Psychotherapist delves deeper into dealing with problems at work
Psychotherapist Sharon McMahon offers help with managing difficult relationships at work
A technique to help deal effectively with difficult people in the workplace is being offered by Wilton Centre-based psychotherapist Sharon McMahon.
Sharon, whose practice is based at the Centre, says that the strategy is designed for situations where problems in particular relationships seem insurmountable.
She explained: "For instance, has there ever been a work colleague who could always rub you up the wrong way? Did you ever have to negotiate with someone you really wished would find a new job because you found them so difficult to deal with? Has your boss, or someone in your team, ever raised your hackles without you fully understanding quite why?
"A lot of the feelings we experience in the workplace were laid down years before we ever started work. The way someone looks or sounds can trigger memories - and responses associated with those memories - without any of this coming into our conscious awareness. And of course, without being aware that we are doing so, we react as though the present situation is actually connected to the memory."
This involves two crucial steps explains Sharon. "The brain likes to make sense of things and the brain likes short cuts. Without short cuts, we would spend a lot of time rethinking every fundamental action and decision, ranging from our political views to whether or not we like cheese.
"When it comes to interactions with others, from a telephone conversation to an ongoing relationship, the brain ‘makes sense’ of every step based largely on what we have already experienced.
"So an unkind Geography teacher with a beard and a favoured brand of deodorant can colour our opinion of any fragrant and/or hirsute individuals, without these individuals being the least unkind! A flippant example, but hopefully a graphic one."
According to Sharon the solution to this is raised awareness and that is where psychotherapeutic techniques can help. These can offer a better understanding of the connections and beliefs held and frees people up to make new, appropriate choices with all of the resources they have as adults.
Adds Sharon: "So before you resign (or accept a resignation) because of a difficult relationship at work, or undertake a disruptive reshuffle to accommodate a personality clash, ask yourself whether there might be another way. Perhaps shedding light on what is behind the problem could help."
To discuss things further Sharon can be contacted on 07896 152130, 01642 438359 or via email at email@example.com