According to a study conducted by the University of Bergen in Norway, work addiction affects approximately 7.8 per cent of the population (Andreassen, C. S., Griffiths, M. D., Sinha, R., Hetland, J., & Pallesen, S., 2016). Many Canadians are also living with a work addiction.
Far from a simple desire to be productive, work addiction is a genuine mental health condition that is characterized by a compulsive need to work, which can negatively impact a person’s health, relationships, and more (Tyler, M., 2016, June 9). This condition might manifest itself as working exceptionally long hours, working through personal time, not taking vacations, and several other behaviours. For many clients, the stress associated with work addiction may lead to exhaustion, irritability, and difficulties with personal or professional relationships—among several other symptoms (Walker, L., PhD., n.d.).
As with other behavioural addictions, the compulsion to work can often be alleviated through counselling. Here are some of the ways you might use your addiction counselling training to help those addicted to work.
Addictions Counselling Can Help Clients Understand Their Addiction
According to some experts, “Perhaps because workaholism does not have the social cost of substance abuse or a number of other mental health issues, it often goes unrecognized and untreated” (Addiction.com., n.d.). Indeed, the line between dedication and an addiction to work may be difficult to see, particularly for individuals who are goal and productivity-oriented.
Part of the value a professional with addition counselling training can offer is in helping clients better understand the nature of their addiction, including the boundary between a normal workload and an unhealthy one. Motivational interviewing is a particularly powerful tool for helping clients through this process (Psychology Today, n.d). Open-ended questions, affirming statements, reflective listening, and other tools used in motivational interviewing help clients explore their feelings and tap into their desire to recover (Counselling Connection, 2010). By employing motivational interviewing techniques, counsellors can engage in a welcoming dialogue directed at helping clients understand their relationship to work and work addiction, and thereby help begin the process of healing.
Combine Personal Coaching With Addiction Counselling Training for a Unique Approach
While personal coaching services are perhaps more often used by individuals hoping to succeed in their career, they can also be of great use to those who need to find a way to develop a healthier relationship with work.
Enrolling at Rhodes Wellness College will allow you to complete a course in personal coaching as part of your diploma in addiction counselling. This training can in turn help you to offer valuable personal coaching assistance to your clients, which may be of particular interest to those with a work addiction. Activities like goal setting, rethinking preconceptions about work and professional life, and continual reflection on steps taken and their effectiveness are all common activities in the world of professional coaching. These approaches can help individuals with a work addiction develop healthy boundaries that will allow them to enjoy a more meaningful and less stressful approach to their career.
Do you want to help individuals overcome addiction?
Contact Rhodes Wellness College and sign up for our addiction counselling courses in Vancouver!
Addiction.com. (n.d.). Work Addiction Treatment. Retrieved December 20, 2017, from https://www.addiction.com/addiction-a-to-z/work-addiction/work-addiction-treatment/
Andreassen, C. S., Griffiths, M. D., Sinha, R., Hetland, J., & Pallesen, S. (2016). The Relationships between Workaholism and Symptoms of Psychiatric Disorders: A Large-Scale Cross-Sectional Study. PLoS ONE,11(5). doi:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152978
Counselling Connection (2010, April 30) MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEWING TECHNIQUES. Retrieved December 21, 2017, from http://www.counsellingconnection.com/index.php/2010/04/30/motivational-interviewing-techniques/
McNamara, C., MBA, PhD. (n.d.). All About Personal and Professional Coaching. Retrieved December 20, 2017, from https://managementhelp.org/leadingpeople/coaching.htm#anchor531934
Psychology Today. (n.d.). Motivational Interviewing. Retrieved December 20, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/therapy-types/motivational-interviewing
Sagan, A. (2016, June 23). Canada’s work-life balance lacking, researcher says. Retrieved December 20, 2017, from https://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/6736836-canada-s-work-life-balance-lacking-researcher-says/
Tyler, M. (2016, June 9). Work Addiction (T. J. Legg PhD, CARN-AP, CASAC, Ed.). Retrieved December 20, 2017, from https://www.healthline.com/health/addiction/work
Walker, L., PhD. (n.d.). Signs, Effects, And Treatment of Work Addiction. Retrieved December 20, 2017, from https://www.projectknow.com/research/work-addiction/