Employee Assistance Programmes

At Think CBT, we provide efficient and innovative employee assistance services to promote fast recovery, personal development and improved employee resilience. Unlike many other EAP providers, we combine our expertise in the fields of psychological health, Human Resources, business resilience and risk management to deliver a fully integrated and responsive support service. This means we can deliver a range of tailored and cost effective solutions to support employees experiencing problems at work and in their personal lives. The research evidence shows that providing good psychological support directly improves attendance, employee commitment and productivity levels.

 

Our Service Options

With stress and other psychological health issues now accounting for approximately 45% of all sickness absence in the UK, investing in an Employee Assistance Programme makes good financial sense, demonstrates a clear commitment to employee wellbeing and supports sustained business performance. Our employee assistance services provide direct support in the six key areas of therapy & counselling, psychological assessments, stress-resilience management, critical incident support, trauma treatment and employee rehabilitation / release. Our work is solution focused, time-limited and based on established cognitive and behavioural techniques.

 

Employee Therapy & Counselling

We use evidence based cognitive and behavioural techniques to provide employees with a discrete, safe and confidential basis for working through personal and professional problems. This supports rapid recovery and a return to healthy and productive working arrangements. Our employee counselling model is highly structured, time-limited and outcomes oriented. This helps to strike the right balance between supporting the employee and meeting defined business needs.

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Providing direct access to a fast and responsive therapy service allows employees to identify and work on the emotional, psychological and behavioural factors that maintain distress, reduce performance and increase absenteeism. The research evidence clearly demonstrates that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) provides a highly effective and solution focused approach to developing good psychological health and personal resilience.
CBT has been found to be the most effective treatment for a wide range of emotional and psychological problems, including stress, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, anger issues and low self-esteem. These problems can contribute to reduced productivity, disruptive behaviours, interpersonal relationship issues and low motivation at work.

CBT provides a structured and collaborative method for developing improved self-awareness, good emotional health and improved behavioural management. These skills can profoundly shape the individuals outlook and significantly improve emotional resilience at home and in the workplace.
Important factors in the transfer of CBT from the clinic to the workplace, have been its clear focus on SMART goals, use of practical problem solving techniques, transfer of learning to the client, orientation to change and collaborative style. These factors make CBT the preferred model for effective employee therapy, replacing traditional passive forms of employee counselling.

Our psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors are fully qualified CBT specialists and hold professional accreditation with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP). This means that they have demonstrated the gold standard in CBT, maintain regular clinical supervision and commit to continuous professional development.

Sessions can usually be organised within two working days and will always be supported by a written assessment and lapse prevention plan. We always work on a completely confidential basis, however information sharing can be arranged where it is helpful and with the employee’s consent.

If you want to talk to a member of the team about organising confidential employee therapy or counselling, you can call on 01732 808 626 or email info@thinkcbt.com.

 

Psychological Assessments

We can provide personal and occupationally commissioned psychological assessments for a wide range of emotional and behavioural problems. These assessments are conducted by a trained specialist and follow an evidence based psychological framework augmented by a selection of relevant psychometric tools. Psychological assessments can be used to support employees experiencing distress, as part of an individual development plan or to facilitate interpersonal change.

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Psychological assessments are conducted on a one-to-one basis and usually take approximately ninety minutes to complete. Our specialists draw on a range of valid and reliable assessment tools and the assessment is followed up by a written report. The assessment report identifies and classifies the problem and makes specific recommendations for the relevant treatment, development plan and associated timescales. Where appropriate we can also specifically assess employee suitability and readiness for return to full duties or redeployment.

Whilst we do not subscribe to the psychological labelling of our clients, we will use a DSM-V / ICD-10 classification if this is required for referral back to an occupational health or psychiatric specialist. Our specialists are trained in the use of these clinical classification systems.

We also draw on a wide range of clinically validated psychometric assessments to support the assessment process and feedback is always provided on a verbal and written basis.

Assessment reports are normally commissioned by occupational health or human resources and usually require the employee to sign a Disclosure Authority. This helps to maintain confidentiality and the professional integrity of the process.

Where appropriate, we can alternatively provide a confidential wellbeing report with a range of goals and techniques to develop personal resilience. This can be provided directly to the employee for self-management.

If you want to organise a psychological assessment by one of our specialists, you can call us on 01732 808 626 or email info@thinkcbt.com to discuss your requirements.

 

Stress Management & Resilience

We provide stress management and resilience assessments for individuals, teams and businesses. The assessment process is focused on identifying risks and developing resilience action plans and interventions. This is followed up by a resilience improvement plan in which specific proposals are made to enhance performance by promoting good psychological wellbeing. We address the primary sources of unhealthy stress by focusing on the cognitive and behavioural factors that keep stress going.

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According to the HSE figures over 9.9 million days were lost to stress related problems in the UK in 2014/15.

This does not include the cost to productivity of employee absence and presenteeism. In 2010, a report for the Work Foundation estimated the costs of presenteeism to be approximately 1.5 times the cost of employee absence.

Over the last four decades, as stress management has become the accepted “mental health” solution within organisations, a myriad of different stress models have emerged to describe the problems between people, their working environment, job characteristics, behaviours, demands verses coping abilities and the balance between effort and reward.

Although often lacking empirical evidence, what all of these approaches to stress management have in common, is that they contrast the demands of work with our perceived ability to cope and be recognised for our efforts.
The different approaches to stress management have gradually expanded to cover almost every conceivable definition of stress and a wide range of generic approaches to its detection, prevention and management.

Not surprisingly then, the term “stress” itself has become a ubiquitous and often confused term, used to label everything from interpersonal conflict to underlying psychological health problems.

There is comprehensive agreement on the importance of work related stress, but little consensus on what it actually means in practice. Stress has become a problem of epidemic proportion and conspicuous ambiguity.

The business costs of stress are significant. The latest figures from the HSE show that 35% of all work-related illness and 43% of all absence was linked to stress or other psychological problems. Over 9.9 million days were lost to stress related problems in the UK in 2014/15. This does not include the cost to productivity of employee absence and presenteeism. In 2010, a report for the Work Foundation estimated the costs of presenteeism to be approximately 1.5 times the cost of employee absence.

 

So What is the Answer?

The key challenge is to encourage employees to reach the optimal point on their personal performance curve without crossing the “Red Line.” This means we need to have an informed approach for creating a working environment that is conducive to high performance, without the limiting effects of perceived threat or failure. This involves shifting the focus from stress prevention to improved emotional resilience.

Drawing on extensive research conducted in the field of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, we advocate a focus on cognitive change to support improved resilience. The research clearly demonstrates that changing the way we think can profoundly influence the way we interpret and respond to different situations. In other words, our emotional and behavioural reactions can be significantly influenced by altering the way we think.

A good example of this, is how we view the idea of “failure” in organisations. The benefits of encouraging employees to learn from mistakes rather than fearing failure are well documented. In spite of this, we know that the most significant underlying factor for stress is a perceived failure to cope with the demands of work. This fundamental paradox sits at the root of work related stress.

Our approach to stress management is therefore focused on identifying and strengthening cognitive resilience, as a primary basis for reducing vulnerability to the effects of stress and other psychological problems.

This involves encouraging a cognitive shift from failure to fallibility, from blame to responsibility and perfectionism to mastery of disappointment. This is not a new concept, the idea of aiming high and accepting the possibility of disappointment has been expounded over decades and forms the basis for numerous leadership, coaching and high performance models. It runs like a stick of rock theme through high performing businesses who encourage performance, innovation and learning over management by results.

 

How Does It Work?

Building individual resilience involves a process known as cognitive restructuring, in which the individual’s perceived ability to cope, appraisal of potential threats and willingness to learn and bounce back are the primary focus of change.

These cognitive changes are then underpinned by systematic behavioural changes, in which the individual is encouraged to identify, rehearse and test out ways of acting that are consistent with increased resilience. Individuals are encouraged to work through, define, practice and test out new behavioural strategies that strengthen resilience beliefs and undermine perceived weaknesses and vulnerabilities. These changes are normally supported through a structured coaching process, either tailored to the individual’s needs or delivered as an adjunct to other development activities. We also believe that the idea of resilience should be supported through the Organisation’s values and underpinned by the employee wellbeing agenda.

 

What About Employees Already Experiencing Problems?

It’s crucial that employees already experiencing the effects of unhealthy stress or the consequential effects of anxiety or depressive problems should be provided with access to good CBT based psychological interventions to identify and resolve the problem.

CBT is the recommended treatment of choice for anxiety and mood related problems. There is a compelling level of research data that clearly demonstrates that CBT consistently outperforms medications and other forms of therapy.

If you want to talk to one of our experts about individual stress support, or about your wider stress management strategy, you can call 01732 808 626 or email info@thinkcbt.com.

 

 

Critical Incident Support

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) is an essential first-line service provided to employees experiencing workplace related trauma. Trauma can involve any real or perceived threat which results in the employee fearing loss of life, serious injury or danger. CISD should be delivered by a trained professional within 72 hours of the traumatic event and involves a clear six step protocol. CISD provides an immediate and responsive approach to a traumatic situation that is focused on stabilisation, recovery and continuity.

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The research demonstrates that implementation of an effective CISD process within the first 24-72 hours of the event, supports healthy processing of the event, helps to identify and mitigate early indications of potential Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and encourages faster business recovery.

Whilst it’s normal for employees to experience a stress response following a traumatic event; shock, denial, rage, sadness, confusion, terror, shame, humiliation and grief, a structured CISD protocol can help to process these reactions and minimise the risk of longer-term psychological injury. Our six step protocol involves:

  1. Establishing a physical / temporal place of safety and security for the victim or survivors.
  2. Assessing the immediate impacts of the event on the employee and support workers.
  3. Defusing thoughts, emotions and reactions to the critical event - this supports healthy ventilation and validation of the experience and should not involve reprocessing at this stage.
  4. Assessing and mitigating any early indications of PTSD by identifying problems and commencing a four-week period of watchful waiting; any enduring PTSD problems should be referred for cognitive behavioural trauma therapy.
  5. Supporting incident closure by agreeing health exposure behaviours and next steps for the employees affected by the critical event.
  6. Developing a post-event report and action plan.

CISD support should not be used as an alternative or substitute for problems with enduring trauma symptoms. Approximately 75% of individuals experiencing traumatic events such as workplace assaults, accidents or industrial injuries, recover within a 2-8 week period. Those employees who continue to experience the recurrent emotional distress, behavioural avoidance and displacement of a traumatic event, should be referred for professional PTSD treatment.

If you want to talk to an expert about Critical Incident Debriefing support, you can call 01732 808 626 or email our team at info@thinkcbt.com.

 

Trauma and PTSD

We use established evidence based psychological approaches to support individuals who have experienced work related trauma and where the effects of the trauma have continued following the initial period of shock. Our approach is based on the published research and NICE guidance (CG26) and draws on established Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and EMDR protocols. Trauma support is a highly specialised area of work and should only be undertaken by trained professionals.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) occurs in 25%-30% of individuals experiencing a traumatic event in which a real or perceived threat of death, serious injury or loss is experienced. Individuals with PTSD are likely to re-experience the event; often involving recurrent thoughts of displacement or flashbacks, hyper-arousal and avoidance of situations that trigger or remind them of the event.
The treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder involves specialised psychological interventions known as Cognitive Behavioural Trauma Therapy (CBTT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR). This therapy should only be undertaken by a trained professional and involves the reprocessing of traumatic memory, maladaptive cognitions, emotional distress and avoidance behaviours associated with the traumatic event.

General counselling, psychodynamic therapy, hypnosis and other forms of non-directive therapy should not be used in the treatment of PTSD in accordance with the published research and NICE guidance. You can see this by visiting https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg26/chapter/1-guidance
You can also find out more about how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing is used by visiting the links for PTSD and EMDR on this website.

 

Rehabilitation / Release Planning

We offer a structured three-tier return, redeploy or release coaching service. This can provide a safe, supportive and confidential environment for employees to understand the implications of returning to full duties, changing roles, exploring their future options or planning their exit and transition. This service can be particularly effective where businesses or employees have exhausted the standard internal process or procedure, are stuck or in conflict.

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Our rehabilitation / release coaching services involve a structured and confidential space for the employee to explore their options for returning to full duties, entering into alternative redeployment opportunities or leaving the organisation with a healthy and positive perspective and future plan.

The rehabilitation / release coaching process is normally commissioned by line management and / or the HR team and usually involves the identification of clear objectives / expectations for the business and a set of options and conditions for the employee to consider.

The coaching sessions are conducted on a confidential basis to maintain integrity and trust and are supported by a written report detailing outcomes and recommendations. Where the recommendations involve suitability assessments, redeployment recommendations or exit terms, psychometric tools may be used to support and validate the recommendations.

This service can be helpful to businesses and employees, where it is felt that an objective and structured assessment can facilitate a shift in long-term problems or where an employee is continuing to experience problems adapting or returning to their role.

If you want to talk to an expert about return, redeployment and release coaching options, you can call 01732 808 626 or email info@thinkcbt.com.

 

All of our employee assistance services are offered on an individually commissioned or contract basis and can be flexed to meet the needs of the business and the employee. We do not subcontract our work or apply the large corporate charging frameworks operated by other employee assistance programmes. Our services are delivered by trained experts and on a responsive and individually tailored basis.

If you want to talk to us about a specific requirement or obtain general advice on developing your employee assistance strategy, you can call on 01732 808 626 or email info@thinkcbt.com.

 

The Occupational Stress, Anxiety & Depression Inventory

Take a free confidential psychological assessment.

This free online psychological assessment can be completed without providing personal details.  The assessment measures different types of occupational distress and could provide a first step in identifying and understanding potential problems with wellbeing at work.  You can receive a confidential copy of your scores and an automatically generated report by providing an email address in the optional field.  This report may be helpful should you subsequently decide to explore employee support, therapy or counselling. 

 

The ACT Mindfully Programme

We provide professional development in Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) and Mindfulness. The ACT-Mindfully programme combines the most relevant and effective techniques from both approaches and is normally delivered as a three-module / 12 hour intervention.  The programme is designed to develop cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence and improved personal wellbeing in the workplace. The programme can also be delivered as a certificated trainer based intervention to HR and Occupational Health professionals. This option provides businesses with an in-house resource for promoting and inculcating key principles relating to ACT and Mindfulness practice. To find out more about our ACT and Mindfulness programmes, contact us on 01732 808 626 or at info@thinkcbt.com

 

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