Therapy: Stress

What is stress and what causes stress?

Stress is a response to a stressor. A stressor is one of the following:

  • A threat
  • Unpredictability
  • Out of our control
  • A major loss
  • A major change

Stress is a biological response, but it is also a cognitive assessment so if we assess that we are going through one of these things then our body responds by biologically preparing with a fight or flight response. During this time systems such as your digestive system, immune system and sex drive take a back seat and slow down so that your energy is available to focus on the stressor.

Physiologically, when you experience stress it releases hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. This in turn causes your breathing rate increases to allow your body to take in more oxygen which gets converted into energy. Your heart rate also increases to increase blood flow. Your body releases cholesterol and sugar which are fuel and fuel transporters and your mind becomes fixated on the problem. Muscle tension increases particularly in the neck shoulders and back.

Experiencing stress is not necessarily negative and can in fact be useful. However, prolonged exposure to stress is negative and can lead to heart disease, burn out, injuries, being sick and ongoing digestive issues.

What are the symptoms and signs of stress?

Physical symptoms may include experiencing dryness in the mouth, insomnia, digestive issues, getting sick easier or more frequently, heart palpitations and lower sex drive.

Psychological symptoms include feeling agitation, anger, and frustration – people might find they are snappy or easily irritable. Worry, fear and feeling overwhelmed are also some psychological symptoms that may be experienced.

Stress management and how to reduce stress

The aim in most cases is not to completely remove all stress, however it is important to learn to manage stress where it is having an impact on our performance and daily life. Some ways to achieve this:

One of the very first things to do, when you are building stress related energy, is to do something with that energy such as exercise which has been shown to have positive effects. A psyvhologist will be able to help in identifying stressors which is important though can be difficult. Understanding what has triggered the stress response will help you understand what strategies to apply to reduce the stress response. This does not mean stopping or avoiding the activity, but rather doing it in a way that does not trigger the stress response.

Seeking Help

If you feel that stress is impacting on your ability to enjoy life, a psychologist may be able to help. Psychologists are highly trained and qualified professionals, skilled in providing effective interventions for a range of mental health concerns, including stress. A psychologist can help you to identify and address factors that might be contributing to your stress and the most effective ways to address stress using techniques based on best available research.

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Below are some of our frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions, please contact us.
What is a psychologist?

A psychologist is a professional trained in the science of how people think, feel, behave and learn.

Registered psychologists are required to have a minimum of six years of university training and supervised experience, and to engage in ongoing education to keep their skills and knowledge up to date.

What does a psychologist do?
Our psychologists provide therapy to their clients, either face to face or via Telehealth. Through therapy, our psychologists assessing their client’s concerns and life circumstances, and offer support, advice and treatment to address their client’s issues.
What is therapy and how will it help me?
Therapy is a series of structured sessions with a psychologist with the goal of improving some aspect of your life. The first appointment is about getting to know each other, as well as providing an opportunity to build an understanding of what you want to achieve, define goals and address questions about therapy.

Based on learning and understanding your experience, your psychologist will suggest a strategy to support progress towards the agreed goals.

Typically, this involves devising personal coping methods that target current problems and learning longer term strategies to help maintain the improvements achieved, with the goal being to help you make the changes you want.

Do I need a referral to see a psychologist?
No, you do not need a referral to see a psychologist.

However, if you wish to claim a rebate from Medicare then you will need a referral and a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP.

Other options to see a psychologist are to pay privately with no rebate or through your private health fund.

Do you Bulk Bill?
Unfortunately, we do not offer bulk billed services. However, we do offer options Health Care Card Centrelink holders and Pensioners so please call us if you have any questions.


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Our  focus is a positive outcome for every person we engage with. Our strategies define goals and our therapies are tailored to achieve them. Respect, compassion and understanding without judgement allow us to be effective and earn the trust we need to treat and empower.



Suite 210 Town Centre
30 Campbell St
Blacktown NSW 2148

P: 02 9831 5955

F: 02 9831 6566