Workplace Counseling and Assessment

Background: Many employers provide counseling support on work and personal issues for their employees, but in times of economic pressure such services can be at risk if their effectiveness is not demonstrated. Aim: To evaluate whether time-limited counseling in a workplace can affect sustained change in well-being. Method: The study was carried out by a staff counseling team in a university setting. The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) was completed by clients at the beginning and end of counseling, and at three and six months following. A non-treatment comparison group completed the survey at the same intervals. Results: The results of our investigation show clearly that the effect of time-limited counseling (average of seven sessions) on distressed clients is positive. The evidence of our treatment group suggests that they acquire an increased sense of well-being as a result of the experience of counseling with a significant statistical difference between pre-and post-counseling treatment group scores on the WEMWBS and consistently higher scores found post counseling. The improvement was maintained at the same level for at least six months following the end of counseling. Conclusions: The provision of time-limited counseling by employers is an effective support for personal difficulties affecting work.