A new concept perhaps?
In our climate of overwork, rising stress levels, declining health, unfulfilling relationships both at work and at home, a contributing factor being unresolved stress in the workplace, which if not dealt with can lead to burnout and other health problems, then the benefits of workplace counselling must surely have a valuable place.
The relevance of my journey
My name is Stephanie. I hold a graduate diploma in integrative counselling. I am passionate about the counselling process and the benefits to the individual’s life. On a personal note, I have experienced bullying and harassment in the workplace which, in some cases, led me to leaving the organisation.
Here I was protecting my mental, emotional and physical health with no support from the company. They lost my value in that particular role.
In 2005 I suffered burnout as a result of studying and working alongside each other for five years. I had no fun in my life. I put so much pressure on myself to achieve but with that came the detriment to my health. I was working as an adult careers adviser at C&K Careers Ltd at the time. Once I had qualified at the end of 2004 with my counselling diploma I could relax and two months later I could not move.
I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. Totally burnt out. It was frightening I can tell you. I could not perform simple tasks around the house. I experienced panic attacks. I had gone over my own limits and I did not realise. Why? Because stress is insidious and it creeps up on you. You are not indestructible, or a machine, a robot, and neither was I.
I went to the doctors thinking I had chronic fatigue. He said to me “There is nothing wrong with you. You are in the driving seat of your life, now go and do what you need to do.” I knew what he meant. I needed to reduce my hours at work, get some me time and fun in my life and make sure my life was more balanced.
In this instance, I was supported by the careers service because I was a valued and respected member of staff. I reduced my hours to three days a week. Now I know my limits which is a positive.
Points to consider
Giving all employees access to a free confidential, workplace counselling service can potentially be viewed as part of an employers’ duty of care to their employees. Well-being at work seems to be on the tip of peoples’ tongues, but is it taken seriously? Perhaps when it is too late!
Work-related issues can directly impact on employees performance. They can include:
- Unrealistic demands
- Difficult colleagues
Also, personal issues can have a similar negative impact:
- Family breakdown
- Lack of confidence
Last but certainly not least, the benefits:
- Improved performance/productivity
- Increased confidence/assertiveness skills
- Gain focus and structure
- Prioritise your wellbeing as well as your tasks
- Deal effectively with difficult colleagues
- Capitalise on strengths
- Improved relationships
- Adaptable to change
There is evidence that counselling in the workplace often helps employees who are absent from work.There is evidence that counselling support can accelerate the rehabilitation of an absent employee saving the company money in the long run.
This type of counselling is usually short term. Between six to eight sessions per week.
If you would like to benefit your organisation then please get in touch with me.
Phone: 07789 442479
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