6 Keys to Delivering a Successful Return To Work and Life Service
Are you looking to help people with injuries find the keys to moving forward with their life and career?
Having worked with so many individuals that have been injured or have become ill who are trying to reclaim their life to so they can progress in a positive way, and become ‘unstuck’ from a negative place so they can lead a productive life, I have been constantly challenged as to the best ways to help them navigate that path. I have trialled many approaches and the following combination of steps have become extremely successful in assisting the majority of clients to make that move forward to a healthier life and successful return to a career. The most fundamental thing I have learned is that dealing with the emotional impact of injury or illness and trauma is critical to assisting anyone to move forward to restoring their health and career. These are my 6 fundamental keys to delivering a successful return to work and life service to people with injuries or illness
- Education – provide trauma and emotional intelligence education to clients as it is imperative to understanding the mental and physical impact of trauma and stress on our emotions, behaviour and interaction with others.
Fear is a common emotion experienced by everyone who is injured or ill, but fear can lie to us – it is an important step in accepting this which then enables us to learn to control it. Our brain tells us lies with the best of intentions – its trying to keep us safe. Staying as we are is what our emotional brain tells us is the safest thing to do, and we have to actively fight against that thinking in order to move forward
- Skills – develop client’s skills and strategies to manage the negative physical and mental impacts of trauma. Teach the utilisation of strategies to calm the emotional brain which will reduce the stress response and allow higher level thinking to occur. When individuals develop a “tool kit” of self-calming strategies, it makes it easier to call on them a when their emotional brain is ‘triggered’ and they are under a ‘stress response’ hijack!
- Positive thinking – encourage positive thinking in clients to enhance the ability to transform negative to positive thoughts as this aids recovery from trauma. Do activities that bring joy, and encourage positive thought development through activities such as gratitude journals, emotional regulation through music and mindfulness as they encourage our emotional brain to look for the positive more often than the negative, and they assist to calm the emotional brain
- Emotion – Behaviour – Values connection – explain this connection so clients understand that we all have a set of values or core beliefs that we live by and when these values are breached, we experience a negative emotional response to this breach. This often leads to negative thoughts and negative behaviours. Once we are aware of this connection, we can learn emotional control strategies so we can better manage our interaction with others. Teach clients to link their values to their career choice – some career choices just don’t match a person’s core beliefs – for example – if you had values of modesty – you wouldn’t become a politician, whereas if you have the core value of helping others, you might choose the career of a Community Care worker.
- Self-Belief – develop client’s self-belief as it is fundamental to instilling the confidence that they can manage their future. When we don’t believe that we have the ability to learn strategies or achieve goals then we will never be successful, so developing self-belief is a core requirement to learning emotional understanding and management skills. Take time to develop positive affirmations and acknowledge successes of the past – there are always things we have done to be proud of, achievements we have made to remind ourselves of our self worth.
- Self-Empowerment requires the combination of having the appropriate knowledge and understanding of the origins of emotions and their management. In order to develop self-belief and feel empowered to forge the direction you want to take in life, feeling empowered to make change happen is required to be able to change your life circumstances or career.
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