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Managing Restructure & Redundancy - Guidance for Managers

The task of having to make staff members' roles redundant usually arises at times of significant change within an organisation. Typically managers will be in the midst of having to adjust to restructuring themselves - whilst also being called upon to minimise expenditure yet maintain, or even increase, the output of their team. If you are a manager having to make members of your team redundant, it is therefore important to be aware of the multiple challenges you may be facing, to look after yourself, and to make use of what support is around you as you go through this potentially demanding process. Enforced change means that many of the things you are facing will be beyond your control.

However, there will be some aspects that you can influence. These are things you can do in order to aim for a 'good enough' ending with staff who will be leaving, and an optimally smooth transition for those who will remain within your team.

Click here to access the resource sheet

Facing Restructure & Redundancy - A Guide for Staff

The need for large organisations to cut costs and significantly reduce their workforces has been an increasingly common consequence of the recent economic downturn. It may be that you have actually been informed your role is to be made redundant, or you may be aware that your organisation is restructuring and that jobs are likely to be lost as a result. Perhaps voluntary redundancy has been offered to you as an
option. If any of these issues are present in your working life right now, you are likely to be experiencing a range of emotions, alongside having practical concerns about the future.

Click here to access the resource sheet

Mindfulness Exercise 7: Mountain Meditation

Meditation is the collective term for a number of techniques used to still the mind, relax the body and produce a state of inner harmony. It differs from sleep, hypnosis or other types of relaxation simply because your mind remains alert.

There are many ways to meditate. You can meditate while sitting, walking, or practising yoga, but it is easiest to learn by sitting comfortably in a quiet room for several minutes twice a day, every day. There are 2 basic steps: to focus on a single word or phrase (of your choice - perhaps "peace" or "one", or a religious word) or simply to focus on your breath; and to ignore or disregard all other thoughts.

When we focus on a single word, thought or image, we produce a state of calm that increases mental alertness, while relaxing other body systems.

Meditating twice a day for 15-20 minutes has been shown to be the most effective. Make an effort to practice every day, even if it’s initially only for 5 minutes. You may find it’s easiest to meditate first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

One of our favourite meditations is "The Mountain Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It encourages us to seek inner stability and peace, even in the face unpredictable change and chaos. Here is an adaptation of Kabat-Zinn's classic guided meditation, we hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.
Contact FD Consultants

Mindfulness Exercise 6:Healing Light Meditation

Healing Light meditation is a popular practice. You can use it almost anywhere to lift your mood. If you’ve got a few moments free throughout the day, I highly recommend learning this practice to fill some of those extra minutes with guided white light meditation.

Many people who meditate have had unusual encounters with healing light. They find the experience perplexing. There’s no logical source for this light; so where does it originate? Individuals experience this light in different ways. One meditator might see giant glowing white balls, while another one might see tiny comet-streaked white sparkles. Experiencing a light during meditation is common, but subjective. There are many benefits to following this healing light meditation, such as enhancing overall wellbeing, boosting self-esteem and feelings of connectedness and it can be used to help “clear” any painful emotions you may be experiencing.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.
Contact FD Consultants

Mindfulness Exercise 5: Body Scan Meditation

When you're feeling stressed, it's common to "carry stress in your body" in the form of tense shoulders, a stomach "in knots," through shallow breathing, or in other ways. When people carry stress in their bodies, they're often not even aware of it! When we're really stressed, we may be feeling physical discomfort but not connect it with our emotions. A body scan meditation is a practice that can be performed daily or even several times a day and can help you learn to identify what you are feeling and where you're feeling it, and learn to release the stress in your body and mind.

The body scan meditation is effective in relieving stress not only because of the mind-clearing aspects present in all forms of meditation but because of the physical component as well. Research shows that there are physical and psychological benefits to relaxing the body and relieving tension. Relieving physical tension, for example, has been shown to lead to a decrease in psychological stress, even when no psychologically-based stress relief efforts are made. Tension relieved in the body can lead to lower stress levels and lower reactivity to future stress, which can, in turn, lead to less physical tension as a result of stress.

In this way, this meditation works to break the cycle of physical and psychological tension that can feed on itself. Because of this, the body scan meditation is a very useful and effective meditation that can help you to stay relaxed mentally and physically, and return to a relaxed state when you become too tense. You can try a body scan meditation right now by following this simple video exercise.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.
Contact FD Consultants

Mindfulness Exercise 4: Compassionate Mindfulness

This is an exercise in feeling compassion towards yourself. Self compassion often doesn’t come naturally – it is a skill you need to learn, practice and consciously engage in. Research has shown that these techniques can help improve our emotional well-being, improve our ability to cope with life’s challenges, lower levels of anxiety and depression, promote healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and lead to more satisfying personal relationships.

Cultivating self-compassion in this way can fundamentally shift how we relate to ourselves. Instead of meeting our imperfections and challenges with self-blame and criticism, we can bring a kind and mindful attention to our experiences (thoughts, emotions, and sensations) and a sense of love and care to ourselves, right in the midst of difficult situations. With practice, we can strengthen this inner quality of presence, connectedness, and kindness to improve emotional well-being and build resilience.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.
Contact FD Consultants

Mindfulness Exercise 3: Releasing Negative Energy

On a regular basis, we encounter a wide range of energies, both positive and negative, and since the negative energies we come in contact with have the power to drain, and make us feel tired and exhausted, it is very important to remove these energies.

Negative energy can be anger, anxiety, depression, resentment, jealousy, or any negative feeling and emotions that you have been holding on to. This guided meditation will help you remove any form of psychic attack or negative energies from your life and shield you from negativity.

Before you begin, remember to first, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for the next 15 minutes. Second, find a comfortable position to sit – it can be in a chair, crossed legged or on your knees, or lay down and when you’re ready, press play.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.
Contact FD Consultants

Mindfulness Exercise Series: 4-Step Breathing

4-Step breathing (also called square, tactical or Box breathing) is a simple and highly effective technique that you can practice for a few minutes anytime you need to boost your creativity or concentration, break free from scattered thinking, or interrupt an intense “fight or flight” response and return to a state of healing and peace. It is also an effective breath to use at the beginning of your mindfulness practice.

This centuries old breathing technique for meditation has re-surfaced in the past few years and is being used by athletes, performers, doctors, and even navy seals, as their most effective strategy for quickly entering a calm, centered state of mind and body; especially when they are in an intense situation where they need to be fully present and directly connected to their best self/highest self. Many people report that when breathing is used as part of their meditation it has a dramatic, positive impact on their inner and outer wellbeing.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.
Contact FD Consultants

Mindfulness Exercise Series: Breathing & Relaxation

More than ever, people are talking about mindfulness. But what is it and how could it help you? Mindfulness can help you manage your wellbeing and mental health. It can enable you to:

✓ feel less overwhelmed
✓ improve your sleep quality
✓ positively change the way you think and feel about your experiences (especially stressful experiences)
✓ increase your ability to manage difficult situations
✓ make wiser choices
✓ reduce levels of anxiety
✓ reduce levels of depression
✓ reduce levels of stress
✓ reduce the amount you chew things over in your mind
✓ have greater self-compassion

Mindfulness is not fluffy nonsense nor is it a passing fad, there is a great deal of research evidencing that mindfulness changes the plasticity of our brain. But, it does take effort and work to develop mindfulness skills and time to practice them.

Click here to access the resource sheet

In this, the first series of mindfulness exercises I share some simple breathing and relaxation techniques to help you unwind and take some time for yourself.

If you like this exercise then please get in touch with FD Consultants today to find out about their mindfulness and wellbeing courses.
Contact FD Consultants

Resources. PhycologistArticleImage

The Psychologist Article

Fiona is very proud to have had an article published in The Psychologist Magazine where she discusses her book Psychosocial Support for Humanitarian Aid Workers: A Roadmap of Trauma and Critical Incident Care and why she become a specialist trauma counsellor.

This article appeared in the February 2019 issue of The Physiologist Magazine©

Click here to read the full article

Supporting Someone Bereaved or Affected by Suicide

It can be hard to know how to talk to someone who has been bereaved - even if they are a close colleague or friend. We often worry about 'saying the wrong thing' or upsetting that person by reminding them of their loss. However, if they are living with their experience of bereavement every day, it is unlikely that we will be raising anything they have not already been thinking about.

If someone close to you has been bereaved or affected by suicide, it may be helpful to start off by considering what might make their loss or experience feel different, and then to hold certain things in mind when speaking to that person and to others.

This fact sheet provides relevant information, and also details of where those bereaved or affected by suicide can access further support.

Click here to access the resource sheet

Resources. TraumaGrabBag

Trauma Management Program for organisations

Over the last 12 years I have seen an increase in the demand for trauma therapy. The most poignant incidents I have supported organisations and individuals with include, London 7/7 bombings (UK, July 2005), Syrian civil war (Syria, on going
since 2011), Ebola outbreak (West Africa, from 2014), Nepal earthquake (Nepal, July 2015), Westminster terrorist attack (London UK, March 2017), London Bridge terrorist attack (UK, June 2017), Brussels bombing (Belgium, March 2016), Anti-Government protests, Istanbul (Turkey, July 2016), Juba attacks on aid workers (South Sudan, July 2016), and the Grenfell Tower fire (London UK, June 2017).

Vicarious trauma (sometimes named secondary trauma) is the cumulative impact of indirectly witnessing trauma or hearing stories of traumatic content. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) version V (APA, 2013), for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), recognises that individuals can be impacted by trauma symptoms whether they experience a traumatic event indirectly, directly, or witnessed.

It is essential organisations have a thorough and well-rehearsed critical incident plan, which needs to incorporate a ‘Trauma Management Programme’ (Dunkley, 2018). In this information sheet I explain what a trauma management programme should include and provide advice on how to set one up.

Click here to access the resource sheet

Resources. Help

Trauma Support

Dealing with a traumatic event can be very difficult, as these events can often overwhelm us, and reduce our ability to cope with the stress they cause. Added to this is the longevity of the traumatic responses that, in some cases, can be felt for months, or even years, after the event.

Depending on the type of trauma suffered, you may begin to feel better quite quickly, with only occasional stressful relapses. With severe trauma, though, it is important to recognise how it is affecting your life, and to seek help as soon as you can. If you feel traumatised, this information sheet provides 10 tips for supporting yourself after a traumatic event.

Click here to access the resource sheet

Resources. Trauma

Trauma Symptoms

Trauma is defined as the emotional response someone has to an extremely negative event. While trauma is a normal reaction to a horrible event, the effects can be so severe that they interfere with an individual’s ability to live a normal life. In a case such as this, help may be needed to treat the stress and dysfunction caused by the traumatic event and to restore the individual to a state of emotional well-being.

While the causes and symptoms of trauma are various, there are some basic signs of trauma that you can look out for. Click here to find out more about trauma symptoms

Resources. Burnout

Recognising and recovering from burnout

Burnout is one of those road hazards in life that high-achievers really should be keeping a close eye out for, but sadly - often because of their “I can do everything” personalities - they rarely see it coming. Because high-achievers are often so passionate about what they do, they tend to ignore the fact that they’re working exceptionally long hours, taking on exceedingly heavy workloads, and putting enormous pressure on themselves to excel - all of which make them ripe for burnout.

Read our latest information sheet which explains what Burnout is, how to recognise it and what you can do to address it.

Click here to access the resource sheet

Resources. BACPCover

BACP Workplace Magazine

Fiona is very proud to have had an article published in the BACP Workplace Magazine about the RESPECT model. Relentless exposure to our clients’ traumatic material is a risk to our health so in this article Fiona outlines a resilience toolkit for those carers most at risk of vicarious trauma.

This article appeared in the July 2018 issue of BACP Workplace, which is published by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy. 2018©

Click here to read the full article

Podcast: The Role of Community in Trauma Therapy

In this excellent podcast interview Trauma Therapist Fiona Dunkley is interviewed by the Arukah Network and shares her knowledge of some of the keys to trauma recovery.

Fiona has worked with communities hit by terrorism, citizens in post-conflict countries, firefighters and sexual assault survivors. In this interview she discusses the role that community can play in helping people overcome their trauma.

We hope you enjoy listening!

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