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Counselling for Workplace Bullying and Harassment

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Can it happen to me?

A common misconception which can be made by adults is that bullying only happens to children perhaps at school.

However, you can be the subject of bullying at any age or stage of life.

Bullying and Harassment in the workplace

The workplace is a space where bullying and harassment can occur. Bullying and harassment is not a one off experience. It is a behavioural pattern directed towards an individual that takes place over a period of time.

The bullying behaviour could be from a colleague or management. The types of behaviour could be any of the following:-

  • Consistent,targeted,open or private bullying or harassment to the victim
  • Ignoring an individual
  • Making threats
  • Shouting/swearing
  • Physical abuse
  • Talking behind the person’s back
  • Verbal abuse/name calling
  • Sexual harassment/suggestive comments
  • Intimidating behaviour
  • Excluded from team discussions
  • Nit picking your work
  • With holding information so you cannot do your job properly
  • Increasing workload
  • Moving deadlines

The effects of bullying

Bullying has powerful negative effects on the victim. Often the individual feels they cannot talk about what is happening.

Some feelings associated with being bullied are:-

  • Vulnerable
  • Alone/Isolated
  • Depressed
  • Anxiety/Panic attacks
  • Ashamed
  • Embarrassed
  • Frightened
  • High levels of irritability
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • Self harm
  • Social anxiety
  • Agoraphobia
  • Plummeting self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Sleep problems

My experience of bullying and harassment in the workplace

I have been the victim of bullying and harassment in the workplace,both from management and co workers. I was bullied by management on two separate occasions. Also singled out by co workers and sexually harassed by another colleague.

In only one of the organisations was the problem addressed but in the other cases I ended up leaving through lack of support and plus I had nobody to talk to about what I was experiencing.Even in the organisation where is was dealt with it was the bully who was given a written warning, there was no counselling available for me.

The whole experience at the time left me feeling extremely vulnerable and isolated.I know to have been able to discuss what was happening to me with a counsellor would have helped me to overcome the experience and to learn the skills I needed so it was not going to happen to me again. I have since developed the skills I needed in which to take care of myself in any circumstance.

How can counselling help?

Counselling gives a safe space for the individual to talk about and make sense of what is happening to them.The individual who comes for counselling then has no fear of being judged or disrespected in anyway.

It is about taking back their control from the bully. Learning to set boundaries and to develop assertiveness skills. Building self-confidence and self-esteem.Counselling can support the person to be strong enough to confront the bullying behaviour.

To conclude

Workplace bullying and harassment not only effects the person who experiences it but also the performance of the organisation overall suffers as well.

Here are some of the ways the organisation is effected:-

  • Effects employee morale as others will pick up the negativity in the environment
  • Employees may end up leaving if excuses are made for the bullies’behaviour
  • If employees are not performing at their best the whole organisation suffers as a result
  • Organisations can then get a bad reputation which is not good for attracting new staff

If you would like to discuss anything further with me please get in touch.

Mobile: 07789 442479

Email: stefwalker@hotmail.co.uk

Website: www.stephaniewalkercounselling.com

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