MHT05 – Stress Awareness and management training

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Why not visit ‘Stressology’, our dedicated Stress management site. www.stressology.co.uk

Stress awareness and management training: Stress is what we experience when the threat and demands of our environment exceed our perceived ability to cope Goldstein’s (1959). Job stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker (National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, 1999). It is generally accepted that ‘stress’ is the consequences of environmental and situational demands and will be exacerbated by individual vulnerabilities / differences which may include: —

  • —Perfectionism;
  • —External loss of control;
  • —Poor communication skills;
  • —Emotional lability and vulnerability to anger
  • —Rumination & obsessing;
  • —Individual ‘schemas’ and distorted thinking (conditional beliefs and attributional errors);
  • —Attachment styles;
  • —Physiology (HPA Axis response)

Signs of stress can be seen in people, especially in changes in cognition and behaviour. Acute responses to stress may be in the areas of feelings (for example, anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue), in behaviours (for example, being withdrawn, aggressive, tearful, unmotivated), in thinking (for example, difficulties of concentration and problem solving) or in physical symptoms (for example, palpitations, nausea, headaches). If stress persists, there are changes in neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, autonomic and immunological functioning, leading to mental and physical ill health (for example anxiety, depression, heart disease).

An individual exposed to stress in the workplace may develop a sense of resentment; believing that management misrecognise their concerns or invalidate their experiences. This scenario may manifest in uncomfortable group dynamics, compromised performance, potentially subversive behaviours and escalation to primary care providers which may results in staff absences and negative consequences for all. Clearly, stress has consequences to the wellbeing of people and inevitably the organisations that support them. This is a uniquely complex area of psychology and psychiatry and must addressed in a skilled and organised way if individuals, organisations and managers are to make healthy changes with better-managed interventions.

Whilst physical and psychiatric illness can manifest in, or exacerbate individual’s stress, irrational psychological processes may be central to the problem. Managers can effectively manage employee stress with better knowledge of the problem and appropriate interactional styles.

The training workshop: This is a totally unique training event that blends cognitive and behavioural psychology into a set of insights and solutions that support managers to make a difference to the wellbeing of both staff organisation alike. Irrational psychological and cognitive processes may be central to the problems associated with job-related stress. This workshop looks closely at the ‘cycle of stress’, and supports managers to better-understand and identify the potential cognitive and psychological factors. Once identified, managers can provide interventions based on CBT counselling techniques that are highly effective in the minimisation of job-related stress. Full training in this can be blended into the training workshop.

The following key areas are addressed in this workshop:

  • The cycle of stress
  • The common workplace ‘stressors’ and factors that exacerbate the problem;
  • The common cognitive and behavioural factors common to individuals who may be more vulnerable to stress;
  • Recognising and better-understanding stress-related behaviours;
  • Understanding the psychological, psychiatric and physiological consequences of acute and chronic stress
  • Understanding how mental disorders may be causal to the presentation of stress, understanding primary care treatments and signposting staff to appropriate care;
  • Recognising the common mistakes that managers make when trying to resolve stress-related behaviours and the potential counterproductive consequences that may result from badly-managed interaction;
  • Understanding Primary and Secondary Gain processes including ‘Malingering’ and better-managing these potential complications (Malingering is fabricating or exaggerating the symptoms of mental or physical disorders for a variety of “secondary gain” motives, which may include financial compensation)
  • Interactional solutions, practical and effective interventions:
  • The training supports provides managers with a questionnaire-driven ‘counselling’ model based on the interventions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is adapted to the workplace and accessible for the layman (or to understand how professional therapists will work with individuals vulnerable to stress);
  • The training also provides managers with practical solutions designed to minimise the effects of workplace stress;
  •  The Equality Act 2010 and its relationship with workplace stress. Ensuring that actions are compliant with this

This training will not provide a magic wand to stress in the workplace. It will equip managers with a logical understanding of the complex phenomenon and provide practical and effective solutions designed to minimise the consequences of stress to both staff and organisation alike.

An overview of the training can be downloaded with the following link:

Stress First Aid overview

Staff workshops. Resilience & stress management / reduction techniques (half day or full day): 

This half-day workshop is delivered in an enjoyable and accessible format by a professional psychologist with specialist training in psychiatry.

It not only supports individuals to be aware of stress and its associated mental health problems, it provides practical strategies, both cognitive and behavioural to mitigate stress and to improve psychological and physical resilience.

Staff will be encouraged to support each other through the healthy development of a ‘stress-buddy’ system. Management will be part of this process to ensure that management / staff divisions are minimised and that healthy communications are maximised.

This workshop adopts the aspects of cognitive behavioural therapy model into an easy-to-understand model that supports and coaches staff to manage their psychological / emotional health and to reduce self-defeating behaviours. The workshop also supports staff to express concerns / improve communications with management rather than allowing unproductive resentment or complex group-dynamics to develop. The workshop will not require role-play and post-training reading is available. Please contact us directly for information about staff training.

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