How counselling can help the pain of redundancy

Redundancy counselling

One of the things you feared most has happened, you’re facing redundancy or you’ve been made redundant. Your emotions are no doubt running high with feelings of anger, resentment, hopelessness and guilt. You want to lash out but find yourself putting on a brave face or worse, lying to friends and loved ones about your plight. A thousand thoughts are running through your head about how to deal with things. What to do? Who to turn to? Counselling could help you get back on track.

Bottling up our natural reactions to redundancy can prove detrimental to both our health and to our chances of resolving this difficult situation. It’s easy to let negative emotions cloud our judgement which then stops us from taking control. Talking to friends, family members or work colleagues allows us to let off steam, but sometimes we need a professional’s perspective to help us reduce confusion and see our options more clearly.

How can counselling help with redundancy?

Counsellors recognise that being made redundant can cause psychological reactions that are similar to grief. The process starts with shock and disbelief at losing something important to us, we then move on to anger followed by fantasy and a sense that it’s not really happening. Finally, we suffer feelings of guilt and depression. Counselling will help you understand these emotions and the mental process you are going through, allowing you to move on to the important positive stages of acceptance and action. If you don’t look for help early in this process, reaching these later stages will take a lot longer.

To begin with you may feel that you don’t need to talk to someone, or it may be that your employer has offered counselling courses as part of your redundancy and you feel angered at being told to talk. However, many people before you in the same situation of redundancy have attended sessions with a counsellor and found it extremely beneficial. A counsellor will listen to you attentively, taking time to understand the difficulties of your situation so they can start to see things from your point of view.

A counsellor talking about redundancy will first explore your anger. They will not avoid the issue and will speak plainly and honestly. They will expect you to be honest with your feelings and allow the anger to be released, an important part of overcoming the shock and any denial about your redundancy. Denial about redundancy manifests itself firstly as a sense of relief (perhaps thinking that you were fed up at that company anyway) to the second stage of pining and wanting your old situation back.

Talking about these feelings is the personal appraisal stage and leads the counsellor to the next stage – assessing your options. Remember that redundancy can give you new opportunities and a counselling session will encourage you to be positive and focus on the doors that are now opening before you. You will need to be realistic too as some alternatives require careful planning and an honest assessment of your skills. Taking the time now to prepare and consider your options will prevent a lot of problems in the future.

Positive outcomes with counselling

Once you are thinking clearly and positively about your future, a counsellor will help you find ways of applying a strategy to help market yourself which will then lead to you applying and hopefully getting work. By having an open dialogue with your counsellor and allowing some early soul-searching during the darkest moments of your redundancy, you can achieve a positive outcome.

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