Corporate, Executive & Entrepreneur Counselling

Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Are you finding yourself irritable and snappy with your team or family? Is your partner complaining about you not being emotionally or mentally present and available?

Executives and senior leaders driven to succeed can sometimes find their business pursuits all-consuming and overwhelming, leading to heightened and often unhealthy levels of stress. The need to maintain a professional outward appearance is very important and seeking help can sometimes be perceived as a weakness, although it’s the key to strengthen your success and increase levels of resilience.

Experiencing high levels of stress is a part of the landscape for executives, business owners and managers – it’s an expected part of the role. Personal relationships and self-care can suffer when you are busy building an empire. Isolation is often an accepted peril of being at the top of your game, but this can lead to depression or anxiety if left untreated for too long. Executives report they are unable to speak with their peers about the stress they are experiencing out of fear of their position being threatened, fear of losing face with their employees or being considered as someone who doesn’t have what it takes to be at the top. Likewise, executives also often don’t know where to seek assistance or that help is even available.

At Brisbane Counselling Centre, the psychologists are aware of the pressures and stress executives face. Confidential and professional services are provided by the practitioners at Brisbane Counselling Centre, with strategies that are developed in consultation with the executive, tailored for each person. 

What do executives tend to access psychological assistance for?

  • Help with personal issues, like relationship difficulties or challenges with parenting
  • Learning what stress is and how stress presents for the executive or business owner
  • Learning how to manage stress more effectively to minimise the effect stress has on other parts of their lives, including work performance
  • Developing strategies to maintain one’s psychological, physical and emotional health, which assists in prolonging the executive’s career sustainability
  • Developing strategies for the executive to manage the relevant pressures in their organisation
  • Being proactive in learning about themselves, how they function in the workplace – what’s effective and ineffective in their style of work
  • To learn effective strategies to manage stress and prevent burnout, other than self-medicating
  • Skill development in emotional intelligence and communication to assist personally and professionally

Pressures executives are exposed to

The demands come at executives and business owners from every possible angle you can think of. The early morning meetings and the meetings after hours. The intensity of back-to-back meetings, with no time to catch your breath. The never-ending number of emails spilling into the in-box. Juggling the tight deadlines, with the competing urgent issues, as well as managing the complexities of a team and the focus of the business. Not to mention the gravity all of this has on the executive or leader, who then has the added pressure of life outside of work – with a partner, family, and friendships.

Many leaders are in a vicious cycle, often feeling overwhelmed and agitated by the enormity of the pressures they face. Functioning at such a complex and intense level places an executive at risk of burnout or other psychological conditions.

In the contemporary world we reside in, where there is increasing levels of economic pressure within businesses, with an added level of uncertainty, managers, senior leaders, executives and business owners find themselves feeling exhausted by the professional and personal demands they face. This level of pressure can lead to an executive or senior manager experiencing a decline in their mental health, with the potential development of psychological conditions including anxiety or depression.

Executives and senior management often put their team and the demands of the position ahead of themselves. Yet they find themselves, often unknowingly, managing the pressures of their role by consuming excessive amounts of coffee, alcohol, or other substances to help themselves to feel better or cope.

To prevent burnout or other significant psychological consequences, it is best to seek support from a psychologist who understands the pressures executives and business owners face to then assist to create some structure and identify strategies to work more effectively and efficiently. A psychologist can also assist you to improve your wellbeing and psychological health through identifying and learning new strategies to manage executive stress, anxiety and depression more successfully.

What is executive stress and burnout?

Executive or leadership stress is considered to be an emotional response experienced by people in a management role, who often have responsibilities in the family home they need to manage as well as fulfilling their leadership position. Executives or leaders often speak about feeling responsible for the success of their company, their employees, as well as the well-being of their family.

Burnout is an emotional response that shows up in a way where one feels physically and mentally exhausted as the result of excessive, prolonged amounts of stress. Burnout generally occurs when a person is being asked to complete tasks that are not consistent with their value system or sense of who they are. It can also occur when a leader is under a lot of pressure, with little to no support or the requirements of their position are far greater than the resources available within their organisation.

Signs of executive stress

  • Feelings of exhaustion
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling like you are unable to cope with the pressures
  • Difficulties with sleep
  • Muscle tension
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Using substances to cope, like alcohol or other drugs
  • Decrease in motivation
  • Difficulties in personal relationships
  • Limited down time or outlets outside of work
  • Physical symptoms like aches, chest pain, feeling shakey
  • Experiencing high blood pressure

Signs of burnout

  • Some of the signs of executive stress will be present, as well as:
  • Being cynical
  • Feeling depressed
  • Dreading going to work
  • Excessive levels of exhaustion and lethargy

Confidential & professional help

Speaking with a psychologist who understands the pressures you are experiencing is vital. At Brisbane Counselling Centre, the psychologists are professional and are fully aware of the courage it has taken to seek assistance, as well as how important it is to maintain your confidentiality. Strategies will be tailored to suit your unique set of circumstances in consultation with yourself. Reaching out and developing your skills in these areas of your life to be more effective and manage the stress you are experiencing in a proactive way, is an investment in your future health and well-being.