A significant part of my workload is providing counselling for work related stress. The advantage of using CBT counselling over other models, is that I can actually offer you practical tools and strategies to deal with or manage work related stress. By helping you talk through the situation in a safe, calm and objective way we come to new insights and we can explore the best strategies to help you based on your specific situation.
Work related stress is a very common presenting issue – but this is hardly surprising when we consider that so much can hinge on our job. When our ability to meet the demands of our employer starts to feel threatened it can affect every aspect of our lives. Fear of dismissal can put people under a lot of stress and lead people towards unhelpful coping mechanisms such as presenteeism or relying on self medication by resorting to excessive use of alcohol or binge eating. When we feel overwhelmed by the demands of our employment we can experience a diverse range of symptoms such as irritability, disturbed sleep patterns and can find it hard to switch off or relax.
If your browser will allow access to HD video – here is a link to my video on CBT for Work Related Stress where I explain how cognitive behavioural therapy can help you overcome the symptoms of stress, anxiety and panic attacks:
If you think the demands of your job are affecting your emotional health then therapy can be a useful space to explore the things that concern you and help you by identifying ways in which you can regain a sense of control.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT counselling) is particularly effective in dealing with work related stress since it focuses directly on identifying what it is that is causing the stress and looks to help you develop insight, understanding and most importantly strategies to solve the problem. The goal of therapy is to help you have better tools to deal with the issues, and a range of choices about how to deal with the situation.
Sometimes though, and it can be the case for some people, there may be a recognition that their employer no longer meets their needs: but the thought of changing job or moving on becomes too scary. Feeling trapped and helpless in a horrible situation is very stressful and will impact negatively on every aspect of your life – your relationships; your social life; your friendships. When tough decisions need to be made, therapy can be the place to help you build the courage to make those tough choices to help you move on in your life to regain a sense of control and contentment.
Just recognising that work place stress is affecting you can be the leverage point to help you move forward and find solutions.
Below are some useful links and resources to help you recognise and deal with work related stress issues:
Learn more about the symptoms of work-related stress – Click the link to access the Bupa Factsheet on wrok related stress
You can follow this link to the HSE Stress symptoms page to learn more about how stress affects the body.
The HSE offers helpful guidance for employees and employers about recognising and managing the risks to health posed by work place stress. Click on this link to go to the HSE stress index page and find out more.
Is your employer failing to risk assess the effects of stress on your well-being, read this article on work related stress and the law or – try this questionnaire to see how they rank.
HSE stress risk indicator tool and the accompanying Excel spreadsheet to analyse the results.
If you think you might be experiencing work place bullying and harassment you can find out more about what constitutes work place bullying and how to deal with it by clicking on the HSE Bullying Advice Page
If your health affects your ability to do your job it may be that you need to be asking your employer for 'reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 (formerly disability discrimination act). Employment rights under the Equality Act are enhanced and give you additional protection if you have a specific diagnosed disability, and may well apply if you have a longer term health condition which affects how you do your job. See also the EHRC Website for further help and explanation of conditions which come under the protection of this legislation.
Getting help with work-related stress:
Your employer may use an employee assistance program provider who can offer typically five or six sessions free of charge to help you deal with work place stress – contact details for this should be available to you in the staff handbook or by asking your HR department in confidence.
Alternatively you may wish to seek out a therapist privately in which case:
If you are in South Wales
For other parts of the UK counselling directory.org will help you find a therapist near your postcode – but remember to ask the therapist how much experience they have of dealing with this issue and how confident they are of being able to help you.