Counselling strategy to manage retirement stage

BY Admin Jul 09, 2018

Retirement is an unavoidable movement in the life of personnel. Retirement is major change in an individual’s life and this brings some emotional response. All employees have to retire at some time. Psychologists have stated that the retirement process is a negative experience for some employees. They feel anxiety, apprehension and disillusionment attitude towards retirement. But for many employees, retirement is visualized as an opportunity of long expected freedom from the responsibilities and pressure of employment. It brings change and marks a changeover into the later life stages. It is a time of leisure and travel, and an opportunity to develop new mental and physical habits. Planning and expecting retirement play a vital part in the lives of many workers and their families. Mostly people feel distress for retirement. According to Windmill (1992), retirement can mean a harm of status, feeling of no longer being a useful society member, losing one's sense of purpose, and becoming part of the 'receiving end' of society. Nevertheless, it is imperative that people must recognize the importance of preparing for retirement so that mental, physical, and social changes do not come by as a shock. Retirement means planning finances, doing leisure activities, and considering health and housing needs.

It is necessary that counsellors and other helping specialists need to address this recurrent and incapacitating problem. People who plan their retirement in advance adjust well to retirement, and they are expected to visualize as pleasant period in which they are quite active or may go through Rest and Relaxation phase of improving from the stresses and worries of employment.

Retirement counselling:

Retirement counselling is described as the procedure of offering prospective retirees with accurate information needed to make an enjoyable changeover from official life to retirement. The notion includes a review of all insurance policies, management of personal income during retirement, explanation of the retirement process, general information about social security, Medicare coverage and acquisition of life skills needed for optional amendment to retirement roles.

Retirement has many stages. Omoresemi (1987) categorized three major stages of retirement such as preparation stage (36-45 years), period of immediate retirement (46-55years), and real retirement stage (56-65years). It is vital for all potential retirees to recognize the features related with these stages. Adeloye (1999) stated that in preparation stage, people needs to educate all the children, secure their family by purchasing home or land, having a life insurance policy and identify real truth of ageing. At the pre-retirement stage, the individual experiences many physical and psychological changes such as wrinkles on the face and skin, growth of grey hair, and familiarization with retirement regulations and procedures. Finally at the retirement stage, the individual is anticipated to complete all necessary arrangement on retirement and they must decide what type of life they have to live, setting up a small business or enjoying leisure. Retirement counselling is beneficial for people because retirement brings negative emotions and through counselling, they get right path to live enjoyable life.

Counselling Strategies for Managing Pre-retirement Anxiety:

People who experience pre-retirement anxiety must be counselled and psychologists or counsellor offer many therapies to overcome stressful feelings.

1. Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy (R.E.B.T): Rational Emotive Counselling is suitable counselling therapy for imparting rationality in adult employees regarding their sensitivity of retirement. In retirement period, perception is very critical because it greatly affects behaviour. Retirement should not be permitted to prompt anxiety, panic and depressive behaviours. Instead, it should be viewed as natural process of life and should be accepted in positive manner. Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy is a cognitive-behavioural therapy which proves to be useful to change perceptions on retirement. REBT can be offered on individual or group basis.

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy is based on the postulation that human beings have inbuilt quality for both rational or straight thinking and irrational thinking. People have inclining attitude for self-preservation, happiness, thinking and verbalising, loving communion with others, growth and self-actualisation. They also have tendencies for self-destruction, escaping of thought, procrastination, endless repetition of errors, fallacies, intolerance, perfectionism' and self-blame, evading of actualising growth potentials.

Major Irrational Beliefs:

  1. Demandingness or Absolutism: Inflexible, dogmatic, extreme beliefs signalled by words such as should, must, have to, and need to.
  2. Demand for Love and Approval from nearly everyone, one finds important.
  3. Demand for Success or Achievement in things, one finds important.
  4. Demand for Comfort or nearly no frustration or discomfort.

REBT is not just a set of techniques, it is also a comprehensive theory of human behaviour. REBT proposes a ‘biopsychosocial’ explanation of action. It can be said that humans are imperfect. In this situation, rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy help employees accept themselves as individuals who will continue to make mistakes; yet at the same time learn to live more at peace with themselves.

REBT proposes that human beings defeat or ‘disturb’ themselves in two main ways: (1) by holding irrational beliefs about their ‘self’ (ego disturbance) or (2) by holding irrational beliefs about their emotional or physical comfort (discomfort disturbance).


There are some assumptions of REBT proposed by Ellis (1979):

  1. People condition themselves to feel troubled instead of being habituated by external sources. In the pre-retirement counselling, the counsellor using the REBT counselling strategy needs to tell the yet-to-retire workers not to condition themselves to feel disturbed because of what they are going to face after their retirement.
  2. People have the biological and cultural propensity to think dishonestly and to unnecessarily disturb themselves. In this supposition, the REBT counsellor needs to say the yet-to-retire workers not to think illegally so as not to disturb themselves unnecessarily, rather, they should think positively because life will be pleasant for them after retirement.
  3. People have the capability to change their intellectual, sensitive and behavioural processes. They can select to react differently from their usual patterns. They can adjust in distress situations and train themselves so that they can eventually remain slightly disturbed for the rest of their lives. In this assumption, the REBT counsellor must counsel the pre-retired workers to reject to allow themselves to become distressed, and to train themselves like investing part of their present salary so that they can eventually remain minimally disturbed for the rest of their lives, even after retirement.

Ellis indicated that people's thinking considerably affects their feelings and behaviours. The REBT counsellor needs to inform the yet-to-retire workers not to be involved in the thinking that will affect their feelings and behaviours depressingly especially at the time of retirement.

Reality Therapy (RT):
This theory was proposed by William Glasser. Reality therapy is based on the dogma that people choose their behaviour and are therefore responsible not only for what they are doing but also for how they think and feel. The basic viewpoint of Reality Therapy is shared by the existential approach and Rational Emotive Therapy. The common objective of this therapeutic system is to create conditions in which people who are going to retire may develop the psychological power to assess their present behaviour and, if it does not meet their needs, and to acquire more effective behaviour. This method of learning effective behaviour is facilitated by the application of the basic principles of reality therapy which includes a warm, accepting counselling environment and numerous counselling measures.

In reality therapy, counsellor offers counselling or psychotherapy which attempts to help clients admit responsibility for their behaviour. Its Main intent of reality therapy is to explain clients more appropriate patterns of behaviour. It helps clients in meeting their basic needs more successfully. The overall goal of the reality therapy is for individuals to find more effective ways of fulfilling their needs for belonging, power, freedom, and fun. Glasser emphasized that counselling comprises of helping clients learn ways to recuperate control of their lives and to live more peacefully. This includes confronting clients to scrutinise their action, thinking, and feeling and to figure out if there is a better way for them to function.

Reality therapy focuses on what clients are aware of and then helps them to increase their level of consciousness. As people become aware of the unsuccessful behaviours they are using to control the world, they are more open to learning alternative ways of behaving. Additionally, individuals need to have a fair amount of identity. "A successful" identity is attained by becoming involved with life in a manner that allows the individual to fulfil the basic need of: (a) Feeling worthwhile towards self and others, and (b) To love and be loved. Individuals suffer when they ineffectively fulfil any of these needs. This anguish is expressed in irresponsible behaviour.

Following figure focuses on the demand of work environment and how retiree influence the decision to continue work full time or part time or to retire ( Source: Brown ):

Retirement, sometimes unescapable, comes with its array of problems such as inability to recognise economic resources and strategies for managing some of these resources if available. For instance frustration and economic withdrawal, which creates nervousness for the retired workforces. Okepede (1998) signified that counselling and education are most effective ways to get the yet-to-retire workers out of the accompany problems, caring for the retired has gone beyond giving them sufficient money to cater for themselves. It includes vital counselling and education for potential retirees. Therefore, probable retirees must guarantee that they obtain knowledge/skills, and qualifications that they could need later in life.

Popular Posts


Lorem ipsum ex vix illud nonummy, novum tation et his. At vix scripta patrioque scribentur, at pro