Is Not Being Traumatised An Option?!

Mary was under pressure at work and feeling stressed due to the behaviour of her boss.

Is Not Being Traumatised An Option?!

Posted by Michael Dunlop on

The challenge

Mary felt stressed and under pressure in her job. She had been ‘a high flyer’ as a Senior Manager in a Public Sector role, loved her job but had a difficult relationship with her boss. When an employee raised a grievance against the team, her boss blamed her. She was suspended while an investigation took place.

This took months and although Mary was completely vindicated, her boss transferred her to a different department. She saw this as a demotion and a very public and unjust humiliation after enduring the rollercoaster of the investigation and the relief of the findings.

The effect

When I asked her about how the experience had affected her, Mary said “No-one understands. I am traumatised by this every single day. It’s there right in front of my eyes from the moment I wake up and I keep replaying it and asking myself what I could have done differently. It’s just so unfair and it has completely shattered my confidence in myself and as a manager.”

In her new role Mary said that she was a team member rather than a leader; she believed that her previous seniority also made the relationship with her new manager difficult.


I asked Mary if she would like to remember what had happened without feeling ‘traumatised’. She asked “Is that an option?!” Over 3 sessions we used

Fast Phobia Technique (Mary was delighted to find that she couldn’t get the negative feelings back)

Anchoring to access old feelings of competence as a manager

Mental Rehearsal to prepare for going back into work

Perceptual Positions to plan how she wanted the relationship with her new manager to be

Values Based Life Planning/Well Formed Outcomes to set goals for different areas in her life.


After our sessions Mary contacted me to say that her work situation was greatly improved, she was no longer feeling ‘traumatised’ by the past experience and that she now had much more confidence in other areas of her life, too, including her relationships.

She said ‘Michael, thank you so much! It has been very helpful and enabled me to see things differently and not let myself go down a path where negative thoughts used to take over. I am reassured and feel more confident about my ability to get what I want in life.’

Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop

The Power Of Choice