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Strong EAP. Strong EAP. WELL-U and STRONG EAP. Coping with Work and Family Stress 3/14/2011 Lynda Spiegel, MS. Ed., NCC. Strong EAP. Two Things About EAP. FREE CONFIDENTIAL. Strong EAP. WHO CAN USE EAP?. Employees Family members living in the same household as the employee

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Strong EAP

Strong EAP


  • Coping with Work and

  • Family Stress

  • 3/14/2011

  • Lynda Spiegel, MS. Ed., NCC

Strong EAP

Two Things About EAP

  • FREE


Strong EAP


  • Employees

  • Family members living in the same household as the employee

  • 550 White Spruce Blvd

  • Hours 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Strong EAP

What Do We Do?

  • Short-term counseling

  • Assessment-to-referral

  • Critical Incident Stress

  • Wellness Presentations

  • Work-Related Presentations

  • Healthbites

Strong EAP

WHO are we?

  • Joanne Dermady, Director

  • Sigrid Adler, LCSW

  • Anne Lenox, LMHC

  • Lynda Spiegel, LMHC

Strong EAP


  • Stress (i.e., depression, anxiety)

  • Grief

  • Relationships

    • Co-Workers

    • Family members

    • Children

Strong EAP

  • The Notebook

  • The References

  • Introductions

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Strong EAP

  • Define Stress

  • Define Anger

  • Problem Solving

  • Coping Strategies

  • Cognitive Reframes

  • Relaxation techniques

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Deep Breathing

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Work/Life Balance

  • Can it be done?

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What is STRESS?

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What our jobs provide

  • Sense of satisfaction

  • Sense of purpose

  • Structure

  • Poor morale

  • Unhappy workplace

  • Pressure

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  • An obstacle to our balance

  • We are an immediate society

  • Cell phones, pagers

  • E-mail, IM

  • Internet

  • 24/7 connection

  • Social networking addictions

  • the 24/7 connection

Strong EAP

Technology isn’t alone

  • Overscheduled adults

  • Overscheduled kids

  • We’re frazzled

  • We leave work, work doesn’t leave our thoughts

  • We leave home, home doesn’t leave our thoughts

Strong EAP

Environmental Stressors

  • Noise

  • Time

  • Interruptions

  • Clientele

  • Co-workers

  • Teaching hospital

  • Limited space

  • Technology

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We’re Out of Balance

  • Depressed

  • Anxious

  • Frustrated

  • Angry

  • Guilty

  • Poor choices

  • Unhealthy habits

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The Self

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  • Physical Stress

    An immediate threat to our well-being, physically

  • Mental Stress

    *Our perception of an event in which:

    We feel threatened

    We experience change

    We lose our sense of control

    Our expectations aren’t realized

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  • Stress is not a person, place or thing. It is a physical and emotional reaction to change – whether positive or negative. It is our PERCEPTION of the change that matters.

  • A Stressor is the actual event or change

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Things about stress



    • Motivates us


    • Leads to feelings of disappointment, failure, embarrassment, etc.

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Four Categories of Stress

  • Anticipatory Stress (Future)

  • Situational Stress (Present)

  • Chronic Stress (Ongoing)

  • Residual Stress (Past

Strong EAP

Cognitive Effects

  • Tunnel vision

  • Difficulty making decisions

  • Diminished ability to concentrate

  • Shortened attention span

  • Difficulty with abstract thought

  • Memory difficulty

Strong EAP

Psychological Effects

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Burn-out

  • Anger

  • Loss of emotional control

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Behavioral Effects

  • Isolation

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Change in eating habits

  • Increase in alcohol/substance use

  • Irritability

  • Temper tantrums

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Physiological Effects

  • Elevated blood pressure

  • Elevated heart rate

  • Rapid breathing

  • Lightheadedness

  • Chills or sweats

  • Migraine headaches

  • IBS

  • Lower back pain

Strong EAP

Life Cycle Theory

  • Most of us go through a series of events called “life cycles”

  • i.e., birth, school job, marriage, kids, kids leave, retirement, death

  • Stress increases at each life transition

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Family Stress Theory

  • Rueben Hill, Father of Family Stress

  • ABCX Theory of Stress

  • A factor=the stressor

  • B factor=the resources

  • C Factor=our perception

  • X Factor= the outcome

Strong EAP

Double ABCX Theory

  • ABCX lasted 30 years

  • McCubbin & Patterson

  • aA=“Pile-up” of stressors

  • bB=Layers of resources

  • cC=Layers of perceptions

  • xX=Layers of outcome

Strong EAP

What is Anger?

  • A universal, first emotion

  • Built into our nervous system

  • Anger is a way of expressing STRESS

  • Two ways of Anger

  • Toxic anger-anger that poisons your life and/or those around you

Strong EAP


  • When is anger a problem?

  • How often do you get angry?

    • Not at all

    • 1-2 times a week

    • 3-5 times a week

    • 1-2 times a day

    • 3 times a day

    • 6-10 times a day

    • 10+ times a day

Strong EAP

Intensity of Anger

  • On a scale of 1-10, where are you?

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Some statistics

  • 15 % of us have episodic rage

  • 11 % of us have chronic anger

  • 12 % of us have chronic rage

  • 37 % of us have “toxic anger”

Strong EAP

Facts About Anger

  • Men v. women

  • Decrease with age

  • Impulsive and excitable

  • + provocation

  • Cynical

  • Catastrophizing

  • Compulsiveness

  • Self-absorbed

  • Aggressive personality

Strong EAP

More Facts

  • Drugs that alter brain chemistry

  • Irritable

  • Depressed

  • Communication

  • Problem solving skills

  • Too stressed

  • Judgmental

  • Blame

  • Exhaustion

  • Inadequate support system

Strong EAP

Is Anger Poisoning Your Life?

  • Anger and fatigue

  • Anger has an immediate effect on blood pressure

  • What’s your risk for heart attack?

Strong EAP

How At Risk for Heart Attack are YOU?

  • Have you smoked cigarettes in the last 30 days?

  • Do you have 2+ alcohol at one sitting?

  • Has a doctor told you that you have high blood pressure?

  • Are you being treated for high blood pressure?

  • Has a doctor told you that you have high cholesterol?

Strong EAP

  • Are you currently being treated for high cholesterol?

  • Do you consider yourself overweight?

  • Do you consider yourself obese?

Strong EAP

The Impact of Anger

  • On our health

  • On our career

  • On our relationships

  • On our marriage

  • On the health of people around us

  • On the self-esteem of the people around us

Strong EAP

Strong EAP


  • What can you control?

  • Whose problem is it anyway?

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.

  • Move with the cheese

  • Use good communication skills

  • It’s OK to give yourself permission to put yourself first

  • Create a balance

Strong EAP

Maintaining Daily Balance

  • Take time for your health

  • Give your family quality time

  • Stay within your financial budget

  • Enjoy a quality social life

  • Stay current with new developments at work

  • Enjoy your spiritual area

Help Yourself to Balance

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  • Clarify your values

  • Make a list

  • Set your own rules for balance

  • Use transition time wisely

  • Do one thing at a time

  • Volunteer

  • Pay attention to now

Strong EAP

Stress Reduction vs. Stress Management

  • Stress reduction-eliminates the source of stress by taking action and making changes.

  • Stress management-involves coping, reinterpreting, reframing, and cognitive restructuring.

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  • To alter our perception and response to our stressors (the C & X factors)

  • To alter our lifestyle to be more stress resistant (build our B factor)

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A Word of Caution

  • “Denial is one of the best-developed coping mechanisms in healthcare workers, particularly in physicians and nurses.”

  • Overcoming Stress in Medical and Nursing Practice, (Quote from Marshall McLuhan-Communications theorist)

Strong EAP

Compassion Fatigue

  • CF is secondary post-traumatic stress

  • Common in helping professions and first responder professions

  • Same symptoms, without the primary trauma

Strong EAP


  • You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge

  • Try to link thinking-feeling-behaving

  • Use the Event log

  • If it is a long-standing issue, get help and deal with it

Strong EAP

Eating and Coping

  • According to one study, 75% of overeating is caused by EMOTIONS

    • Cortisol cravings-stress related (salt & sugar)

    • Social eating –bring on the HFS

    • Nervous eating – crave the crunch

    • Childhood habits

    • Stuffing emotions – people who can’t deal with their emotions

Strong EAP

How can I de-stress?

  • Relaxation techniques

  • Problem solving skills

  • Communication skills

  • Know your perception

  • Cognitive reframes

  • Self-care tools

Strong EAP

Relaxation Techniques

  • Breathing

  • Muscle relaxation

  • Yoga

  • Relaxation tape

  • Pelvic floor exercise

Strong EAP

Problem Solving

  • The main question to ask is:

  • Whose problem is it?

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If it’s not your problem

  • And you’re making it your problem…

    • Someone else isn’t being responsible

    • What message are we sending if we take on someone else’s problem?

    • Be careful of being too controlling

Strong EAP

If it is Your Problem

  • Use the 8-step problem-solving guide

  • Sometimes you just have to accept the issue

  • Use resources, i.e., AA, NAMI, Grief groups

Strong EAP

Use Effective Communication Skills

  • “CUS” messages – good for the workplace

    • I am concerned because________________

    • I am uncomfortable because_____________

    • This is a safety issue because ____________

  • “I-Messages”

    • I feel _____________________

    • When you __________________

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  • Is it true that perception is reality?

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  • If you can’t change the situation, you must change the way you PERCEIVE the situation.

Strong EAP

What Influences Perception?

  • Family of origin

  • Place in the family

  • Peer group

  • Culture and heritage

  • Work

  • Clubs and organizations

  • Place in history

  • Neighborhoods

  • Values and belief systems

  • Religion and spirutality

Strong EAP

  • Other people’s actions

  • We interpret other people’s actions by how they impact us

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Cognitive Reframes

  • Self-Talk

  • We all talk to ourselves

  • How do you talk to yourself?

  • How do you talk to others?

  • Negative v. positive thinkers

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  • Self-esteem is the relationship you have with yourself.

  • “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

    Eleanor Roosevelt.

Strong EAP

Our Thoughts

  • How we think impacts how we feel

  • If we think everything’s a big deal

  • If we think things need to be perfect

  • If we think we need to be in charge or dominate others

  • If we think people should be on time

  • If we have a hard time saying what’s on our mind

Strong EAP

  • If we think everything is an irritant

  • If we judge others

  • If we think someone has to be at fault


Strong EAP

How to Reframe Your Thinking

  • Keep an event log

  • What’s the event (stressor)

  • What are your thoughts

  • What are your emotions

  • What is your behavior

  • What is the outcome

Strong EAP

Self-Care Tools

  • Set limits

  • Healthy life style-nutrition, sleep, exercise

  • Pros v. cons list

  • Short-term and long-term goals

  • Say no, have real expectations

  • Keep balance in focus

  • Vary work and play

Strong EAP

Thank You!!

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