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Returning To Work After Sickness

My Back to Work coaching service is all about moving forwards more comfortably and confidently towards work related aims after a period of sickness. You or your staff member may still be managing health issues or an injury alongside this journey.

"I was depressed being out of work, I lost a lot of confidence but you made me feel that I'm not ready for the scrap heap yet!" Wendy, 28, following an accident which prevented her returning to her previous role.

You might know about the Recovery Model and this approach underpins my Back to Work service. It is a person-centred, holistic and empowering approach to getting life back on track following a health related change. Working closely with individuals and taking into account the other factors often connected to a return to work (family, friends, health team, employers, sickness insurance providers/DWP, solicitors etc), outcomes include:

  • * Feeling more in control
  • * Making progress alongside health issues
  • * Seeing hope for the future!
  • * Living a fulfilling life - whatever that means to you
  • * Experiencing new insights and possibilities because of your illness and journey
  • * Feeling listened to and included

The idea that Work Is Great For Us also underpins my Back to Work service.

That is to say - GOOD work is great for us!

But what IS good work and why is it great for us? What would you say it is?

I feel that good work is about clear, satisfying and enjoyable roles, a healthy balance of demands and rewards, a safe and positive working environment and empowering feedback and development. For me, good work is great for our wellbeing, sense of purpose, occupational identity and contribution. Plus opportunities, challenges, relationships and so much more!

I explored the successful return to work journeys of people who were previously on long term sick leave as part of my MSc Occupational Psychology. Take a look at my research findings below - will they resonate?

Where do you think or feel you are today?


"Your support was invaluable when you feel that you are no good to anyone in the work market of today. Thanks, I will let you know  how things are progressing." Alan, 54, returned to work after a period of anxiety & depression.

What might Back to Work coaching involve?

I will start by asking how your health management progress is going and what your work related aims, aspirations and motivations are. Your strengths, needs, resources, confidence levels and any return-to-work timings will be important too. How are you feeling about these things right now? For some people, Back to Work coaching is about getting more organised, focused and decisive. Certainly, goal setting and action planning is a part of coaching.

Perhaps these topics appear relevant too:

  • Relationships & communication (partner, family, friends, health team, workplace...)
  • Your ‘self-talk’ and beliefs
  • Mood, energy and stamina
  • Attention, concentration and memory
  • Medication
  • Problem solving
  • Change management
  • Stress management
  • Medical appointments

I have a host of possible exercises such as the Work Considerations planner and if you're unemployed currently or moving employer, we'll look at your CV, application form completion, interview skills and the topic of disclosure too. I guess this makes sense!

Where would you like to begin?





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Melanie Faulks is a member of the BPS.

Melanie Faulks is certified by the Centre for Coaching.

Melanie Faulks is approved by the Life Coach Directory Policy.

Melanie Faulks is an approved Fresh Air Fridays Facilitator.