Helping Employees Overcome the Trauma of Job Loss

Marilyn Knight, MSW
Kenneth Wolf, Ph.D.

Time:      Four Hours

The core issues for employees facing job loss are how to cope with the upheaval, uncertainty, anger, and income loss associated with the end of a familiar way of life.  A job loss represents a personal as well as an economic crisis.  It may engender feelings of panic, betrayal, abandonment, fear of failure, personal depression, and potential bankruptcy.  But most of all, it arouses anger, feelings of helplessness and loss of control.


  • Help managers and treating clinicians understand how clients/employees may be impacted by job loss.
  • Help them reduce:
  • the impact of trauma
  • the lag time between becoming unemployed and transition to re-education, re-training and re-employment
  • potential violence, threats, substance abuse, suicide, domestic abuse, and divorce.

This course will describe:

  • current issues with job loss,
  • the traumatic impact of job loss
  • the stages of job loss
  • interventions for managers to empower their clients/ employees to reframe issues with job loss
  •  strategies to help clients take control of their lives
  • identifying job search support systems
  • reducing possible violence and sabotage
  • motivational strategies to help employees / clients grow through the loss
  • leadership strategies during downsizing
  • how managers can strategically orchestrate downsizings in their companies

The instructors, Marilyn Knight, MSW, and Kenneth Wolf, Ph.D. have been Job Loss and Organizational Change Consultants to UAW General Motors, UAW Chrysler, BASF, DTE Energy, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Detroit Medical Center, Kelly Services and the State of Michigan Rapid Response Team. They have helped employees and employers develop organizational strategies to manage the trauma of job loss and transition themselves to new career paths.