Dr Ian Bradley on Work Stress

By: Ian F Bradley  09-12-2011
Keywords: Psychology


  • help achieve peak performance
  • cope with stress
  • develop effective return to work programs

I help senior managers, executives and professionals with psychological problems related to the workplace. The problems can relate to organizational, interpersonal or even work style issues with the manifestations varying from depression to anxiety. Many of the clients that I see are working but far away from their peak performance and enjoyment. Others are working but with excessive stress. Still others are off work on medical disability for some psychological problem and therefore in need of an effective return-to-work intervention.

Since my background blends clinical psychology with industrial/organization psychology I am equipped to deal with issues that are fundamentally work related such as role changes or territorial conflicts, as well as, personal issues such as low confidence or poor work habits.

In short, I help both you the person, as well as you, the executive or manager to develop the necessary skills and abilities to better face the work environment.

Since I try to bridge two areas of Psychology, namely Clinical and Industrial /Organizational Psychology, my assessments are comprehensive. I spend considerable time at the beginning of the consultation process not only understanding you, but also your current working environment. In my experience, both domains must be thoroughly explored and evaluated.

Typically, the assessment begins with several closely spaced interviews, interspaced with a career and life development survey that is completed between sessions. In addition, I supplement our discussions with well-validated tests and questionnaires that are specifically selected for each client and problem. In my experience, it is important to utilize measures that have been developed not only for clinical purposes but also for the work-site. Knowledge of where you stand to professionals or managers in comparable fields is important.

The test and questionnaire results are shared with the each client in an educative and collaborative fashion. We work as a team to identify areas that need improvement without forgetting to highlight current competencies.

In contrast to other philosophies of assessment, I firmly believe that an assessment should provide immediate benefit to the client, not just provide a diagnostic label or some unshared insight for the assessor. My assessments tend to be practical and focused; I aim to provide a clearer explanation and understanding of the problem in a way that illuminates a path to recovery while creating optimism for change.

Typically, my assessments require three to five hours for interviews, questionnaire and feedback. Often, the assessment is enough to get the disabled worker back to work or the stressed manager to work with more confidence and satisfaction.

My goal is to provide help intensively at the beginning of the consultation and then less frequently for continued maintenance. I tend to believe that psychotherapy is a bit like taking a golf lesson, people might need a lot of help at the beginning, but then they need to play. However, like the tips in a golf lesson, technique begins to fade with time. As a result, golfers and executives need periodic refreshers. Therefore after the initial intensive phase, I tend to see people less frequently, perhaps once a month. During this maintenance phase, I often use e-mail.

After the initial assessment has outlined a direction for change, the client and I work with the plan we have developed. The plan could involve a systematic approach to returning to work, a development plan to improve work skills, knowledge or abilities or even an intervention to enhance one's working capacity through lifestyle change. Whatever the target, I attempt to use my skill as a psychologist, combined with my knowledge of organizations, to achieve our goals. For that reason, I often refer to my interventions as a blend of psychotherapy and executive coaching.

My fees are comparable to those of other experienced psychologists in Montreal. Generally, I bill after three sessions and provide receipts.

Keywords: Psychology