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Work/Career Stress

Work/Career Stress Counselling, Therapy and CBT in St Albans/Hertfordshire and Online

Considering the substantial amount of time we dedicate to our work, it is crucial to acknowledge that encountering difficulties in this domain can have a profound impact on our emotional well-being, both within and outside of the workplace. On the other hand, challenges experienced outside of work can also influence our confidence and performance in the professional setting. Regardless of the specific circumstances, it is important to recognise the interconnectedness between our work and personal lives and the potential consequences that struggles in either area can have on our overall well-being.

What are the Signs of High Levels of Work Stress?

Experiencing stress in the workplace isn't necessarily negative. It can indicate that we value our work and are dedicated to it. In fact, moderate levels of stress can serve as a motivator, propelling us to tackle challenges effectively. However, there are instances when heightened stress levels become detrimental, impacting us in various negative ways:

Physical Impact

  • Elevated heart rate/palpitations

  • Acceleration in breathing rate

  • Raised blood pressure

  • Muscle tension

  • Headaches/migraines

  • Agitation

  • Tiredness/lethargy


Emotional Impact

As well as high levels of stress you may also experience:

  • Elevated anxiety levels

  • Depression

  • Anger

  • Being frequently tearfulness

  • Frustration

Cognitive Impact

  • Difficulties concentrating

  • Challenges in decision making

  • Impaired memory

  • More mistakes being made

  • Struggles in problem solving

  • Racing thoughts


Behavioural Impact

  • Being irritable or impatient with others

  • Restlessness and difficulties relaxing

  • Engaging in multiple tasks or jumping between tasks

  • Lack of motivation/drive


When work-related stress reaches extreme levels and persists for a long time, it can lead to experiencing "burnout." Burnout is characterised by feeling intensely overwhelmed, finding it challenging to tackle even minor tasks such as responding to an email, experiencing difficulties with clear thinking, experiencing severe anxiety, and sometimes requiring time off from work. These symptoms indicate that your mind and body are signaling that the current demands are unsustainable, and it is crucial to prioritise self-care.


What Can Contribute to High Work Stress?

Challenges in the workplace can arise from a heavy workload, leading to long working hours with minimal breaks. It's not uncommon to find oneself working during leisure time, even in the evenings and on weekends. As a result, work starts to dominate life, leaving little time for other meaningful activities.

Engaging in demanding tasks can contribute to high stress levels and low confidence, particularly when they are unfamiliar, complex, and require skills that we perceive as weaknesses.

The "imposter syndrome" is a common issue that many people experience. It involves a persistent fear of being exposed as less intelligent or skilled than others perceive, attributing success to luck or putting in excessive effort. This fear creates anxiety about potential failure and losing one's job. Therapy can help challenge these unfounded worries and recognise one's true abilities and intelligence.

Low self-esteem, often linked to perfectionism, can also play a role in work-related issues. Perfectionism is characterised by feeling inadequate, downplaying achievements, seeking constant approval, and excessively worrying about others' judgment. These pressures add to the overall stress experienced at work.

Some individuals struggle with public speaking, which is often required in their job. The anticipation of public speaking can lead to heightened anxiety and stress, fueled by concerns about others' judgment and the fear of displaying visible signs of anxiety.


Other common work-related difficulties include dissatisfaction with one's current position, uncertainty about whether to stay or look for another job, challenges with colleagues or managers, and difficulties in asserting oneself.


Individuals cope with work-related anxieties, stress, and low confidence in various ways. Some may overcompensate by working excessively hard, taking on extra tasks, and neglecting breaks. Others may resort to avoidance or procrastination, leading to last-minute rushes to meet deadlines. Both coping mechanisms can further escalate anxiety and stress levels.


When Should I Seek Help for Work Stress?

If you find yourself overwhelmed by high stress levels that are affecting you both at work and in your personal life, seeking support and considering counseling for work stress can be beneficial.

It's common to perceive others around you as handling the demands of work well, which may lead you to believe that high stress levels are simply part of the workplace environment. As a result, you may feel that you should just endure it without seeking help, and that you don't deserve assistance. This perception can contribute to self-critical thoughts, further impacting your emotional well-being. However, it's important to recognise that you are not alone in your struggles. Many people face high levels of work stress and find it difficult to cope. You don't have to suffer silently or keep pushing through. High work stress levels can be addressed, allowing you to experience greater happiness both at work and in your personal life.


Therapy for Work and Career Related Issues

I am here to provide support for any work or career-related challenges you may be facing. Together, we will delve into the underlying reasons for these problems, examine how they are impacting you, how to navigate them and explore your coping mechanisms. By understanding the root causes of these issues, we can gain insight into how external factors, potentially unrelated to work, may be influencing them. I will introduce you to tools and concepts that can help address any unhelpful thinking patterns or behaviors that may be contributing to the challenges you're experiencing. Additionally, I will offer support in addressing the emotional impact of your work or career issues, including feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, and low confidence.

How Long Does Therapy for Work Stress Last?

The duration of therapy for work stress varies based on the severity of the issue. While some individuals may experience significant improvements in just a few sessions, others may require more time to delve deeper into their challenges and receive ongoing support to effectively manage work stress. Typically, individuals find that a range of six to eighteen sessions is necessary to address work stress and achieve substantial progress. The specific number of sessions will be determined by your unique circumstances and therapeutic needs.

Does Counselling/Therapy help with Work Stress? What are the Best Therapy Approaches?

Therapy has proven to be beneficial for many individuals seeking support for work stress, as it equips them with effective strategies to manage and reduce its impact on their lives. There isn't a single therapy approach or model that is considered superior in addressing work stress. I will utilise therapy approaches or models that align with your specific needs and preferences, taking into account your presenting difficulties. Some individuals prefer a deep exploration of their challenges and utilising the therapeutic space for reflection, while others focus more on learning practical coping strategies. In some cases, a combination of both approaches can be helpful—allowing time for exploration while also acquiring coping skills. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a widely used therapy model known to be effective for various emotional difficulties, and I may introduce you to CBT concepts and tools to manage your work stress if deemed suitable. Additionally, I may incorporate strategies from other therapeutic models that could benefit your unique situation.

What are the Benefits of Counselling/Therapy for Work Stress?

Engaging in therapy to address work stress can be instrumental in alleviating the stress you encounter and preventing its adverse effects on various aspects of your life, both within and outside of work. By addressing work-related stress, you can effectively mitigate its negative impact on your emotions, behaviors, physical well-being, and cognitive functioning. As a result, you can experience greater satisfaction in your work life, witness improvements in your performance, and feel empowered to pursue endeavors that may have been hindered by high stress levels.

Helpful Resources on Work/Career Stress: 

If you would like therapy for work/career stress in St Albans/Hertfordshire or online please email me at or complete the webform below.


St Albans Rooms

21 Victoria Street

St Albans



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