Spirituality and the stressors of war. How the EAP Can Help. EAP CARE, Inc. P.O. Box 25378 Chattanooga, TN 37422
Spirituality • “The inner resource that helps us make sense of a world that is sometimes cruel and usually chaotic- is the key to its soldiers’ overall resilience and well-being.”- Louise Danielle Palmer Spirituality & Health November/December 2003
The Value of Spirituality • Studies have shown people who have experiences of something greater than themselves – “experiences of the spiritual core” – fare much better in treatment for all kinds of stress disorders. Herbert Benson, M.D., Harvard Mind-Body Medical Institute and Richard Friedman, M.D. Deaconess Hospital, Boston.
Spirituality Symptoms __ Avoidance of church and fellowship __ Feelings of failure as a Christian due to the inability to apply principles of faith and trust in God to the experience. __ A belief that fellow Christians will reject them due to their service. __ A questioning of God's willingness to personally help them due to some sin they have committed, or lack of being perfect in life. __ A feeling that God is punishing them through their actions. __ An inability to recognize the fear as a tool God can use to draw them closer to Him. __
Spirituality Symptoms A resistance in applying Scriptural principles to their fears. __ An over-emphasis on a negative experience such as shame or humiliation, that God cannot prevent, correct, or develop a deeper sense of character. Referenced in Rom. 5: 3-5. __ Intense fear clouds their ability to see God's refuge and spiritual aid in times of encountering their fears. __ Underlying their fear is a belief that God selects certain situations in the client's life to abandon them.
Who is impacted during times of terrorist threats and war? • Employer • Employee • Family members (adult & children)
Tensions Alert Action Mobilization Deployment Separation Immanence of Hostilities
Tension Alert Action Anticipation Recovery Stress Emotions Stress Anticipation Separation Recovery Reunification Normal?
Emotional Cycle of Deployment • Short period of intense emotions (fear, anger) • Detachment and withdrawal or extremes in emotions • Sadness, loneliness, and tension • Adjusting of routines • As deployment draws to end tensions increase.
Conclusion • Deployment preparation increases stress for the employee, employer, coworkers and the families of those deployed. • Emotions fluctuate. • Self help steps include seeking and giving support to family, friends, and others affected by deployment.
ANGER FEAR ANGER HOSTILITY HATE ENDING SOMETHING FRUSTRATION HURT P A I N STRESS DEPRESSION ANXIETY
ANGER MISMANAGEMT STYLES
ANGER MISMANAGEMT STYLES SOMATIZERS Somatizers - hide the hurt.
ANGER MISMANAGEMT STYLES N UNDERNDNESS Underhandedness - passive aggressive, constantly late, insensitive to others.
ANGER MISMANAGEMT STYLES SELF PUNISHERS Self-punishers – We handle 3000 messages a day to ourselves that are evaluative. If these messages are primarily negative it makes us easy pray to neurosis.
ANGER MISMANAGEMT STYLES EXPLODERS Exploders – examples are Bobby Knight/Woody Hayes. Out of control used to control others.
What happens when they return home? The reintegration process
Reintegration Reintegration/Reunion following separation from loved ones can be the mirror image of pre-deployment stages. The steps can include readjustment, disappointment, ecstasy, fear, relief, or guilt.
Tension Alert Action Anticipation Recovery Emotions Stress Anticipation Separation Recovery Reunification Normal?
Feelings of the Reunion Readjustment Disappointment Ecstasy Change Relief Guilt Normal
Reintegration • Returning soldiers will experience a mismatch between life-or-death intensity of the war zone and a home culture that is absorbed with far lighter subjects, from pseudo-reality TV shows to prices of gadgets at the shopping malls.
Reintegration • What should be a joyful occasion can sometimes prove to be as stressful as the departure. • The goal is to make the veteran feel as though they are heard, understood, respected, and cared for. Allow them to tell their personal story as a vehicle for healing.
Impact on the Employee As Time Goes by the Impact on the Employee May Present Itself in the Employee’s Performance and Productivity. This can be true of the employee who was deployed as well as the coworkers left behind.
Impact on the Employee • Veterans may experience concern, anger, fear, and feelings of helplessness. • Symptoms of PTSD
Areas of Impact on the Employee • Work functioning • Interpersonal Functioning • Recreation and Self-care • Psychological • Past Stress • Coping Skills
General Helping Principles • Be tolerant of symptoms, behavior, and strong emotions • Respect the employees space and self evaluation of his needs • Establish rapport and visibility • Be available
EAP Goals • Reduce stress • Treat symptoms • Assist management in supporting employee • Continual assessment and support
Performance and Productivity Indicators of Emotional Stress: • Absenteeism • Abusing sick leave • Overworking • Difficulty concentrating • Working slowly • Missed deadlines
Performance and Productivity Indicators of Emotional Stress: • Forgetfulness • Difficulty dealing with change • Flat affect(no emotion or seeming numb) • Withdrawal • Irritability and anger
Assistance for the Company/Employer EAP Activities
What Can You Do to Reduce the Impact on Company Productivity? Needs Analysis • Determine who is effected. • What are management concerns? • What are concerns of the coworkers? • Ask for management input on how they see the EAP helping.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Impact on Company Productivity? • Assess capabilities of the EAP and other resources. • Make recommendation based on your analysis. • Assist in policy development
Be Available for employees and supervisors Collaborate with human resources, risk management, security, medical, and any other area that could support the EAP activities.
Increase Visibility • On Site visits • Payroll stuffers • Posters • Handouts
Defusing/Debriefing Stress Management Grief management Communications Finance Parenting Skills Training Areas
What Can You Do to Reduce the Impact on Company Productivity? • The EAP should be available through the routine channels of communication. The EAP should also be available for consultations, trainings, debriefings, supervisor consultations and site visits as needed.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Impact on Company Productivity? • Management should be visible and communicative to the employees and the EAP. • The EAP should educate owners, supervisors, managers, and employees about the signs of stress and PTSD. Encourage them to utilize the EAP’ s resources.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Impact on Company Productivity? • Promote the education and short term counseling capabilities of the EAP. • Encourage internal communications. • Promote the EAP services by having the EAP on site for lunch and learns and in-service programs.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Impact on Company Productivity? • Relax leave policy temporarily to allow employees time to support the service men and women. • Reevaluate current travel needs. • Increase community involvement of the company by having blood drives, support the troops rallies, and relief fund support.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Impact on Company Productivity? • Plan for the future • Know your target population • Review the employer’s plan. • Identify available resources to support your client’s needs. • Educate supervisors and your staff on plans and resources available. • Reevaluate and revise existing plans.
Reading Resources 1. Overcoming Worry and Fear, Hauck, P. 2. The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook, Bourne K., and Bourne, E. 3. Afraid No More!, Wright, N. 4. Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic: Taking Charge and Conquering Fear, Peurifoy, R. 5. Anxiety & Phobias: Psychological Disorders and Their Treatment, Nardo, D. 6. What Do You Do When Fear Overcomes You?, Adams, J. 7. Recovery from Fear, Ryan, D. and Ryan, J. 8. Scriptural References: Prov. 1: 33, II Tim. 1: 7, Is. 54: 14, Rom. 8: 15, Heb. 13: 6, Ps. 46: 1, Ps. 91: 1-6, Is. 54:4, John 14: 27, Ps. 27: 1,3, Josh. 1: 9, Ps. 73: 23-28, II Chr. 20: 15, Rom. 8: 31, Is. 41: 10, Luke 18: 27, Col. 2: 3, Ps. 59: 9-10, 16, Phil. 4: 6-7, Rom. 5: 3-5