How can therapy improve well-being in the workplace?

We as a society have become more aware of the need to take care of our mental and physical health in recent years, and have been able to raise awareness of the importance of this. This is a great advancement from past generations who have possibly felt more of a stigma when needing to ask for emotional support.


Today’s work environments are fast-paced and demanding, and looking after the well-being of employees in the workplace is becoming ever more important. Life is busy and we don’t all have family on hand to help, which is another lifestyle change over recent years. There is a lot to juggle with busy jobs and personal lives.

In this article, I will look at some of the ways that therapy can assist with improving well-being in the workplace, and the reasons that it is so important.

The workplace can be challenging and demanding, and the need for individuals to accommodate a healthy work-life balance is essential. Previous stigma around mental health has thankfully lessened and we are all more aware of the need to look after ourselves. The power of therapy and a supportive culture of nurturing mental health can be invaluable in recognising not only the impact on employee well-being but in addition how this in turn can improve performance and productivity.

The workplace can be a stressful environment, and employees throughout many different industries can find themselves in a challenging environment. Therapy can assist stress relief by helping employees identify the sources of what makes them feel under pressure or overwhelmed, and using mindfulness and/or cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help people work through this and become more resilient. Identifying triggers and employing coping strategies will aid individuals in managing their workload and the resulting stress.

A stressful and challenging environment can also on occasion lead to workplace difficulties. Managers could potentially identify and manage concerns arising from issues in the workplace by providing therapy and therefore enabling an employee to feel listened to and trusted. This will also save the time spent on resolving escalated concerns and the resources involved in dealing with these disputes. In fact, supporting managers to support their staff is also essential.

New or inexperienced managers may be unaware of the benefits of encouraging well-being in the workplace and this could be an additional factor to consider. In a study carried out by the Chartered Management Institute (Mayne, 2023) it was found that “the quality of line management has an impact on employees’ health and well-being”. This demonstrates that providing support throughout the workplace is essential, and ties in with the known benefits of therapy within the workplace.

Following on from this, communication between employees in the workplace and also between employees and employers can be enhanced by the provision of therapy for staff. Communicating effectively within the workplace is crucial for the successful operation of the day-to-day business and therapy can help in this way by enabling employees to enhance their communication skills. This will aid the assertive and respectful communication between employees and therefore reduce conflict and create a more harmonious environment amongst staff. Respectful and clear communication is key to good working relationships.

The thread between all of these factors is supporting the mental health of employees in the workplace. Therapy for those in the workplace will provide a safe, confidential space so they can address any concerns and explore their feelings. Being able to talk to someone neutral and non-judgmental can help individuals work through difficulties and develop strategies to cope. The benefits of improved mental health will not only help the employee but also contribute to a more supportive, respectful and productive workplace. Feeling supported can motivate employees and increase their productivity at work, thus benefiting the organisation.

Increased well-being and the reduction and management of stress will boost morale and help to avoid burnout. This in turn will reduce the costs and resources involved in managing staff sickness, and lessen costs involved with training new staff if staff turnover is reduced. Motivated, happy and supported staff will be more likely to commit to the organisation and therefore staff retention will improve, and the staff in the workplace will be more productive. In fact, according to a study by Deloitte (2022) into workplace well-being, their analysis showed that for every £1 invested in workplace mental health, there is a £5.30 return.

In conclusion, greater awareness and research in this area demonstrates that it is apparent that the provision of therapy in the workplace can be of huge benefit to both employees and employers. Investing in the well-being of employees and incorporating some of these supportive practices will not only assist the individuals but contribute to an overall happier, healthier and more productive workforce. This can only be a good thing for all involved, and although there will be a cost factor to consider it can be seen that this is a worthwhile and prudent investment.

It would therefore be valuable for employers to review their well-being practices, support employees with their mental health, and consider providing therapeutic support. This in turn will contribute to employees feeling supported and will improve morale and commitment to the organisation. As an employee, being able to ask for support where needed and feel valued and not sidelined will be of immeasurable benefit.

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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Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50
Written by Fiona Atkins, Counsellor MNCPS
Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50

Fiona is a qualified counsellor working in Hampshire with adults and young people. Fiona is experienced in working with anxiety, depression, bereavement and trauma and many other challenges that people face. She is passionate about access to mental health support and early intervention, and has many years experience working with families.

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