I can offer stress treatment in Harley Street, and I’m ready to help you manage stress, using a range of approaches, from CBT to hypnotherapy and NLP-based treatments. Any or all of these can be used individually or in combination to provide a carefully-tailored treatment centred around you.

Stress Treatment at Achieving Balance

woman coping with sever stress and needs treatment for stressIn treating your stress, we will work together to develop a shared understanding of the various elements of your stress including possible causes, triggers, symptoms, cognitions and what you have been doing to try to manage the stress so far, as well as your specific goals. I will help you to develop effective coping strategies, teaching you techniques and tools to manage stressful situations better – from helping you towards more a accurate assessment of the situation, to practical help with time management, communication and assertiveness. Throughout the therapy we will monitor progress, identify obstacles and find ways to overcome these in a process that will aim to help you become your own therapist. As different approaches, strategies and techniques work for different clients, your therapeutic treatment will be carefully tailored to you and your unique situation.

If you are interested in a free, 20-minute consultation, please feel free to contact me on 020 7096 8854 or you can contact me online. I am available from 7.30am to 8.30pm Monday to Friday, and Saturday mornings.

About Martin

Martin Cox Msc., Qualified Therapist And Counsellor In LondonI am a fully trained and accredited counsellor, psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, and Cognitive Behavioural (CBT) Therapist. I am down-to-earth, easy to talk to and always balance a thoroughly professional approach with a good deal of common sense and humanity. Read more about me or my approach to therapy.

Issues Treated

Generalised Anxiety Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Health Anxiety / Hypochondriasis
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Panic Disorder
Phobias, i.e. Agoraphobia
Bereavement and loss
Depression/low mood
Anger management
Personal development and coaching
Social Anxiety (or Social Phobia)
Relationship issues
Self esteem
Habits & Addictions
Smoking Cessation
Coping with Stress
Weight management

Therapies Offered

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Couple/marital therapy
  • Counselling (Integrative)
  • Family therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Neuro Linguistic Progamming (NLP)
  • Psychotherapy (Integrative)
  • Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)

Stress Treatment Testimonials

  • I first visited Martin a couple of years ago about a work issue that was causing me anxiety. Having always battled with anxiety and bouts of depression, I’d seen a few therapists in the past but not felt that any of them had made a huge difference. After my very first session with Martin, I already felt able to deal with the work issue and had high hopes for my anxiety. I saw Martin regularly to begin with and by using CBT, he has taught me how to look at things in a completely different way and I feel confident that my depression and anxiety is under control. Martin is very easy to talk to and down to earth, I instantly felt at ease with him and have enjoyed every one of my sessions with him.

    A London Professional
    CBT for Depression & Anxiety
  • I am used to solving my own problems. Until one day life just about tore me to shreds and left me totally vulnerable, unable to see any value in the future. I turned to Martin for help, and from the first phone call I liked his approach, the calmness in his manner made me feel comfortable from the start. During our sessions Martin created a safe environment in which I was able to step out of the trauma and slowly rebuild my own sense of “self”. Martin introduced practical therapy techniques in a very natural manner – it was like opening a window you didn’t realize was there and letting in fresh air – and suddenly I was able to visualise new solutions for myself.

    I think this was one of the aspects I most appreciated, always being part of the solution, there was never any feeling of being judged at all. When I chose Martin as my therapist it was on the basis of his outstanding academic background and experience: but I found out that the therapist’s personality is just as important a factor, and in my case the calmness and the kindness of his approach meant that I could venture into “dangerous emotional waters” without anxiety or fear. My whole family has felt the benefit of Martin’s work with me, and I am deeply grateful to him for helping me find my way forward.

    A Senior Executive in London
    Counselling for Challenging Relationship Issues
  • I wanted to thank you so much for helping me over the past year – I’ve learnt so much about myself and about how to deal with things in a positive way.

    A Gentleman from South London
    Skype™ Therapy for Positive Thinking