Increased self-awareness in the process of returning to work

(1999 – 2001)

This intervention project was a pilot which was conducted by the National Health Screening Service, (now the National Institute for Public Health), in collaboration with the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise. The aim was to increase employability by developing a group counseling program for individuals on long-term sick leave. Participants were women who took part in counseling groups with six sessions over a three month time period. Participants described important processes of change which stemmed from discoveries they made about themselves and their situation. After the group sessions, they described a better ability to cope with their long-term health challenges. Many of the participants returned to work immediately after the program. After a year, even more participants were able to work.


Abstract for oral presentation

1 year follow-up
In a follow-up evaluation one year after the last group counseling session, participants described continued processes of change. Sixteen (16) participants worked more. They associated these changes with their own experiences and reflections related to the counseling measures. The project demonstrated that there is a lot of internal energy hidden within individuals with high rates of absenteeism.

The project is published here:

Contact information
Karen Therese Sulheim Haugstvedt, Special Advisor, PhD

Telephone: +47 67 96 89 50
Address: Norwegian HPH, Akershus University Hospital
Postboks 1000, 1478 Lørenskog, Norway

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