Women and Workplace Anxiety

Posted on 16th December 2014 | Category: CBT

Is workplace anxiety becoming a bigger problem for the UK’s top female leaders? Last month the BBC news website featured an article talking about female bosses in the workplace. Even though we have seen a rise in the number of women who now occupy leadership positions in employment thanks to the equality campaigns of feminism, it seems that some of these women are paying a high price for their success.

The article, which can be seen at the following link is based on a US study that took into accounts the number of days and moments when participants felt that their life is a failure or felt sad. They found that men undergo a decrease in depressive symptoms when given leadership responsibilities, however similar responsibilities were found to produce a rise in similar workplace anxiety symptoms in women.

Even though the study took a number of social constraints into account, including the possibility female bosses may be subject to more scrutiny by their superiors and the pressure of family commitments, whatever the reasons behind these trends, there is no argument of the results.

It can be incredibly difficult for successful women to come forward and engage with a therapeutic process in times of stress. There is often an increased pressure due to the fact that a woman may feel that she has to work doubly hard to prove herself in the workplace, or that any sign of emotionality may be construed by her peers and leaders as a weakness. I have always found that such women have a strong desire for confidentiality within any kind of therapy that they undergo to deal with any depressive or negative image symptoms they are experiencing.

There can also be a perception within the business environment when men assert themselves and adopt a go-getting attitude that such behaviour is praised, whereas similar behaviour from a woman can be admonished. All of these beliefs can build into a negative picture that can destroy the self-confidence of a female boss who is required to make difficult or unpopular decisions for the good of the company.

Cognitive behavioural therapy can help women in positions of power and authority deal with the negative and unhelpful perceptions of themselves. It can arrest self-defeating beliefs and help rebuild an alternative set of values. This will help clients form different metrics for their success and remove reliance on peer approval.

For more information on how CBT together with guided visual hypnotherapy can help you deal with work related stress, depression and workplace anxiety, please get in contact with me for a free consultation session.