Sample Psychology Paper on Stress and Trauma (Significant adverse life events, PTSD)

Introduction and the description of the selected area of focus

Stress and trauma are adverse mental health conditions that can trigger various life-related events such as PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder). Experiences such as rock childhood days, violent assaults, and road accidents among other physical and emotional events can affect an individual’s present healthcare condition. Examining concepts of stress and trauma is important because high incidence rates of related adverse life events, short and long-term impacts, and PTSD among others. Accordingly, effective identification of various stressors responsible for trauma can facilitate effective responses and mitigation measures. Furthermore, exploring the topic will help in closing the gap in knowledge about different neurological factors and that can encourage the development of related symptoms (Harrington, 2013). A broad understanding of stress and trauma can also reduce related psychological and physiological impacts on the victims. Medical practitioners can use the information to assess various behavioral health interventions and services. Furthermore, a comprehensive examination of common traumatic experiences can also facilitate the development of positive trends and incidence rates.

Trauma and stress can elicit resilient responses from the victims to various subclinical symptoms and effects. The perceived consequences of stress and trauma can subtle or destructive to the patients. The stipulated events can have varied impacts on the individuals depending on numerous factors and characteristics. For instance, the type of events, childhood developmental processes, and other socio-cultural conditions can determine the patients’ reactions to different situations. Therefore, the examination of stress-related factors can help in understanding common responses to the stipulated events. Medical practitioners should also understand and determine whether certain responses to traumatic stress reactions are normal or abnormal (Harrington, 2013). The report will further provide a deeper understanding of the important role of various behavioral health processes in the contemporary societies. Effective understanding of common disorders and stressors such as cultural and other environmental dynamics can help in defining related conditions. Correspondingly, accurate information on various clinical issues in the management of stress and trauma can help patients to cope with some of the extreme symptoms associated with the behavioral health problems. Overall, a trauma and stress-informed clinical experts, organizations, and societies is necessary in reducing related incidences. Notably, individuals susceptible to such traumatic and stressful events must identify and adopt appropriate responses to the situations.

Review of the Literature

Terrifying events and situations may trigger stress and other mental health conditions. Most people going through these traumatic events may struggle to adjust, cope, or take good care of their physical and psychological health. The symptoms may also affect their daily human functions at work, social situations or in relationships (Harrington, 2013). Notably, different studies explore the concepts of stress and human functioning from various perspectives. The subsequent literature on stress explores various concepts, approaches, and solutions to the mental health disorder. The research affirms that many people are presently struggling to overcome behavioral health problems in the modern societies. Therefore, extensive analysis and understanding of related literature can prompt positive reactions and interventions from relevant professionals and care givers.

In essence, the research by Driskell & Salas (2013) provides different definitions and types of stress common in behavioral healthcare environment.  The research defines stress as the intense, consistent, and excessive emotional and physical reactions to various life-related stressors. Stress can cause individuals to feel angry, nervous, and frustrated causing other adverse impacts on their behavioral patterns and overall wellbeing. For instance, according to the authors, psychological stress can affect the relationship between individuals and their external environment endangering their overall wellbeing. From the definition of stress, it is clear that understanding the victims’ responses to varied environmental conditions if fundamental in behavioral health settings. Markedly, without effective interventions, stress can have negative impacts on the ability of individuals to develop appropriate responses related challenges. Behavioral healthcare specialists must understand some of the common causes of stress and human reactions for effective intervention strategies (Driskell & Salas, 2013). Common forms of stress identified by the research include acute, apprehension, and induced stress. Acute stress emanates from difficult situations posing imminent threats to individuals and prompting their immediate reactions. For instance, heavy workloads and other unfair workplace conditions can result in acute stress among individuals.

Similarly, according to Harrington (2013), stress can have massive influences on the behaviors of different people. Some of these influences or impacts can be strong, mild, or excessive depending on the level of exposure and interventions. The environment is common trigger of most of these stress-related reactions (stressors) resulting into various consequences. Essentially, the research stipulates that stress can be a primitive reaction to danger or personal threats to the victims’ life. The subsequent impacts of such reactions can hamper the individuals’ ability or capacity to mitigate the negative mental and physiological responses.

The research by Parsons & Ressler (2013) reiterates that stress can affect human consciousness by narrowing their attention span and positive comprehension of important information. The victims tend to focus on narrow perception of events and scenarios because of less consciousness. They may also limit their ability to mitigate some of the adverse environment factors that may further limit their reactions to the stressors. The research by Zhang et al. (2015) further support that stress can have negative impacts on the individuals’ intellectual functioning and decision-making capacity. According to the author, such individuals may experience drastic reduction in analytical thinking and problem-solving acumen or ability. They can become more susceptible to the extreme socio-economic and cultural conditions common in their external environments. Stress can also have negative impacts on the victims’ emotional reactions to different situations. For instance, stress can overwhelm individuals with negative emotions and this may cause them to lose contact with other important people in their lives further affecting their intellectual functioning. The individuals may also lose pertinent knowledge and rational thinking on various important issues because of the traumatic life-related events. Moreover, traumatic reactions to panic and other stressors can cause a person to withdraw psychologically from other vital life-related activities.

The patients may become dysfunctional because of the mental barriers and develop other bad depressive tendencies further affecting their rational, constructive, and effective behaviors. Notably, Bremner (2016) affirm that stress can make it hard for individuals to contain their emotions especially in workplaces and this may affect teamwork. The research explores the perceived impacts of emotional elations such as agony and anger on professional or work-related activities. For instance, according to the research, organizational leaders who are hypersensitive t anger and other common reactions to stress may lose their power and authority over their subordinates. They can lose their patience towards others easily further resulting in repressive negative thoughts and reactions. Lastly, the research by Parsons & Ressler (2013) examines the impacts of stress on motor sensor activities and related body functioning. Individuals can depict certain irrational behaviors and reduce their concentration on important activities and behaviors in their external environments. They may become absent-minded and vulnerable to environment-induced stressors among other related reactions.

Biological, Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Approaches

Various symptoms of stress may include recurrent and redundant distressing memories emanating from the traumatic events. The elimination of these reactions or symptoms is challenging because some of these situations can cause severe emotional and physical reactions among individuals. The selected area of focus is on the impact of stress-related events and factors on organizational teamwork. Arguably, stress can cause serious strain on team relationships and structures destabilizing the members. For instance, high stress level in a team may affect work performances and result in late reports and unfulfilled responsibilities (Harrington, 2013). Team leaders and other members may assume excessive responsibilities causing burnouts and reducing work-related performances. Stress can also reduce the communication processes among important organizational stakeholders. The team is susceptible to extreme environmental conditions further limiting the members’ ability to execute their assigned roles and responsibilities.

Responses such as irritability, mood changes, anxiety, denial, depression, anger, and changes in concentration can also affect the members’ ability to mitigate the perceived impacts of the identified stressors. The organization may have limited ability to recognize various psychological and emotional factors that are affecting their employees’ ability to execute their tasks successfully. Stress can have negative impacts on the individuals’ life-related events or experiences (Harrington, 2013). Most of these short and long-term impacts such as PTSD may cause life-threatening impacts attributable to negative stress hormones and other common changes to the body’s responses to stressors. The conditions may force individuals to experience intense physical and emotional responses and reactions to various events.

Stress Management

Individuals with different stress disorders may require strong social support and behavioral therapy processes and interventions. The treatment options should ascertain the patients’ history of trauma and stress and other adverse physical, genetic, psychological, and social factors that may facilitate the development of other extreme conditions such as PTSD. Some of the evidence-based strategies for coping with stress include PMR (Progressive Muscle Relaxation), Guided Imagery (GI), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques. PMR (Progressive Muscle Relaxation) include alternate tensing and relaxation of the victims’ muscles (Varvogli & Darviri, 2011). PMR can create pleasant mental state and feelings among the individuals reducing anticipatory anxieties and other negative responses to stressful events and reactions. The PMR can create feelings of being in control of situations, improved ability to self-reflect, and, enhanced physical and psychological performances. Trained professionals can teach their clients to practice the progressive and alternative relation and tensing of the muscle groups to help in mitigating the impacts of negative stressors.

Guided Imagery (GI) is another important evidence-based strategy that individuals can use to cope with stressful situations. The method stresses on the effective modeling of symbolic techniques and other pertinent implosive therapy processes. The technique stresses on the strong power of imagination to help people to feel relaxed and promote other desirable behavior changes. Guided Imagery helps individuals to concentrate their mind and thought processes on positive mental images and perceptions to reduce pain and recreate positive sensory thinking towards various events and situations (Varvogli & Darviri, 2011). Therefore, behavioral health specialists can rely on Guided Imagery processes to promote relaxation and reduce other adverse effects related to stress. The method is effective because it can quickly help in calming the patients’ body and relax their mind. However, only trained professionals can administer the GI processes to address specific changes in behavior and other related sensory reactions.

Lastly, the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques are effective stress-reduction procedures in behavioral health. The method is effective in encouraging the modification of the individuals’ physiological and psychological reactions to various stressors. The CBT procedure is effective in lowering blood pressure and preventing hypertension and other adverse reactions to stressful events (Varvogli & Darviri, 2011). The treatment approach incorporates other important cognitive reactions to events by eliminating dysfunctional emotions to situations and events. The primary objective of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to help individuals develop rational and factual beliefs on varied environment al issues. The can also rely on the CBT model to identify and eliminate some of their detrimental thought patterns replacing them with beneficial beliefs and actions.

Overall, the goal of a CBT process is to facilitate positive changes to behaviors and thinking transforming the way they feel and perceive situations and events in their environments. Organizations can rely on these evidence-based strategies to manage stress in teamwork environments (Varvogli & Darviri, 2011). For example, they can use the CBT model to identify the perceived level of stress or tension among the individuals. The strategy also encourages the individuals to share their varied thoughts and beliefs on the professional and personal challenges affecting their physiological and emotional reactions to events.

Conclusion & Biblical Perspective

In conclusion, the report identifies stress and trauma as important behavioral health issues in the contemporary societies. Accordingly, people should acknowledge the reality of these conditions by identifying the symptoms accurately and seeking relevant help from trained behavioral health specialists. Additionally they should identify the sources of their stress and trauma to facilitate effective responses to the situations. From a biblical perspective, prayer and meditation can help individuals to focus on worshiping God and recreate positive thoughts and attention to desirable behaviors. Additionally, the Bible encourages people to read God’s word repeatedly to eliminate worries and anxieties related to different stressors (second Timothy 3: 16). Lastly, according to the book of Galatians chapter 6, individuals should share their conditions, burdens, and experiences with other Christians to release the pressure and lighten the load.




Bremner, J. D. (2016). Posttraumatic stress disorder: From neurobiology to treatment. John Wiley & Sons.

Driskell, J. E., & Salas, E. (2013). Stress and human performance. Psychology Press.

Harrington, R. (2013). Stress, health and well-being: Thriving in the 21st century. Cengage Learning.

Parsons, R. G., & Ressler, K. J. (2013). Implications of memory modulation for post-traumatic stress and fear disorders. Nature neuroscience, 16(2), 146.

Varvogli, L., & Darviri, C. (2011). Stress management techniques: evidence-based procedures that reduce stress and promote health. Health science journal, 5(2), 74.

Zhang, Y., Liu, F., Chen, H., Li, M., Duan, X., Xie, B., & Chen, H. (2015). Intranetwork and internetwork functional connectivity alterations in post-traumatic stress disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 187, 114-121.