How can therapy help you overcome workplace bullying?

Being bullied at work can make us feel incompetent, useless and a failure. Bullying is often an abuse of power, and it can happen to anyone. Like any type of abuse, it is a subtle process.

If we haven't experienced it before, we are unlikely to be aware of what is happening to us. On the other hand, we may have been bullied at work for a long time. We may be in denial, or just come to accept this is how working life is.

Bullying is often done 'behind closed doors'. It can be a slow, dehumanising process.

We can quickly go from being competent, confident employees to finding ourselves constantly off sick, feeling we have failed. Our best is just not good enough anymore.

Yet we continue to work long hours, seemingly achieving less and less. We become more isolated. Colleagues keep their distance.

Our sense of failure and anger can spill over into our personal lives.

We start pushing people away. We may become hard to live with. Work matters to us, perhaps too much.

Appearing to be engaged in work but feeling like a cardboard cut-out figure becomes a way of being. But it is an act. And this can leave us feeling conflicted.

Therapy can offer a safe place to help us find a way through this living hell. We may find we have lost our identity. We may discover that meeting impossible target is just that - impossible. We may learn to face some uncomfortable truths. Perhaps, unintentionally, we have started behaving like a bully. This can have a serious impact on others. It is easy to behave towards others in the same way as we feel we have been treated.

Therapy can help us to be more self-aware and make the changes we need to reduce our stress levels and make sure we maintain healthy boundaries between work and home.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Walsall, Staffordshire, WS6
Written by Lyn Reed, MA,MBACP,Pro.Adv.Dip.PC, Pgd.Cert. in Supervision
Walsall, Staffordshire, WS6

I offer a supportive, confidential therapy service especially for those living with anxiety and stress. I have acquired considerable expertise and knowledge having worked in the social care field for many years. Having experienced ups and downs myself, I understand life's road can be rocky and therapy often helps us to discover a new way.

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