How Can Clinicians Help with the Psychological Impact of Layoffs?

Anyone can benefit from emotional counseling to help with the psychological impact of layoffs. This includes the individuals being laid off, their colleagues and coworkers, and the managers laying off their employees.


Employees who are laid off typically take it personally. They often focus on their loss rather than their job search and the future.


Layoffs can take a psychological toll on the remaining employees. They may feel guilty about keeping their jobs and worry about the future.


Managers often feel bad about laying off their employees. As a result, they may benefit from seeking support.


Discover how clinicians can help with the psychological impact of layoffs.


Depersonalize the Layoff Experience

Emphasize the fact that most layoffs are not about the individual. They are about the economy or the place of employment. Therefore, the layoff is not the person’s fault.


You can help your patients move beyond their disappointment and transition into their job search. This may include suggesting an individual join a professional support group to meet other professionals experiencing similar situations. Since many of these groups are hosted by nonprofit organizations or faith-based institutions, there often is little or no cost.


You can help your patients transition into a job search by reminding them to network. The majority of jobs are filled through employee referrals and word of mouth. Therefore, odds are your patients can find new jobs through the people they know.


Your patients might also consider using a local employment agency specializing in their industry to find a job. The agency can match the individuals with roles and companies that fit their skills and experience.


Encourage your patients to stay as positive as possible during their job search. Remind them that they may want to take on a temporary or part-time position until they secure a full-time job that is right for them.


Support Layoff Survivors

Employees who maintained their jobs after a round of layoffs may be consumed with guilt. They also might be afraid of losing their jobs in the future.


You can remind your patients that although their concerns are valid, they have no control over what might happen. You also can help your patients identify what they can and cannot change and work toward taking meaningful actions.


For instance, individuals who survived layoffs might help their laid-off colleagues and coworkers find jobs. Providing referrals and support can help them secure new positions.


Help Managers Who Lay Off Employees

Many managers are given little or no notice about upcoming layoffs. This can be difficult for managers to handle, especially when their employees are involved.


For patients who are told to lay off employees, you can help them find ways to soften the blow and proceed with empathy and compassion. For instance, the manager can hold an in-person meeting when possible, be transparent about the facts, and make reasonable exit requirements. They also can authoritatively share information and respond to feedback.


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