STRESS AND COUNSELING. By Cemre ATESIN. What Stress Is??. Strees is the general term applied to the pressures people feel in life. The presence of strees at work is almost inevitable in many jobs. However, individual differences account for a wide range of reaction to stress;.
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By Cemre ATESIN
One promlematicdisorder is called workplace trauma. Attitudinal clues to workplace trauma include severe moodiness, concentration difficulties, and alienation, in addition to the more distinctive behaviors of tardiness, absenteeism, and accident-proneness.
A common source of workplace trauma is sudden job loss, with its potentially crushing effect on one’s self-esteem. The individual impact was often magnified by two factors –the lack of warning and the lack of insularity felt by even high-performing employees.Some experience layoff survivor’s sickness, with feelings of uncertainty, anger, guilt, and distrust. They are simultaneously glad to have a job and guilty that their workmates were displaced. In the meantime the job pressures on them often increase dramatically as they try to shoulder the tasks of former colleagues. They also wonder, “Will i be the next to be cut?”
Another source of trauma is to witness workplace violence. Sometimes a trouble employee takes dramatic and harmful physical action against coworkers, managers or company property. These violent, anger-based acts can include unprovoked fights, destruction of property or use of weapons to harm others.Any person who witness violence, receiver injury from it or lives under the fear of repeated future violence may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. The shock of sudden and dramatic violent incidents often produces immidiate stress-related syptoms. More significantly, the effects of these traumatic crises may last for years and require lengthy treatment.
Even more important than detecting stress, burnout and trauma is its prevention.For example, the U.S. Postal Service has established a crisis management plan that focuses on five areas;1-Careful selection of new employees2-Zero tolerance policy to deal with aberrant behavior3-Improvement of the work culture4-Mandatory training for managers to help them spot potential problems5-Threat assesment process that is automatically implemented after an employee is dismissed.As a result, actual assaults have dropped sharply and employee fears about violence have been cut in half.
An important first step in prevention is to examine and understand the causes of stress. Conditions that tend to cause stress are called stressors. Although even a single stressor may cause major stress, usually stressors combine to pressure an employee in a variety of ways until stress develos.
The major sours of employee stress are evenly divided between organizational factors and the nonwork environment.
To control stress, then, organizations, usually begin by exploring its job-related causes.
Almost any job condition can cause stress, depending on an employee’s reaction to it. For example, one employee will accept a new work procedure and feel little or no stress, while another experiences overwhelming pressure from the same task. Part of the difference lies in each employee’s ezperiences, general outlooks and expectations, which are all internal factors.
Work overload and time deadlines put employees under pressure and lead to stress. Often these pressures arise from management and a poor quality of management are an automatic supervisor , an insecure job climent, lack of control over one’s own job and inadequate authority to match one’s responsibilities.
-Work overload-Time pressures-Poor quality of supervision-Insecure job climate-Lack of personal control-Inadequate authority to match responsibilities-Role conflict and ambiguity-Differences between company and employee values-Change of any type,especially when it is major or unusually -Frustration-Tecnology with training or support
Role conflict and ambiguity are also related to stress. In situation of this type, people have different expectations of an employee’s activities on a job, so the employee does not know what to do and can’t meet all expectations. In addition since the job often is poorly defined, the employee has no official model on which to depend.A further cause of stress lies in differences between company values and ethical practices. Substantial differences can lead to significant mental stress as an effort is made to balance the requirements of both sets of values.Some jobs produse more stress than others. Those which involve rotating shift work, machine-paced tasks, routine and repetitive work or hazardous environments are assosiated with greater stress. Workers who spend many hours daily in front of computer screens also report high stress levels. Evidence also indicates that the sources of stress differ by organizational level.
Middle managers may experience stress when their job security is threatened by news of impending corporate downsizings. Workers are more likely to experience the stressors of low status, lack of preceived control, resource shortages and the demand for a large volume of error-free work.A related source of stress that affect many employees is worry over their financial well-begin. This situation can arise when cost-saving technology is introduced, contract negotiations begin or the firm’s financial performance suffers. Clearly, there are numerous and powerful force at work that can contribute to the feeling of stress.
Types of Reactions
Source of FrustrationAlthough management can be the source of frustration, it ia only one of several sources. Also can be frustrated by the work itself such as a part that does not fit or a machine that breaks down. Even the environment such as a rainy day may prevent you from doing the work you intended.Some research suggests that it is the little things called hassles, rather than major life crises that produce frustration. Hassles are conditions of daily living that are perceived to threaten one’s well-being. They have been found to be related to both symptoms of ill health and levels of absenteeism.The most frequent hassles include having too many things to do,losing items, being interrapted and having to do unchallenging work. Such as dealing with problems of aging parents, having insufficient personal energy. It is possible that none of these hassles alone will cause the average person to become frustrated. However, the cumulative effects of multiple hassles may well result in a feeling of unwelcome stress.
Type A People
Type B People
-A confortable position in a relatively guiet location.
-Closed eyes and deep, confortable breaths
-Repetition of a peaceful word or focus on a pleasant mental image
-Avoidance of distracting thoughts and negative events
-Soothing backround music
1-Feel comfortable about themselves,
2-Right about other people,
3-Able to meet the demands of life.
Counseling may be performed by both professionals and nonprofessionals.Counseling usually is confidential so that employees will feel free to talk openly about their problems. It also involves both job and personal problems, since both types of problems may affect an employee’s performance on the job.
What Counseling Can Do?The general objectives of counseling are to help employees grow in self-confidence, understanding, self-control and ability to work effectivey.The counseling objective is achieved through one or more of the following counseling functions. The six activities performed by counseling.
Many people view counseling as primarily an advise-giving activity but in reality this is only one of several functions that counseling can perform. The giving of advise requires a counselor to make judgments about a counselee’s problems and to lay out a course of action.
Counseling can provide employees with reassurance, which is a way of giving them courage to face a problem or a feeling of confidence that they ae pursuing a suitable course of action.
One trouble with reassurance is that the counselees do not always accept it. They are smart enough to know that the counselor can’t know that the problem will come out all right.
4-Release of Emotional Tension
Counseling can improve both upward and downward communication. In an upward direction, it is a key for employees to express their feeling to management.
Counseling also achieves downward communication because counselors help interpret company activities to employees as they discuss problems related to them.
An important function of nearly all counseling is release of emotional tension; this release is sometimes called emotional catharsis. People tend to get an emotional release from their frustrations and other problems whenever they have an opportunity to tell someone about them
They are more relaxed and their speech is more coherent and rational.
Directive counseling is the process of listening to an employee’s problem, deciding with the employee what should be done and then telling and motivating the employee to do it. Directive counseling mostly accomplishes the counseling function of advice but it also may reassure, communicate, give emotional release and clarify thinking.
Nondirective (client-centered) counseling is at the opposite end of the continuum. It is the process of skillfully listening to and encouraging a counselee to explain troublesome problems, understand them and determine appropriate solutions. It focuses on the counselee rather than on the counselor as judge and adviser; thus it is client-centered. Managers can be use the nondirective approach;however , care should be taken to make sure that managers aren’t so oversold on it that they neglect their normal directive leadership responsibilities.
A Contingency View