by Pamela Katz Ressler, RN, BSN, HN-BC
Founder of Stress Resources LLC
As a nurse working in the healthcare system since 1979, I was becoming frustrated with the current system of delivering healthcare. The healthcare system was becoming technologically advanced, but patients, families and staff were feeling disconnected and stressed by the specialized, fragmented, illness-focused care model. In 2000, I became a nurse on the other side of the nurses’ station when my teenage son, Nick, was diagnosed with bile duct cancer. As a mom and a nurse, I felt the need to take action and reexamine my thinking about health and illness from a more holistic point of view, taking a long look at what defines a person’s “wellness” and how one can remain “whole” while one’s identity is being stripped away by the ravages of a disease. My frustration with the healthcare system, as well as my family’s personal experience with the realities of a life-limiting disease, began to fuel my dream of creating a different model of care. I dreamed of building a health practice focusing on increasing patients’ and caregivers’ resiliency, on fostering a sense of wellness while confronting life limiting disease, and on creating a sense of connection and relationship through “wellness” versus “illness”. Through the trajectory of my son’s journey with cancer I learned a great deal. Perhaps the most important lesson I learned is how essential it is to build and strengthen skills of resiliency and self-care strategies for sustainable caregiving. My son died on April 9, 2001 and somehow through this personal tragedy, I gathered my strength to step into the unknown and embark on making my dream, of Stress Resources, a reality.
Stress Resources, LLC opened its doors in September 2001, shortly after 9/11, when resiliency and stress were paramount on everyone’s mind. The mission of Stress Resources, since its inception, has been to promote strategies to build stress resiliency among individuals, healthcare providers, organizations and businesses. Through a variety of research validated meditation, yoga, and relaxation methods, clients are guided and trained in finding their individual path to building resiliency. Stress Resources offers Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes, individual meditation training sessions, consulting services for individuals, caregivers, and organizations and continuing education for health care professionals.
Because of a very limited budget, Stress Resources has relied heavily on tools of the internet (mainly a consistently updated website and monthly e-newsletters) to provide information about workshops, classes, articles, etc. The use of web based strategies has proved very successful, and I have now expanded into interactive media including a blog, Facebook and Twitter. Although I was very hesitant at first to embrace some of the new technologies for fear of reducing connection with my clients, I have found the ability to reach out in this way incredibly helpful in building and keeping relationships. The tools of interactive media have served as useful means of adding to the essential face to face contact that remains a cornerstone of quality health and wellness care. Maintaining a sense of personal connection through multiple communication channels has been an important part of all my education and outreach initiatives. I am always eager to explore ways of creating a sense of control, commitment, challenge and connection with my clients as a means of increasing their stress resiliency.
Stress Resources’ clients range in age from 14-96, and include “stressed out” teens, moms trying to find balance in their lives, parents of chronically ill children, individual living with chronic progressive diseases, people with cardiac disease, family caregivers, individuals with chronic pain, business executives dealing with a volatile economic climate, and physicians and nurses who need to refill their own well of self-care. My clients also include companies, hospitals and health care facilities where I present on-site workshops on strategies and resources for building resiliency through integrative methods. So, my dream of building a business based on strategies of building resiliency, of strengthening the body, mind and spirit of individuals and of fostering connection and relationship, has become real and it continues to unfurl in unexpected ways. I am grateful and humbled by the journey of turning the dream of Stress Resources into a reality and look forward to continuing to play a role in helping to build resiliency, one client at a time.
Pamela Katz Ressler, RN, BSN, HN-BC
Stress Resources, LLC
97 Lowell Rd. 3rd Floor
Concord, MA 01742
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