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stress (Gestalt)

- internal, psychological pressure, either positive or negative, connected most frequently to a painful, external event (conflict, grief, etc.) but also to any situation entailing significant life changes (marriage, holidays, etc.). Basing their work on that of Seylie (1956), Holmes and Rahe drew up a scale of stressors, (1967). The accumulation of stress weakens the defences of the immune system and favours the appearance of illness (cancer, etc.) The expression of emotions - advocated by Gestalt - lessens tensions and stress.

Definition excerpted with permission from Ginger, Serge International Glossary of Gestalt Psychotherapy (Seven languages including English. Order from FORGE at 183 rue Lecourbe; 75015 Paris, France) Paperback 1995.

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