Psychological treatment of stress: the 5 types of therapies used

In the 21st century, anxiety, depression and stress have skyrocketed in terms of the number of people suffering from some of these mental health issues which can significantly affect their quality of life, which is why it is very important that psychological treatments are applied that allow them to be treated effectively.

Psychological treatment of stress it is used to treat mental disorders which are specifically related to stress and, at the same time, are usually developed by exposure of the patient to a stressful or traumatic event or situation.

This article will explain some of the psychological treatments that have been developed to treat disorders specifically associated with stress.

    The main psychological treatments for stress

    These are the most commonly used psychological treatments for stress.

    1. Stress Inoculation Training (EIA)

    Psychological Stress Treatment is the program known as Stress Inoculation Training and is based on patients learning strategies and skills to cope with and manage stress. .

    It should be noted that this psychological treatment of traumatic stress is not particularly focused on the thoughts or memories associated with the trauma experienced by the patients, but focuses on teaching and training coping skills, carried out through a program of around 10 to 14 sessions.

    We are faced with a psychological management of post-traumatic stress which is divided into three main phases: the educational phase, the training phase and the generalization phase.

    In a first phase, psychoeducational, the psychotherapist aims to provide all the necessary information on the mechanisms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from models explaining this disorder from the point of view of learning theories and characteristics of coping mechanisms.

    The second phase of training is where patients learn and practice a series of coping strategies for anxiety responses (eg, breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, cognitive restructuring, and visualization techniques, among others).

    Finally, the generalization phase, which is the moment when patients must put into practice these adaptation skills, which they have trained in the second phase, in daily life and by performing a series of tasks that the psychotherapist has given them. entrusted to be implemented. in practice these skills and techniques that they learned during the treatment.

      2. Present-Centered Therapy (TCP)

      The current therapy is a psychological treatment of stress, the main objective of which is for the patient to achieve understand how stress came to influence the current way of interacting with others inappropriately, so that he can learn new, more adaptive and functional ways within his interpersonal relationships while having greater control over himself.

      On the other hand, in addition to using this therapy to improve the interpersonal relationships of each patient, it is used for the patient to learn the symptoms naturally, so that they generate less anxiety for him, as well as to encourage an increase in his self-confidence and a sense of domination over his life and the situations he faces on a daily basis.

      This psychological treatment of stress is a type of intervention which is explained in detail in a manual which has been developed for this purpose and it is recommended that it be carried out through a frequency of one session per week. , lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      This treatment also incorporates techniques such as behavioral activation, cognitive restructuring or exposure techniques. In addition, another objective of this therapy is to guide the patient to focus on the here and now, so that he is able to focus on his cognitive and emotional states, so that he can develop introspective skills for be able to identify them and talk about them in therapy.

      Once reached, the patient should be trained to increase his tolerance to stressful states, so that he does not seek escape routes which could be harmful.

        3. EMDR therapy

        EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is a psychological treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder that has been recognized as one of the first treatments for this disorder by several major guidelines (for example, the World Health Organization (WHO ), the American Psychological Association (APA, among others).

        EMDR therapy is largely based on the assumption that post-traumatic stress disorder developed largely due to incomplete processing of those lived experiences related to the disruptive or traumatic event and / or a dysfunctional storage in the memory of this lived experiencebecause there has been an impairment in that person’s ability to keep them adaptively integrated into memory.

        EMDR is psychological treatment of post-traumatic stress divided into 8 phases to treat symptoms resulting from stressful situations that have not been properly treated. These phases are listed below: patient history collection, preparation, assessment of traumatic memories, desensitization, installation, physical examination, closure and reassessment. It should be noted that EMDR seeks to treat somatic, emotional and cognitive aspects at the same level.

          4. Psychological debriefing therapy

          This psychological treatment of stress is used for the purpose of prevent and mitigate the psychological consequences of traumatic events experienced by people working on the front line (for example, health workers during the coronavirus pandemic, army soldiers on an international mission, frontline personnel to help those affected by the eruption of the La Palma volcano in 2021 or any other worker whose work exposes him to potentially stressful situations which can be traumatic).

          This treatment was developed to help those who have been on the front lines ** deal with the smells, thoughts, smells, memories, emotions and physical sensations that have been associated with a stressful and / or traumatic ** incident. It is also used approximately 24 to 72 hours after the incident stabilizes, and you can benefit from follow-up psychological therapy sessions if needed.

          Faced with such an event, it is important to provide psychological help to all those affected; however, it would be appropriate to separate those affected based on the level of exposure and the impact they had as a result of the incident.

          We are going to list the phases of psychological debriefing therapy, and these are: introductory phase, storytelling, thoughts and impressions, emotional reactions, normalization, future planning and adaptation, and finally group disbandment.

          It should also be noted that this therapy serves as an emergency intervention in cases of people who have suffered traumatic events on the front line; however, it is important that they take therapy for as long as they need it if they need it.

          5. Cognitive processing therapy

          Cognitive processing therapy is a psychological treatment of stress based on a primarily cognitive intervention to help people with PTSD and for also treat feelings of guilt associated with this psychological disorder. It is also theoretically based on socio-cognitive theories related to PTSD and is used to understand how the traumatic event is interpreted by the person and how to cope with it.

          On the other hand, cognitive processing therapy try to help people with PTSD regain a sense of control and domination over their lives and, during the intervention, psychological techniques such as cognitive restructuring are used to address the person’s belief system associated with the traumatic event and the circumstances surrounding it.

          This psychological treatment of stress takes place over 12 sessions and the sessions can be carried out both in groups and individually, using certain techniques such as those listed below: psychoeducation, Socratic dialogue, written account of the trauma, among others.

          Leave a Comment