Chapter 15

Stress and psychotherapy: an overview

Frank Margison

‘Stress’ is an over-used and vague term. Typical of ‘dead’ metaphors it fails to speak to the reader any longer and we feel we are in the realm of management jargon and out of touch with lived experience. In this situation, as therapists, we might try to breathe life back into the metaphor by allowing space for imaginative play before returning to the way the metaphor has been used in a more formal way.

My first connection with the word ‘stress’ is a link with the world of objects in the physical rather than the psychodynamic sense. If I were a structural engineer I would be concerned with the ability of a structure and its component materials to deal with the forces which will potentially compress and distort it. The material under stress would have intrinsic properties such as elasticity and brittleness which affect its ability to react to a load. In supporting an external load I would be concerned about how any supporting element might redistribute the load.

My responsibility for the safety of the structure would lead me to set maximum loadings and be aware of any tolerances to allow for exceptional conditions. I would not be showing an understanding of stress and its effects on, say, a bridge if I were unaware of the context in which the stresses might be applied. My awareness of materials science would help me to realise that some elements are more resistant to compressive forces and some to strain forces which pull the elements apart.

The richness of such a metaphor allows me to draw helpful analogies in the world of persons about intrinsic properties and also about the effects of the conditions under which stress is experienced. The ability to use analogical and open thinking is itself one of the first casualties when a therapist is under excessive stress. Alternatively the metaphorical might be mistaken for the real—leading to

-210-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Stress in Psychotherapists
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 246

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.