The effects of stress on the mind and body. An interview with Psychologist Keeley Tavener of Key for Change.

This week we are talking about the effects of stress on the mind and body this is part three.

I’ve always been interested in the impact that stress has on the mind and body, so I asked my friend Keeley Tavener, and she agreed to chat with me on Zoom to discuss the subject.

So I thought I would transcribe an abridged version of the video an interview with Psychologist Keeley Tavener of Key for Change. As an easy read. 

If you would like to watch the complete Youtube video, please click here

This week we discuss stress and mental health and I asked Keeley if Stress has a mental health issue too?

Keeley replied that as a Person-Centred Psychotherapist, she is becoming more confident in her view that mental health problems are symptomatic of a bigger issue.  Which is about people’s purpose, and it’s about self-actualisation.   And she personally believes depression and anxiety are clear signs that there is disharmony in your life.

She continues “And that if you can understand what your depression is communicating to you, what your anxiety is communicating to you, and most importantly begin to take small bite-sized steps, to bringing about change in your life.”

Epic change versus small consistent changes

We don’t want epic change because we know that we know that will overwhelm people.  Small and consistent changes are incredibly helpful. So I think again, you know, the medical model comes from a very, you know, a chemical imbalance in your brain is, often why you’re sad. And as I understand, places less influence on your social, political, cultural situations that you’re born into.”

People from disadvantaged groups are more susceptible to mental health problems

“We know  people from disadvantaged groups are more susceptible to mental health problems because we also know that access to opportunities, finance means that they’ve got less options to resolve their problems.”

I couldn’t agree more with Keeley.

Keeley continues “So, there is just no two ways around that. But I think one of the things.  This is why I meet with people for 90 minutes in the initial consultation is to really begin to look at what is impacting, what is crushing someone’s authenticity, what is crushing someone’s capacity to be who they truly are?”

Internal voice

Keeley continues “Is it their internal voice? Is it external situations? Culture matters? Whether there is cultural assumptions about how you should be, about what’s acceptable.   So I work with lots of Asian Clients, I work with Black people, I work with people from all parts, people in the Middle East.”

“I work with people all over the world, and I’ve been privileged to understand how, different cultural, how culture impacts on someone’s capacity to be who they truly are. And how humans navigate those restrictions to find a way.”

“So I think for me it’s very important to pay attention to how all of that impacts on the individual and creates stress. And in some instance, you know, I have to help people develop coping strategies. We know that some of my female clients in the Middle East, finding your voice, speaking in your power can actually put them at risk of death.”

Keeley continues “So it is essential that that cultural awareness is, you know, I’m aware of that and I’m sensitive to help people, doesn’t mean the stress will go, but that people find the appropriate coping strategies to navigate life.”

Workplace stress

“So, I think that’s something that I’m particularly, you know workplace stress is also another external factor that places a lot of pressure on people, stifles their authenticity, but also internally, how we think and feel about our situations.”

Keeley Continues “Whether we’re pessimistic, optimistic, how we’re wired, how we view, all of these factors place a significant impact. And it’s important that I am sensitive to that and assist as best I can, to help people find a way to honour themselves.”

“Because I think the dishonouring of the self is how we end up becoming disconnected from ourselves, which is where the rise of depression, anxiety, stress arise, which is why I view that as symbolic of, we need to assess your life, ‘cause we need to work out what’s getting you to this point.”

To be continued.  Next week we discuss Keeley’s book Key for change.

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