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Workplace Counselling Individual Perspectives. Overview n Definition of Counselling n Counselling Goals n Stress Counselling n The concept of helping.

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Presentation on theme: "Workplace Counselling Individual Perspectives. Overview n Definition of Counselling n Counselling Goals n Stress Counselling n The concept of helping."— Presentation transcript:

1 Workplace Counselling Individual Perspectives

2 Overview n Definition of Counselling n Counselling Goals n Stress Counselling n The concept of helping n Helping models n Organisational context of counselling n The role of the counsellor (org level) n Ethical issues ~ counselling in organisational contexts.

3 Definition of Counselling ‘an interactional process involving a series of decisions of varying degrees of varying degrees of inter- relatedness on the part of the counsellor and the client’ Nelson-Jones (1993) Characteristics n each party forms and tests hypotheses about each other n not always rational or unbiased n usually short-term, solution-focused n driven more by politics of employment situations that client need

4 Goals of Counselling n Why have goals in counselling? n Who should determine goals? n To what extent are client & counsellor’s goals culturally/socially determined? Remedial Goals (medical model) : goals of counselling are not curative (rid of all negative qualities), but foster improvement Developmental Goals : focus on helping people acquire psychological abilities and/or preventative Ultimate Goals : outcomes desired and for whom Mediating Goals : process oriented e.g. emphasis on facilitating self-directedness

5 Therapeutic Orientations Psychodynamic e.g. Freud, Jung, Adler. Emphasis on the unconscious, developmental stages, etc. Humanistic/Experiential e.g. Rogers (client centred therapy), Perls et al (gestalt therapy), Yalom (existential therapy). Emphasise the client’s interpretation of experiences. Cognitive & Cognitive/Behavioural e.g. Ellis (rational emotive therapy), Beck (cognitive therapy). Seek to reduce client’s distress by changing maladaptive beliefs and providing new information processing skills Behavioural e.g. Wolpe (systematic desensitization), Emmelkamp (aversion therapy). Changing behaviour through conditioning

6 Goals in Workplace Counselling n Self-actualisation? n Carroll (1996) : continuum. Business-centred to person-centred. n Work-Life interaction (Sworder, 1977) –problems arising from the individual –problems generated by the work environment –problems generated outside the work environment, which impinge on work (directly or indirectly)

7 Stress Counselling n Techniques used : Research literature : multi-modal cognitive therapy (Reynolds & Briner, 1996) vs practice : more varied, more atheoretical (Palmer & Dryden, 1996) n Theoretical Models of Stress : Palmer & Dryden (1991) : Transactional Model. Stage One : pressure emanates from the environment Stage Two : perceptions of pressure & self-appraisal of ability to cope Stage Three : stress reaction (psychophysiological) Stage Four : consequences of coping strategies Stage Five : feedback Palmer (1996) –Suffering from a multitude of problems across a range of modalities (behaviour, affect, sensation, imagery, cognition, interpersonal, etc.) - each of which requires a different form of treatment. –Stress is unique to each individual, so treatment must be tailored to requirements.

8 Other multi-modal approaches... Abrams & Ellis (1996). Rational-Emotive perspective n stress does not exist per se, but via the perceptions/reactions of the individual n dogmatic irrational beliefs >>>> anguish >>>> stress reaction n ‘awfulising’ (It would be really awful if…), ‘unconditional demands’ (I must be… ) n Aim of therapy : change detrimental personal philosophies –active-directive disputing (question ‘musts’, ‘awful if’s..’) –reframing (Pollyanna principle!) –emotive-evocative dramatic techniques (e.g. role play)

9 The Competent Stress Counsellor Milner & Palmer (1998); Palmer & Dryden (1996) n Cognitive-behavioural techniques n Rational-emotive behavioural techniques n Counselling & Listening skills n Group facilitation skills n Problem solving skills n Can educate n Can use psychometric tests n Has sound knowledge base (relevant research) n Has knowledge of various lifestyle options n Understanding of organisational and occupational issues

10 The Concept of Helping n Help the client to help themselves n Counsellor as an expert in process facilitation (as opposed to problem resolution) n Theraputic relationship is ‘action-oriented’ –demonstrate empathy –demonstrate genuineness and authenticity in the theraputic relationship –demonstrate respect or unconditional acceptance of the client n The Helping Process –The Initial Interview establish rapport formulate a ‘working model’ of the client charter course decide methods

11 Stages in the Helping Process Nelson-Jones (1993) Five Stage Plan for the Initial Interview Stage One : Introductions : meeting, establishing confidentiality, rapport, trust, basic data collection. Stage Two : Presenting Concerns : facilitate client self- disclosure, explore present concerns, clarification of issues Stage Three : Reconnaissance : exploration of broader background/contextual factors, clarification of issues, structuring Stage Four : Contracting : summarising, formulating and discussing goals, presenting treatment method(s), answer questions Stage Five : Termination : clarify administrative details, arrange next appointment

12 N.B. Counselling Activities necessary for Clients in Crisis = situation where the client’s coping resources are severely stretched/overwhelmed. n Remain calm n Listen n Assess client risk n Assess client’s coping strategies n Assist client’s exploration and clarification n Assist development of coping strategies n Mobilise additional resources n Advise on own availability

13 Helping Models ‘The Skilled Helper’ Egan (1975, 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998) n 3 stage model –facilitate problem definition by ‘demonstrating understanding’ –engineer problem redefinition (if necessary) so client takes ownership & realises are various solutions –‘resource’ the client –N.B. Problems at each stage HELPER CLIENT understanddefine problem challengeredefine problem resourcingmanaging the problem

14 Overall aims of counselling as a ‘skilled helper’ Egan, 1994 n Provide a quiet confidential environment n Enable the client to talk openly about themselves without being judged n Help the client gain greater awareness of themselves and their situation n Focus on ways to help them manage their problems

15 Carroll’s (1996) Integrative Model of Workplace Counselling n Currently the only model solely focused on counselling in organisational context n 5 stages –preparation –assessment Individual - diagnostic, psychometric, interpersonal + Organisational Assessment –contracting/referral –counselling the ‘ecology’ of the organisation; administration –termination

16 Organisational Context of Counselling Issues n the impact of the organisation on the counselling dynamic –under pressure to achieve results –client confidentiality issues –individual problems reflect organisational ills (Org.) vs fundamentally individual event (Individual) n the role of the counsellor at an organisational level of analysis –multi-purpose ! (trainer, welfare officer, change agent, casework supervisor, counsellor…)

17 Professional & Ethical Issues n Organisational Counsellors as ‘bridge builders’ n Conflicting interests –where do the counsellor’s loyalties/responsibilities lie? n As yet, no ethical guidelines specifically for workplace counselling, other than those for Employee Assistance programmes generally.

18 Evaluating Workplace Counselling n Does counselling work (result in outcomes desired and/or lead to changes in behaviours)? n What is the most appropriate method/technique for counselling in a specific organisation? n What are the mechanisms/processes of counselling that predict its success? n How does counselling provision ‘add value’ to the organisation n What effect does the organisation have on counselling provision and dynamics n How cost-effective is the counselling service?

19 Summary n Workplace counselling - career development or stress counselling n Stress counselling couched in Human Resource terms n Individual symptoms can result from organisational problems n Stress counselling largely multi-modal


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