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The Impact of Allostatic Load in Our Lives

By Sofia De La Garza, M.S., LPC-Intern

Counseling uses a holistic approach to help heal. In this way, allostatic load or the physiological effects of prolonged stress, helps counselors better understand their clients. Each of us stores and carries stress in different ways.  Health issues may arise as a result of prolonged stress on the body. As the mind and body work together the mind sends signals to the body when it is in danger.

As a counselor, it is important to help my clients identify where their psychological symptoms are affecting them physically to better understand their presenting concerns. Anxiety for example may present itself as a stomach ache or a headache. As humans, we carry alot of weight on our shoulders. Making an important meeting on time, getting stuck in traffic, personal triggers, and unresolved issues are just a few examples of the weight we carry. Allostatic load provides a framework for understanding the weight we carry. Unfortunately, this weight often manifests itself into more serious symptoms such as memory loss, diagnoses, and changes in reaction response.

The weight we carry should not be taken lightly. If left untreated it can spiral. Counseling aims to identify the root cause of presenting concerns so that clients can feel a sense of empowerment over their lives. Allostatic load reminds us to check in with ourselves to ensure we are okay. It is important to ask what your load consists of and if it is causing any kind of pain. We all have a different allostatic load to contend with but, it does not need to have power over our lives.

If you or someone you know is experiencing challenges related to stress, please call us at 210-302-6920 and ask to speak to an Intake Specialist.