Open forum for women confronts election stress

Helping women cope with election stress

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — You're driving down the street and all you see is political signage. You turn on the news and all you see is political advertising.

At times it can be overwhelming. In fact, we're probably even stressing you out by just talking about it right now.

The American Psychological Association recently released a survey that shows that more than half of U.S. adults feel very — or somewhat stressed — by the election.

”Many of us have really been impacted by the viciousness and divisiveness surrounding this political election," therapist Kristin Areglado Hurley said.

There's no doubt — this election has been challenging for many. That's why four Maine therapists decided to hold an open forum for women to discuss the stress this election has caused them and their families and teach them how to cope.

“Sitting in front of the computer or the news or the newspaper and be able to really just sort of notice, 'What is happening for me right now? And what is a way that I can really strategically let go of that stress?'” Hurley said.

The event was open to anyone, but once it started, it was behind closed doors, creating a safe and anonymous space.

The therapists learned that one of the main sources of stress for women was parenting.

How can parents use this election to teach their kids? Therapist Jennifer Wiessner believes it's a circumstance worth using.

“This is just another one of those things that have come up in their lives that we can use to talk about healthy relationships, consent, talking about women,” she said. “I honestly see it as something we can turn around to be positive. And it gives us the opportunity to share our thoughts and values with our kids.”

Being able to take the stress from an often negative election and turn it into positive lessons for life.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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