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Does it seem as if your quality of life is diminishing? Do you feel as if your peace of mind is being affected by the accelerating rate of change? Well, you’re not alone; many of us today need help in dealing with the chaos that assaults even those with relatively simple lifestyles. Perhaps the main reason our minds are more stressed today is most likely the ever increasing rate of new information. The "Information Age" that began in the ‘80s has grown exponentially with the revolution of new communication technologies; we have Internet, cell phones, PDA’s, iPods, and satellite TV. Each streaming an infinite number of “channels,” literally blasting us with rapid-fire input, demanding attention like petulant children in a perpetual tantrum of audio, video, and text. Clearly, there’s a need among us all for support in learning to manage the mental stress triggered by this and so creates a career opportunity for helping with this growing problem.

Learn To Assist
There are some proven techniques as well as new and innovative tools to help in mental stress management that a therapist, counselor or mentor can use in structuring an effective program for clients:

  • Analysis – Any effective program will need an objective assessment of the client’s stress profile. Certainly training in psychology, behavioral medicine, sociology, and evaluative counseling skills will be important for this information-gathering phase.
  • Guiding Meditation – Many stressed-out people have difficulty beginning a regimen of meditation or even guided relaxation. Often the structure and encouragement given by a meditation instructor is what’s needed to start a client’s participation in this most helpful mental stress management tool.
  • Hypnotherapy – A Hypnotherapist induces a hypnotic state using individualized methods and techniques of hypnosis geared to mental stress relief and based on interpretation of analysis of the client's stress problem. Also, self-hypnosis techniques for stress relief can be taught to clients.
  • Biofeedback – this method of monitoring and minimizing mental stress has emerged from the laboratory to the therapeutic and counseling community. Training in applying biofeedback technology will make this new and powerful stress management technology a valuable resource in helping the stressed client.
  • Lifestyle Change Guidance – This is where behavioral and psychological training become most useful in steering the client towards changing negative habits, creating positive motivation, and coaching the client on adopting enriching activities to stimulate moving away from stress-inducing situations and into effective solutions, such as time management, creative visualization, etc.
  • Other Approaches – Some other approaches a mental stress relief practitioner can use in assisting clients with stress management are: music/sound therapy, art therapy, herbal/naturopathic remedies, bodywork/yoga, and even spiritual facilitation. There’s many classroom and online training resources for these categories in nearly all areas.

Credentials And Certifications
Training and study in most of the above areas can be at the college degree level, in specialized classes, or even online. A search of your local resources will yield many avenues for this learning. There are a variety of standards and professional organizations that offer information, networking and credibility for mental stress relief practitioners:

  • The American Institute of Health Care Professionals – a professional organization serving various health care professionals and providing health care certification and Fellowship programs in various practice specialties, including stress management, as well as offering program approvals for continuing education events, seminars, courses, independent study, and other educational activities based on quality standards.
  • The Biofeedback Certification Institute of America – this organization establishes and maintains professional standards for the provision of biofeedback services and to certify those who meet these standards.
  • NESTA – the National Exercise and Sport Trainers Association offers a Certified Holistic Stress Management Specialist certification. This program is also designed for fitness and wellness professionals who are looking to expand knowledge in the field of stress relieving methodology.
  • American Association of Lifestyle Counselors – this organization for Lifestyle Counselors is dedicated to developing and maintaining the highest standards of multi-disciplinary, comprehensive LifeStyle counseling in the markets it serves
There are many more certifying and standards organizations covering the individual fields of expertise noted above that are important elements in the skillset of a well-rounded mental stress management practitioner. This can make it an exciting and stimulating career helping others and enjoying a lifetime of ongoing learning.
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