Stress can be a killer, with statistics for stress-related hospital admissions in England showing that there were 6,366 admissions for stress between June 2011 and May 2012 - a rise of 6.8% on the previous 12-month period (Health and Social Care Information Centre). The new Diploma in Stress Management Coaching from Wellness Professionals at Work, is designed to have a positive effect on the South's wellness services. This exciting qualification for wellness professionals takes the new approach of using cognitive behaviourial coaching (CBC) to help end-users self-manage their stress, therefore contributing to fewer hospital admissions.
Conditions which have been shown to have a stress component include; abnormal heartbeat, asthma, chronic fatigue, chronic tension headaches, heart disease, depression, skin disorders, high blood pressure, fertility issues, fibromyalgia, insomnia, IBS, menstrual difficulties and ulcerative colitis.
CBC is derived from cognitive behaviour therapy which has been around since the 1950s. It seeks, through a collaborative process, a time limited, goal-directed and present focused solution so that clients can build stress-resilience through altering how they think (cognitive) and what they do (behaviour).
Laurel Alexander, author, tutor and founder of Wellness Professionals at Work explains, “Cognitive behavioral approaches emphasize that how we react to events is largely determined by our views of them, not by the events themselves and this is the view of cutting-edge stress management. Through re-evaluating unhelpful mindsets, we can implement alternative viewpoints that may be more effective in aiding problem-solving and therefore changing behaviour. These faulty patterns of thinking gives rise to emotional distress and by altering these and changing inappropriate behaviours, clients can reduce emotional distress”.
A poll conducted by the American Psychological Association (2008) highlights how stress affects health and coping behaviours and a similar trend is being seen in the UK:
• 47% of adults reported that their physical and emotional symptoms increased due to stress
• 60% reported feelings of irritability or anger compared to 50% in 2007
• 52% reported lying awake at night or insomnia as a result of stress compared to 48% in 2007
• 48% reported overeating or eating unhealthy foods to manage stress while one in four skipped a meal in the last month because of stress
These statistics strongly suggest that the CBC approach to stress management is needed.
Helpful and unhelpful thinking
There are helpful and unhelpful ways of reacting to a situation, depending on how you think about it.
Imagine you’ve fallen out with a work colleague who has come in late to relieve you from your shift. You might think “he did this on purpose” and feel frustrated or angry, which leads you to speak quickly, breathe faster and not listen effectively. However, a more helpful way to approach this “event” would be to consider “why is he late and how can we avoid this in the future”. This gives rise to feeling curious instead of anger, which leads to calm breathing and a questioning, listening approach.
The same situation has led to two different results directed by thoughts, which then affect feelings and behaviour. The unhelpful route leads to negativity. The helpful route is potentially more productive.
The British Medical Association’s (BMA 2007) vision is for people with a long-term condition to “own and control their condition” rather than the condition dictating how they lead their lives. Laurel Alexander agrees - "The BMA’s vision sits perfectly with the CBC approach to stress management and will no doubt be a key factor to helping people self-manage their stress and lowering stress-related hospital admissions.”
Note to editors
About Wellness Professionals at Work
Wellness Professionals at Work offers career coaching, business start-up and flexible learning opportunities, to those wanting to get into the industry and those already working in it who would like to improve best practice. WPAW offer qualifications and CPD courses including the Diploma in Stress Management Coaching and are:
• an organisational and training provider member of the Association for Coaching
• independently accredited by the National Council of Psychotherapists as a CPD Centre
• a recognized and authorized course provider of the Complementary Medical Association
For more information, please visit www.wellnessprofessionalsatwork.com.
About Laurel Alexander
Laurel’s passion for health and wellness over the past 25 years has led her to two businesses; Wellbeing for Life offering complementary therapy and coaching and Wellness Professionals at Work.
Laurel is an experienced author, tutor and therapist in the wellness industry and has written 30 books on various wellness related subjects. Laurel has worked with many organisations to deliver courses, coaching and advice on wellness and stress management and has appeared in the media including on Meridian TV. Laurel is a Fellow of the National Council of Psychotherapists.
• 30 books published on health, career management, business and training including:
o How to Incorporate Wellness Coaching into Your Therapeutic Practice (Jessica Kingsley)
o Women’s Wisdom: natural wellness strategies for menstruation (Findhorn Press)
o Women’s Wisdom: natural wellness strategies for pregnancy (Findhorn Press)
o Women’s Wisdom: natural wellness strategies for the menopause years (Findhorn Press)
o Everyday Calm (Octopus)
o Medicine Uncovered (Trotman)
o Getting into Complementary Therapies (Trotman)
o Getting into Healthcare Professions (Trotman).
• Brighton & Hove City Council (stress coach for the Ninelives Campaign).
• Designed and delivered wellbeing courses for: Sussex Hospital Trust - Sussex Career Services - WEA - University of Sussex - Brighton and Hove City College - Business & Professional Women UK – Social Service Family Centres - Breast Cancer Care Charity – Sussex Down College staff - Seeboard staff - Lewes Prison - International Stress Management Association – MIND staff - British Gas staff – Dryad staff - Turning Point Charity - Tinnitus Association - Nigel Porter Unit, Royal Sussex County Hospital - Institute of Nursing & Midwifery, University of Brighton (Cancer Nursing Pathway Course)
• Trained personnel to qualification level in stress management and coaching for; West Sussex County Council, Protocol Skills, Ford Motor Company, Priory Group, South Downs NHS Health Trust, Travellers Worldwide and American Express, Brighton & Hove Council, University of Sussex and Emirates Airlines.
Press office contact:
For more information or for enquiries about Laurel Alexander helping with research, interview or comment please contact the press office at [email protected]