Advertisement

Workplace Stress Management Coaching

  • Michael E. Bernard
Chapter

Abstract

Rational-emotive and cognitive-behavioral (RE-CB) methods for coaching workplace stress have been described in the literature since the early 1970s when Albert Ellis penned Executive Leadership: A Rational Approach (Ellis, 1972). Here’s an excerpt from what Ellis wrote about how rational emotive behaviour therapy could be applied to help people without mental health disorders work more efficiently using their reason and rational thinking:

I esteem efficiency. In fact, that has probably always been, and still is, my main goal as a therapist and as a developer of one of the leading psychotherapeutic theories. I think it is incredibly inefficient for human beings to give themselves needless pain by making themselves anxious, depressed, guilty or hostile; and I spend a great deal of my life fighting this kind of inefficiency…. I enjoy showing a man (and woman) how he can get along much better with his partner, boss, or employee just as much as I enjoy showing him how he can improve his sex-love relationship… Out of this work, which I have done with scores of executives in personal counselling sessions, have merged a good many general ideas and principles. These can be applied by virtually any organized leader, even (and maybe especially) when he has no serious emotional difficulties but merely wants to conduct his work and get along with his associates more effectively…

In 1987, the audio series Mind Over Myth: Managing Difficult Situations in the Workplace was released by the corporate services division of the Institute for Rational Emotive Therapy under the branding, Rational Effectiveness Training Systems. This training program was designed to help coach people who experienced non-clinical barriers to work success and wellbeing to manage difficult situations in the workplace, by teaching them the ABCs of emotional self-management. In 1997, Ellis and his colleagues published Stress Counselling: A Rational Emotive Behavior Approach with a chapter devoted to that how REBT methods can be applied to help individuals manage occupational stress. And for the past decade, articles and chapters have illustrated ways in which RE-CB methods can be applied in coaching to help people manage workplace stress (e.g., Gyllensten & Palmer, 2012). Over this time, research has supported the proposition that cognitive-behavioral coaching reduces work stress (e.g., Gyllensten & Palmer, 2005), increases resilience and goal attainment (e.g., Grant, Curtayne, & Burton, 2009).

References

  1. American Institute for Stress. (2017). Workplace stress. https://www.stress.org/workplace-stress/.
  2. American Psychological Association. (2017). Stress in America. http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2016/coping-with-change.PDF
  3. Bernard, M. E. (2016a). Beliefs and teacher stress. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 34, 209–224.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-016-0238-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernard, M. E. (2016b). Stress management for teachers and principals. Oakleigh: Australian Scholarships Group.Google Scholar
  5. Boraxbekk, C.-J. (2016). Neuroplasticity in response to cognitive behavior therapy for social anxiety disorder. Translational Psychiatry.  https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2015.218
  6. Ellis, A. (1972). Executive leadership: The Rational-emotive approach. New York: Institute for Rational-Emotive Therapy.Google Scholar
  7. Goldapple K.I., Segal, Z., Garson, C., Lau, M., Bieling, P., Kennedy, S., et al. (2004). Modulation of cortical-limbic pathways in major depression: treatment-specific effects of cognitive behavior therapy. Archives of General Psychiatry, 61, 34–41.  https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsych.61.1.34 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Grant, A. M., Curtayne, L., & Burton, G. (2009). Executive coaching enhances goal attainment, resilience and workplace wellbeing. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4, 396–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gyllensten, K., & Palmer, S. (2005). Can coaching reduce workplace stress: A quasi-experimental study. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, 3, 75–85.Google Scholar
  10. Gyllensten, K., & Palmer, S. (2012). Stress and performance coaching. In M. Neenan & S. Palmer (Eds.), Cognitive behavioural coaching in practice. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Landon-Fox, J., & Cooper, G. L. (2011). Handbook of stress in the occupations. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. Neenan, M. & Palmer, S. (2012) (eds.) Cognitive behavioural coaching in practice: An evidence based approach. Hove: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Porto, P. R., Oliveira, L., Mari, J., Volchan, E., Figueira, I., & Ventura, P. (2009). Does cognitive behavioral therapy change the brain? A systematic review of neuroimaging in anxiety disorders. The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 21(2), 114–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Selye, H. (1956). The stress of life. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  16. Selye, H. (1974). Stress without distress. Philadelphia: Lippincott Company.Google Scholar
  17. Siegel, D. J. (2007). The mindful brain: Reflection and attunement in the cultivation of well-being. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael E. Bernard
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Melbourne Graduate School of EducationUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.College of Education, California State UniversityLong BeachUSA

Personalised recommendations