Synopses & Reviews
Life is stressful, and that’s not always a bad thing. A certain amount of stress actually helps us work more productively and take action in a crisis. But recurrent and prolonged stress can paralyze us or lead us to feel exhausted, angry, or overwhelmed. The skills presented in The Stress Response can dramatically change the way you process stress. And they don’t take much time to learn. Drawn from a technique therapists use called dialectical behavior therapy, these powerful strategies can help you manage the slings and arrows of life more gracefully and effectively.
After learning the skills in this book, you’ll:
• Respond quickly to early signs of stress
• Approach, not avoid, stressful tasks and events
• Cope effectively with life events that contribute to stress
• Change the catastrophic thoughts and biases that make stress worse
• Practice soothing strategies for calming your body’s stress response
“Christy Matta has written an elegant description of how dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) concepts relate to everyday stress-related symptoms in peoples’ lives. This resonates fully with me, as I and many other practitioners of DBT have found DBT concepts and techniques to be extraordinarily meaningful for ourselves as teachers as well as for those we treat. Her organized and practical examples, exercises, and practice assignments can be helpful for those seeking self-help and clinicians who are seeking a companion text in the course of conducting psychotherapy.”
—Marvin Lew, PhD, ABPP, licensed psychologist and adjunct professor at the Center for Psychological Studies at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL
“I personally have found Matta to be grounded, practical, and thoughtful in addressing difficult emotional problems. I am always looking for ways to translate DBT skills to real life and how to apply old material to new contexts. Matta has certainly done this in her book. In addition to providing user-friendly, practical, how-to steps, she offers a beautiful overview of DBT-based material that addresses a wide and flexible spectrum of coping options.”
—Renee Hoekstra, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist in Boston, MA
“In The Stress Response, Matta has done an effective job of explaining complex issues and techniques in ways that can be understood and are helpful to anyone who experiences stressful emotions. She has shown great creativity in adapting DBT skills to develop an excellent resource that provides many strategies for stress management, which are explained through helpful examples and step-by step exercises. I am so appreciative that Matta has given a gift to anyone who experiences a stress response; that is, she has given a gift to everyone. I look forward to recommending this book to clients, colleagues, and friends.”
—Pat Harvey, coach, trainer, consultant, and coauthor of Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions
“The Stress Response offers the reader great tools for identifying and managing stress. Matta provides important techniques for learning to trust your body and intuition in order to live a calmer, more peaceful life. The mindfulness exercises in particular provide the reader with a way to cope better with everyday anxiety and worry. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for concrete ways to reduce stress and anxiety in everyday life.”
—Carey Wagner, LICSW, licensed independent clinical social worker
“I am pleased to recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning to understand and manage stress. In this book, Matta skillfully translates the science of emotion and the stress response into user-friendly, practical skills and techniques that can be applied in a variety of situations that may cause emotional distress. This book will teach readers to become aware of their patterns of response to stressful events, recognize how such reactions can interfere with physical and emotional well-being, and develop specific coping skills to live a more aware, calm, and productive life.”
—Michael J. Wagner, PhD, clinician, clinical manager, and director in community behavioral health care
“The core skills of DBT are skills for life. As a DBT therapist, I use these skills every day to live a fully engaged, happy, and healthy life. Matta’s straightforward, easy, common-sense approach will not only provide relief from stress and anxiety, but, when practiced on a daily basis, will also enhance your quality of life at work, at play, in relationships, and with your family. I will highly recommend this book to my clients.”
—Laura J. Winton, cognitive behavioral/DBT therapist at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC
“Matta provides a practical application of research that can help people accept themselves while still striving to improve the way they deal with stress. The book includes examples and exercises that are accessible and engaging. This is a great book for anyone who wants to manage stress better.”
—Clare Conry-Murray, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Penn State University, Beaver
“This book does a wonderful job of translating proven stress-reduction techniques commonly used by therapists into an easy-to-read and practical manual for managing stress in daily life.”
—Kristin Neff, PhD, associate professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas at Austin
“Almost every chapter [in The Stress Response] includes a situation of a real person, which better helps put the information into perspective and makes it easier for you to relate it to your own life. It shows the journal exercises that each person would use, as well, which I thought was helpful and made the whole thing a lot less confusing…. There are definitely a lot of strategies in this book that I will consider using.”
—Katie Wanta, blogger
The Stress Response offers readers a dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) approach to overcoming stress-related symptoms that decrease readers’ quality of life and lead to unhealthy avoidance behaviors. By learning the core DBT techniques: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness; readers can learn to process stress in healthy and productive ways.
Stress affects everyone in different ways and can actually help some people become more productive and innovative. But extreme stress more often has a paralyzing effect, and can lead to negative coping behaviors like anger, emotional overreactions, anxiety, and alcohol, drug, or food abuse. This book is the first to offer a dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) program for coping with extreme stress in healthier ways. The four DBT skills can help those prone to overreactions and other negative responses to stress to embrace imperfections, expand their options, and soothe themselves in stressful situations. The Stress Response invites readers to explore their personal stress reactions and practice these new methods of solving the everyday problems that trigger stress. Readers also learn to accept their most stressed-out emotions and thoughts without judging them, and gradually decrease their vulnerability to stress.
About the Author
Christy Matta, MA, has worked in mental health for over twenty years as a clinician, trainer, and administrator, specializing in work with people who have emotion dysregulation and behavioral problems. She is trained in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and has provided training and clinical supervision to DBT programs, staff, and clinicians. She has presented nationally on the topic of DBT and participated in the sign and clinical supervision of DBT residential programs, including a winner of the American Psychiatric Association’s Gold Award. She lives in the greater Boston area.