Outline and evaluate two methods of stress management.
One physiological method of treatment is Biofeedback. Physiological
methods help people cope with the effects of stress by changing the
way the body responds to it. With biofeedback the aim is to teach the
client how to relax. The person learns how to regulate the symptoms of
stress in real-life stressful situations.
There are 4 steps involved. Firstly, the person is attached to a
machine that monitors the body’s response to stressors and then gives
feed back on heart rate and blood pressure etc. The person then learns
to control these symptoms and reduce the effect that stress has on the
blood pressure etc. They may learn to take deep breaths which slows
down the heart rate and makes them feel relaxed. Relaxation acts as a
reward and encourages the person to repeat this as an involuntary
action. As a final step the person is then taught to use this in a
real life stressful situation.
It has been discovered that biofeedback is especially useful on
children and teenagers where a drug therapy would not have been
suitable. Children who went through biofeedback have gained control
over the symptoms of stress such as migraines and also showed an
increase in enthusiasm and more positive attitudes. It is also an
effective treatment as it aims to treat the cause of the problem as
well as the symptoms. It can give clients a greater sense of control
over themselves as well which can have much longer lasting benefits.
Another advantage would be that it has no side-effects or harmful
addictions attached etc. It is also voluntary and not invasive for
example in drug treatment withdrawal symptoms may be distressing.
Biofeedback can be used for an unlimited time, as it is not addictive
in the way that BZ’s (for example) can be (as they are only used for a
maximum of four weeks to prevent this) so biofeedback is seen as more
of a long term cure of stress.
However, biofeedback has the drawback of being extremely costly and
time consuming. It needs specialist...