Imagine this: You love your job, but someone new has started and they are making your life a misery: They undermine you, they blame you for anything that goes wrong and they criticize you.
This is having a detrimental effect on you and your work. You’ve gone from being a happy, smiley and helpful person to feeling stressed, anxious and not wanting to go to work.
You need help. So where do you go?
You start ‘shopping’ for a counsellor because you know you need someone to talk to, and visit therapists websites and online directories.
But none seem quite right: you don't identify your problem as depression, anxiety, grief, childhood issues... you aren't suffering with a mental health issue.
And then you see:
Maybe your boss is a bully, or you have a colleague is making your life a misery?
Come and explore the situation with me, and we'll find coping strategies so you can still do the work you love while dealing effectively with people in the workplace.
Bingo! Here’s the therapist for you!
(Okay, the wording is a bit clumsy, but you get the idea.)
As soon as someone sees that, they'll know exactly what you do.
'But Jane', I hear you cry, 'that's too small a demographic to be a niche!'
Consider this: what percentage of the population work?
Well according to a google search I just performed, in September/November 2016 31.80 million people were in full time employment in the UK, which is 74.5% of the population.
How many of them are unhappy at work? I don't know, but just one percent would mean there are 318,000 people potentially looking for help, and I bet the other 99% of the workforce aren't all deliriously happy in their job either! And remember, this doesn't take into account all the part time workers!
I recently wrote a blog called 'Does therapy need a rebrand' and this demonstrates it perfectly. There is a misconception that counselling is for people with mental health issues, which it is. of course.
But it's also for people that are struggling with life, with relationships, with self esteem and with communication that could do with some help BEFORE it becomes a mental health issue.
More awareness = more people access therapy.
As a profession, if we let people know that it's not just mental health issues that we work with, it raises awareness.
Having a none 'mental health' niche like 'workplace issues' takes what we do as counsellors and opens it up for more people to access, and by letting people know what we do via social media, blogs, networking, newsletters etc, we are educating the general public to see counselling as a a tool which can be accessed by anyone and at any time, not just when in crisis.
Wouldn't it be great if people accessed therapy as a form of self care, as a way of maintaining good metal health?
I'd love to know what you think - please comment below.
Jane lives in beautiful Lincoln with her 2 boys and rescue dog. When she's not talking about herself in the third person, she's usually found drinking wine and eating Maltesers. Sometimes she even shares them with friends.
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