'Stress Advisers' are now working in a wide range of settings throughout the UK. They give 'Stress Advice' on a one-to-one basis to those who need it. There are now some 200 Stress Advisers giving Stress Advice throughout the UK.
The terms Stress Adviser and Stress Advice were first used by me (Alice Muir) in 1994, whilst working on a pilot research project, focusing on managing stress. This project was led by myself and Dr Ken Hambly, a doctor in a medical practice. What we were aiming to do was to test out this new idea of a Stress Adviser.
So what is a Stress Adviser? Well, a Stress Adviser is a health or welfare professional who has been specially trained to provide one-to-one advice for stressed individuals, over a set number of sessions. Any Stress Adviser should be able to show you evidence of their professional background. Stress Advice isn't the same as counselling, because in counselling, actual advice is not usually given.
But when you're stressed there's lots of useful and straightforward advice and practical tips which can help you to cope better. This advice is given in a very supportive and empowering way by the Stress Adviser, who is an understanding and encouraging individual. Most people need around 3 to 6 sessions, and it is based on 'cognitive behavioural' principles of stress management.
What that means is that Stress Advice:
· Focuses on you and your problems and whether you can do anything to resolve the cause of your stress
· Explains how stress makes you feel
· Explains how you can cope with panic attacks if you have them
· Gives you advice on how you might change your thinking in ways that will help you to cope more easily
· Gives you advice on how you might change your lifestyle and behaviour in ways that will help you to cope more easily
· Give you lots of 'cushioning ' tips to help you to cope better.
Stress Advisers can be found in schools, colleges, health centres, the service industry, the utilities, voluntary groups, armed services, local authorities, industry and the police service, and some work privately. There seems to be more stress around today than there has ever been, with thousands of people affected every day. And in our 21st century world, you often can't take away the cause of your stress. But despite that, Stress Advice can still show you straightforward ways to make it easier to cope, and allow you to get on with enjoying your life.
By Alice Muir BSc BA(Hons) MSC(Psychology)
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