Managing stuck or distressed patients

Date Published: 
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Professor Bruce Arroll suggests ways to identify stress and stressors, and why it’s important to do so.



  • How do you define distress?
  • Why is it important to be self-aware as a primary care provider?
  • Why is it important for us to discuss stress with our patients?
  • What have you noticed about how different cultures cope with stress?
  • What techniques can we use personally and teach our patients to deal with stress?
  • Long term, unchecked stress can lead to other chronic health issues like anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain. What is your experience here?


Take-home messages

  • Learn to recognise your life’s dashboard warning light.
  • Acknowledge that your stress is about something that is important to you.
  • Don’t problem solve if it’s personal, hold it lightly.





Bruce Arroll
General Practitioner

Bruce is a Professor of General Practice and Primary Health Care at the University of Auckland New Zealand and a practising GP at Greenstone Family Clinic in Manurewa, South Auckland. He does regular general practice at that clinic and also does special consultations using Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for people who are feeling stuck in their lives by stress, pain or low energy. He does this work with his own patients and those referred from his clinic colleagues as well as for people outside of the clinic.

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This presentation is intended for qualified health practitioners professional development and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Any opinions offered are those of the presenter or other speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of Goodfellow Unit.