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Returning To Work After Sickness

My Back to Work coaching service is all about moving forwards more comfortably and confidently with work related aims after a period of sickness. This could be for you or someone you know, perhaps a member of staff. People can still be managing a health issue or injury alongside this journey too.

"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, started a new job following an accident which prevented a return to her previous role.

The Recovery Approach underpins my Back to Work service. This is a holistic, person-centred and empowering route to getting life back on track following the onset of health changes and challenges - whether physical, mental or both. I work alongside individuals and with their consent, and if applicable, their family, health team, employer, sickness insurance provider/DWP, solicitor etc.

The benefits of the Recovery Approach include:

  • * Being fully listened to, heard and included
  • * Seeing hope for the future
  • * Discovering more responsibility and feeling more in control
  • * Making progress alongside health issues
  • * Experiencing new insights and possibilities because of your health and journey
  • * Living a fulfilling life - whatever that means to you

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

I believe good work is all about clear, satisfying and enjoyable roles, a healthy balance of demands and rewards, a safe and positive working environment plus supportive feedback and development. For me, good work is great for our wellbeing, sense of purpose and usefulness, 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 sickness as part of my MSc research. 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 about your daily life and how well your health management and progress is going. I will also ask about your work related aims, aspirations and motivations. 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.

These topics may appear relevant too:

  • Communicating with partner, family, friends, health team, workplace
  • Your own ‘self-talk’ and beliefs
  • Energy, mood and stamina
  • Attention, concentration and memory
  • Medication and medical appointments
  • Problem solving and stress management
  • Your relationship with change

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

When would you like to begin YOUR journey back from sickness?





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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.