Stress Counselling in Edinburgh

When left unaddressed, stress has the potential to escalate into chronic stress or anxiety. The positive aspect is that therapy can be a valuable resource in improving your ability to manage stress effectively. At Edinburgh Therapy Service, we teach you the skills needed for you to recover balance and return to normal stress levels more adeptly.


What is stress?

Stress is our body’s response to pressure, a natural mechanism that comes into play when faced with an excess of situations that go beyond our available resources. It can be triggered by various life events or unexpected challenges that threaten our sense of self or when we perceive a lack of control in a situation.


An excess of stress can lead to negative consequences. It may leave us in a sustained state of fight or flight, rendering us overwhelmed and incapable of dealing with the challenges. Over the long term, this can impact both our physical and mental well-being.



Good stress vs bad stress

The causes of stress are diverse, but stress doesn’t always have negative connotations; there’s also a positive side to stress. In certain circumstances, stress serves as a general adaptation process, helping the person deal with their environment. For example, stress might manifest when someone feels cold, leading to the tensing of muscles to generate warmth. Typically, our stress hormones revert to their normal levels swiftly once the stressful event concludes, with no enduring effects.


Stress is a fundamental aspect of life, a survival mechanism that made sense in the context of hunting thousands of years ago, alerting individuals to potential dangers. However, if stress exceeds one’s tolerance level, it can lead to a state of blockage. Therefore, a moderate amount of stress can enhance a person’s ability to perform effectively and be more resourceful.


How to book?

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Our therapists are qualified and registered with reputable professional associations for psychotherapy and counselling.

When to seek help for stress?

The environment in which most people live is quite stressful. As mentioned earlier, a certain level of stress is normal and adaptive. The issue arises when stress levels exceed this norm. Several factors may indicate the need to seek help from a stress and anxiety specialist:


Unable to cope: If stress is accompanied by a feeling of being unable to cope.


Chronic: If stress persists for an extended period, spanning several consecutive months.


Impacting life: When the stress we feel significantly impacts a central aspect of our life, such as our family, social activities, or work (resulting in absenteeism or negligent performance).


Self-harm or suicide: If there are thoughts or intentions of suicide.

Stress management counselling

Therapy for stress provides a secure and non-judgmental environment where you can openly discuss the intensity of your stress. This process helps in gaining clarity about the potential sources of stress, whether rooted in your environment, specific situations, or relationships. You acquire tools to alleviate physical symptoms associated with stress and gain strategies for managing your thought patterns. The primary objective is to prevent stress from escalating into more challenging conditions like anxiety or depression, which can be more complex to address. The ultimate goal is to navigate towards a more balanced and manageable life with proactive steps and coping mechanisms.


Several types of therapy can help with this. Here are some commonly used therapeutic methods for addressing stress:


Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT): CBT therapy stands out as the foremost recommended approach for managing stress. This therapeutic method concentrates on your current challenges, examining how your thought patterns contribute to a cycle of emotions and behaviours that sustain stress and acquiring practical tools to break this cycle.


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT): MBCT incorporates mindfulness meditation and awareness techniques to reduce stress. It focuses on staying present in the moment, which can alleviate stress and anxiety about the future.


Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): ACT focuses on building acceptance of difficult thoughts and feelings rather than their suppression. It teaches people to align actions with one’s values, promoting psychological flexibility.


Compassion-focused therapy (CFT): CFT aims to cultivate self-compassion and understanding. It helps the person address their inner critic and develop a more compassionate relationship with themselves.

Our approach to stress counselling

At Edinburgh Therapy Service, we offer evidence-based therapeutic approaches specifically adapted for stress. We specialise in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), and third-wave therapies, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and compassion-focused therapy (CFT). Our commitment to these counselling modalities stems from their solid foundation in evidence-based practices grounded in scientific research.


Above all, our primary focus is on creating a secure and non-judgmental environment, ensuring that you feel heard and supported throughout your therapeutic journey with us.



Stress can manifest in various ways, affecting both the body and mind. Common symptoms of stress include:


Physical symptoms


➤   Headaches or migraines

➤   Muscle tension and pain

➤   Fatigue and low energy

➤   Upset stomach or digestive issues

➤   Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or oversleeping

➤   Changes in appetite


Emotional symptoms


➤   Increased irritability or frustration

➤   Feeling overwhelmed

➤   Nervousness

➤   Restlessness

➤   Sadness or depression

➤   Difficulty concentrating or making decisions


Behavioural symptoms


➤   Changes in eating habits (overeating or undereating)

➤   Increased use of substances (alcohol, tobacco, or drugs)

➤   Procrastination or neglecting responsibilities


Cognitive symptoms


➤   Forgetfulness or memory issues

➤   Negative self-talk

➤   Difficulty focusing on tasks


Interpersonal symptoms


➤   Strained relationships

➤   Social withdrawal

➤   Difficulty communicating

➤   Increased conflicts with others


Identifying the source of your stress can make it more manageable. Some instances that may contribute to stress include:


Work-related pressures: Job insecurity, High workloads, tight deadlines, lack of control over tasks, or conflicts with colleagues.


Family challenges: Relationship issues, divorce, or caregiving responsibilities.


Financial stressors: Unexpected bills or financial difficulties.


Health concerns: Illness, injuries, or coping with loss (bereavement).


Significant life events: Purchasing a house, welcoming a new baby, or planning a wedding can also evoke feelings of stress.


Uncertainty and future concerns: Fear of the unknown, future uncertainties, or lack of control over one’s life path.


Environmental factors: Exposure to noise, pollution, or living in high-stress environments.


Personal expectations: Unrealistic personal expectations, perfectionism, or setting overly ambitious goals.


Traumatic events: Experiencing trauma, violence, or natural disasters can have a profound impact on mental well-being and induce stress.

Do you offer stress therapy near me?

The Edinburgh Therapy Service offers both in-person stress counselling in Edinburgh (United Kingdom), and convenient online therapy accessible worldwide. We specialise in therapy for stress and anxiety disorders, offering a range of evidence-based approaches including acceptance and commitment thrapy (ACT), cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), compassion-focused therapy (CFT), and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).

Your stress counsellor in Edinburgh


Hi there! We are glad you are here, as we understand the significant impact that stress can have on your overall well-being. The good news is that you can learn how to get your balance back! And we are here to support you during this challenging period. 


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Further reading

The Edinburgh Therapy Service is a psychotherapy and counseling practice based in Edinburgh, Scotland (United Kingdom). We offer therapy both in-person in Edinburgh and online, available in English and Spanish.

Contact info

Contact us for more information or to book your first appointment: [email protected]