Coping with the psychological effects of redundancy

Some people sail through redundancy. They are able to rationalise it as part of normal life, a temporary situation that will soon resolve, that brings with it new experiences and opportunities. Many of us are not able to take this philosophical view, in fact, for many people, only bereavement or divorce is more devastating than losing your job.

If you are not coping very well with being out of work, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly why. Feelings may seem jumbled, and you may be annoyed with yourself for not being able to keep it together. Often, it helps to put a name to what you are feeling, because then you can take steps to sort it out. This section aims to help in identifying and dealing with some of the many unwanted feelings redundancy may bring.

Redundancy can create a cycle of emotional response that is familiar to bereavement counsellors: shock, disbelief, anger, denial, depression, guilt and then acceptance. As with bereavement, it is common to go through some of the stages more than once, or to become stuck in one or more of the stages.