Has A Work Injury Limited Your Performance And Affected Your Mental Health?
Are you struggling with depression after a work-related injury? Do you feel unable to perform your job as well as you used to? Did something traumatic happen in your workplace and now it’s causing anxiety and affecting your performance?
Maybe you suffered a physical injury that limits your functioning. Or perhaps there was a violent situation at your workplace and you feel unsafe returning. You may struggle to concentrate on your duties and communicate effectively with your coworkers. Perhaps you’re irritable, on edge, and unable to get things done properly. You may ask yourself: Will things ever return to normal? Where can I turn for support?
The Fear Of Losing Your Job Or Struggling Financially May Cause Stress And Anxiety
After an injury at work, you may experience anxiety over your job security and financial security. Because you can’t perform at maximum capacity, you’re afraid of losing your job and struggling to make enough money. If you’re disabled, you may not have the emotional support you need to cope with your struggles. Other people may not understand what you’re going through—even your coworkers and loved ones.
Deep down, you probably just wish you could go back to being the person you were before the injury or incident. While you can’t redo the past, you can make peace with the present. As a therapist, I am here to help you cope with this difficult time and find joy in what you can still do well. If you have been evaluated for a work-related psychological injury and approved to receive workers’ compensation, you can use this benefit to pursue counseling with me.
Mental Health Issues Take A Huge Toll On Workplace Productivity
Depression is the number-one cause of workplace absence and loss of productivity. A survey of more than 34,000 employees revealed that depression was the costliest health condition in the corporate world and anxiety was the fifth costliest. Put simply, mental health issues account for a huge portion of workplace issues, both in terms of lost time and lost efficiency.
Unfortunately, our society tends to value achievement and productivity over self-care. As a result, many people feel pressured into working excessively. For people who suffer from mental health issues, this workaholic environment only adds to their stress. They get caught in a vicious cycle of overworking themselves and exacerbating their symptoms.
Workplace Injuries Can Lead To Depression, Anxiety, And Trauma
Work challenges can create and amplify mental health issues. If you were physically injured at work, it may be hard to stay motivated when your body doesn’t allow you to perform at your previous capacity. This may lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety.
If you were the victim of a robbery or another threatening incident at work, you might be afraid that it could happen again. Having to visit the place of your trauma could aggravate your symptoms and make you unable to focus on your job.
This is why it’s so important to have emotional support. You are doing the best you can under the circumstances and you deserve the most compassionate care available. Worker compensation therapy can help you reduce your stress, release your trauma, and experience peace of mind in the workplace.
Worker Compensation Therapy Is A Chance To Reconnect With Your Purpose
Recovering from a work-related injury or incident can feel a little bit like grieving. You may lament the loss of ability you suffered and find yourself bargaining with the past to give you back your old life. Worker compensation psychotherapy gives you a space to safely grieve and process your emotions. But most importantly, it’s a chance to infuse your life with newfound hope and purpose. Your physical or emotional injury does not define you and you can still thrive in spite of it.
Practically speaking, one of the main goals of therapy is helping you attain what insurance calls Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). You will receive therapy until you are significantly improving and stop the process when you reach a steady state of wellbeing. Your authorized treating physician will offer you an MMI score, which will determine your level of disability and whether or not you will need accommodations to work effectively.
My role is to support you in the meantime until you have improved as much as you can. You are also welcome to continue therapy after your workers’ compensation benefit ends to help you improve in other areas of your life.
What To Expect In Sessions
Prior to seeing me, your employer must have designated an authorized treating physician to evaluate your condition. Once that is done and you’ve met the worker compensation guidelines, you can begin therapy.
In the first session, I will perform my own psychological evaluation of your mental health. This will help us create a personalized treatment plan for meeting your occupational goals. Although we will focus on your work-related injury, my approach is multifaceted and integrates every aspect of your life. Together, we will work on using various areas of your life to support the healing of your work injury.
Tailoring Your Treatment Plan
Therapy is customizable depending on your needs and goals. That said, I often focus on healing trauma, anxiety and depression associated with your situation. To do so, I draw from an approach called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). EMDR can desensitize the anxiety connected to a difficult work experience, such as a challenging task or an anxiety-provoking co-worker interaction. This approach can help you visualize the event until you can visualize yourself accomplishing your goals successfully or being at peace with your situation.
Additionally, I often use Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to aid in regulating emotions and overcoming negative beliefs. DBT can help you learn new distress tolerance skills for staying grounded when you’re anxious. You will learn to challenge harmful thoughts like “I’m not doing enough at work” or “I’m not valuable” and replace them with more positive cognitions, such as “I’m doing the best I can” and “I’m valuable.”
Therapy has the capacity to realign you with your purpose and change the story you’ve created around your situation. I’ve been a counselor since 2007 and I’ve worked with numerous people with job performance issues. In that time, I’ve seen many people who felt sad and hopeless become focused and motivated again. I want the same for you.
You May Have Some Questions About Worker Compensation Psychotherapy…
My injury limits me from ever performing the same way again. How can therapy help?
It’s normal for a work injury or incident to limit your performance. Therapy can help you redefine your purpose and make peace with where you are in life. What’s more, you will receive accommodations at work while treatment is going on. And even when you’ve met the maximum capacity for improvement, you will still be reevaluated and receive accommodations if they are needed. Together, we will make sure that you are able to return to work in the most effective way possible. And even when the workers’ compensation benefit is no longer applicable, you are welcome to continue therapy with me to work on your mental health.
Is therapy going to be costly?
In a workers’ compensation case, you do not have to pay anything for therapy. I encourage you to take full advantage of this benefit. You deserve to be treated well by your employer and to get all the support you need during this difficult time.
Would online therapy be effective in dealing with my issue?
Online therapy is very effective for people struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma and a wide variety of mental health issues. The great thing about it is that it’s convenient—you don’t have to drive anywhere and you can engage in counseling from the comfort of your home or private office. What’s more, online therapy gives you a chance to share your personal space with your therapist—something that can’t be done at an office. This often adds another layer of intimacy and disclosure to the healing process.
Let Me Help You Regain Focus And Motivation
If a work injury has turned your world upside down and you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, workers’ compensation therapy is an opportunity for a fresh start. To begin the healing process, you can text me at 720-298-9391 and mention that you’re looking for worker compensation counseling and we will arrange a free 15-minute phone consultation. You can also use the website’s contact form.
¹ Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, April 2009.