What is stress?

Stress is our body’s response to feeling threatened or under pressure. We can feel stressed for all kinds of different reasons: financial pressures, work demands, difficulties in relationships etc.


Stress in itself isn’t bad – in the right amounts, it’s healthy and can motivate us to reach our goals. But it comes down to how we manage stress. Without the right coping strategies in place, prolonged periods of stress can damage our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing – and sometimes, lead to burnout.

Common symptoms of stress

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worry
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Moodiness
  • Aches and pains
  • Chest pains
  • Procrastination or neglecting responsibilities
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
consultation taking notes

Treatment for stress

Everyone is different in terms of their ability to manage stress. Your initial assessment will help us uncover the current causes of stress in your life and what factors might be exacerbating it. Following the assessment, we will develop a psychological formulation that both explores your responses to stress and helps break the negative cycles that are maintaining it.

Frequently asked questions

You should seek support if you are finding that your stress levels are escalating and beginning to dominate your daily life. You may find that you’re experiencing difficulties sleeping or you’re not finding enjoyment in the things you used to. These are all good reasons to seek support.

Burnout happens when there is an imbalance of what we are giving out to the world and what we are taking for ourselves. If this balance falls out of whack, over time we’ll find that our psychological and physical resources simply burn out.


One of the first signs of burnout is exhaustion. Exhaustion causes cognitive problems so you might find that you’re easily losing focus in meetings or that you’re becoming increasingly forgetful. Your anxiety levels will increase so you might find yourself over-thinking or overly preoccupied about work. Changes in mood often mean increased irritation. So you might have a shorter fuse, or find that you’re drinking more or eating more (or less) as a means of coping.

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Dr Elena Touroni

Dr Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced consultant psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.

Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.

Dr Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.

She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.