People and Change: An Introduction to Counseling and Stress Management

People and Change: An Introduction to Counseling and Stress Management

People and Change: An Introduction to Counseling and Stress Management

People and Change: An Introduction to Counseling and Stress Management

Synopsis

How to capitalize on change -- as a key feature of modern living - - is the central theme of this work. Incorporating the major theoretical advances psychology has made during the last thirty years, People and Change describes how clinical levels of psychological difficulty can develop and how problems such as phobias, depression, shyness, marital and sexual disharmony, obsessions, and over-indulgence are treated.

Although a psychology text, People and Change offers an unusually broad scope. The text acknowledges the interplay of somatic vulnerabilities, environmental influences, large individual differences, and various other factors that can be involved in the complex stress process that leads to bad habits. The ability of the individual to adapt to change through self-knowledge is stressed throughout this important book.

Excerpt

Talking to someone whose life has spanned over 80 years is always a rare and enriching experience. I had the privilege of sharing an afternoon with such a gentleman recently. In that time, he traced nearly a century of changes, large and small. Familiar names came and went; places and times appeared and disappeared. But his parting words have stayed with me. "You know," he said gently, "you psychologists go on about stress as if it were something new . . . as if we had life real easy. You just put the fancy name on it. Things have always been the same. There have always been the good guys and the bad guys, the guys on the make and the ones who get left behind, the ones who are content with what little they have and the ones who have everything and still want more. The only difference is that now, with all the new learning, everyone has more of a chance." I would like to think so, and I hope this book will increase the odds.

People experience stress when they feel unable to cope with the demands of their environment, with other people, or with their own self-imposed pressures, or unrealistic expectations. For some people, things are never happening quickly enough; for others, they are always moving too fast. In both cases, there is a feeling of not having things under control. Effective coping comes with the development of a set of personal coping skills, which allow people to maintain a healthy lifestyle both physically and psychologically. If they are not acquired, bad habits, and eventually problems arise. The odd late night at the office somehow turns into a habit of working every evening. An argument every so often--about money or sex--develops into constant bickering matches. Occasional "down" days become a nightmare . . .

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