Catalyzing Connections Through Learning Together

Post-Traumatic Job Disorder

20 Oct 2018 9:38 AM | Anonymous

Chances are you've had a damaging, possibly even traumatic, work experience at some point in your career. Attendees at this session brought their own experience as individuals in the workforce, and as OD practitioners, into the discussion on the impact of unwell workplaces.

Christine's used her background as a front line community mental health clinician, HR & OD leader, and leadership and team coach to open up a nuanced conversation about "Post Traumatic Job Disorder". She defined this as "a severe reaction to a change in the workplace that causes you to feel like you have lost your sense of self. Everyday, pieces of you are being chipped away."

She was quick to point out that this isn't a disorder; rather it's an experience that sits on the continuum between stress and a more serious mental health diagnosis, like adjustment disorder. The label PTJD is intended to allow for discussions about the serious and ongoing impact created by working in an environment where an employee feels targeted, isolated, and systematically shut down.

The group discussed their own experiences of damaging work environments, where we noted recurring themes related to feeling powerless, un-valued, isolated, directionless, and incompetent which led to the erosion of confidence, stress, and depressed thinking.

Christine and out attendees also shared coping strategies for individuals who find themselves in this type of work situation, and how to recover and thrive afterwards.

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