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Intervention Summary

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Job-Loss Recovery Program

The Job-Loss Recovery Program is an intervention that uses guided visualization to help individuals who have lost their jobs manage the emotional sequelae of job loss, maintain or restore positive views of self, maximize positive growth, and maintain perceptions of control over the behaviors necessary to get a new job. The primary goal is for participants to become reemployed by enhancing their emotional, cognitive, and behavioral coping skills and by avoiding learned helplessness.

Participants listen to two 20-minute scripted visualizations in which they mentally experience, express, and resolve thoughts and emotions surrounding the job loss; imagine a valued successful possible self; rehearse competent performance at a job interview while imagining attaining their desired job; and are guided in constructing psychological and spiritual growth opportunities, such as developing an "inner mentor." Before each session, participants engage in a relaxation segment in which they slow their breathing and turn their focus inward to decrease muscle tension and facilitate focused thinking.

The Job-Loss Recovery Program can be facilitated by career counselors, employee assistance program (EAP) professionals, outplacement coaches, human resource managers, and clinicians in group or individual meetings with participants. Potential implementation settings include workforce development centers, universities, and job search support groups. Facilitators meet with participants three times over 2–3 weeks to introduce and assign each of the visualization recordings, which participants can listen to during the meeting or at home. The meetings are also used to administer self-assessment questionnaires and discuss the results with participants.

An optional, 8-hour certification training, provided via a series of webinars over 5 weeks, is available for credentialed professionals.

Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Mental health promotion
Outcomes Review Date: January 2014
1: Perceived control after job loss
2: Reemployment status
Outcome Categories Employment
Ages 26-55 (Adult)
55+ (Older adult)
Genders Male
Female
Races/Ethnicities White
Race/ethnicity unspecified
Settings Home
Other community settings
Geographic Locations Urban
Implementation History The Job-Loss Recovery Program was first implemented in the United States in 2003. Career counselors, coaches, and clinicians nationwide and in Australia, Canada, and Italy have taken the certification training and are facilitating the program with individual participants and groups.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: No
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: Yes
Adaptations No population- or culture-specific adaptations of the intervention were identified by the developer.
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Indicated

Quality of Research
Review Date: January 2014

Documents Reviewed

The documents below were reviewed for Quality of Research. The research point of contact can provide information regarding the studies reviewed and the availability of additional materials, including those from more recent studies that may have been conducted.

Study 1

Joseph, L. M., & Greenberg, M. A. (2001). The effects of a career transition program on reemployment success in laid-off professionals. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 53(3), 169–181.

Supplementary Materials

Joseph, L. M. (1999). The effects of guided mental imagery on subsequent reemployment success in recently laid-off white-collar workers (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). San Diego: California School of Professional Psychology. Pages 59–66, 69–71, and 85–87.

Outcomes

Outcome 1: Perceived control after job loss
Description of Measures Perceived control over job loss was measured by the Control subscale of the Dimensions of Stress Scale (DSS–Control). This subscale includes the following four items assessing perceptions of control over a stressful event (job loss in this study) and the belief that one can do something about a stressful event or experience:

  • "I believe my problem is controllable."
  • "I believe my problem is out of control."
  • "There is something that can be done about my problem."
  • "Little can be done to change my problem."
Participants rate each statement on a 5-point scale from 0 ("strongly disagree") to 4 ("strongly agree"). Scores are obtained by summing responses on the four items after reversing the key for appropriate items.
Key Findings Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention or a placebo imagery comparison group. Participants in the comparison group were given written instructions to sit silently while visualizing themselves executing recent job search plans and activities (for the first half of each session) and visualizing future job search plans and activities (for the second half of each session).

Relative to comparison group participants, intervention group participants had a significantly greater increase in their perceptions of control over job loss, both from pretest to posttest (p < .05) and from pretest to 2-month follow-up (p < .05). There were no significant changes over time in the comparison group.
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.4 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 2: Reemployment status
Description of Measures Reemployment status was measured through participant self-report of job status. Participants working in full-time, permanent positions were classified as reemployed.
Key Findings Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention or a placebo imagery comparison group. Participants in the comparison group were given written instructions to sit silently while visualizing themselves executing recent job search plans and activities (for the first half of each session) and visualizing future job search plans and activities (for the second half of each session).

At 2-month follow-up, the reemployment rate was more than 5 times higher in the intervention group than in the comparison group (61.5% vs. 11.5%; p < .001). Similar results were also found at 4-month follow-up (p = .02).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.0 (0.0-4.0 scale)

Study Populations

The following populations were identified in the studies reviewed for Quality of Research.

Study Age Gender Race/Ethnicity
Study 1 26-55 (Adult)
55+ (Older adult)
59.6% Male
40.4% Female
83% White
17% Race/ethnicity unspecified

Quality of Research Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the Quality of Research for an intervention's reported results using six criteria:

  1. Reliability of measures
  2. Validity of measures
  3. Intervention fidelity
  4. Missing data and attrition
  5. Potential confounding variables
  6. Appropriateness of analysis

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Quality of Research.

Outcome Reliability
of Measures
Validity
of Measures
Fidelity Missing
Data/Attrition
Confounding
Variables
Data
Analysis
Overall
Rating
1: Perceived control after job loss 3.3 2.8 2.3 2.0 2.0 2.3 2.4
2: Reemployment status 2.0 1.8 2.3 2.0 2.0 2.3 2.0

Study Strengths

Perceived control over job loss was assessed by a standardized measure with good internal consistency and evidence of concurrent and discriminant validity. The self-report measure used for employment status has face validity. The primary intervention component was delivered the same way for all participants, using prerecorded audio tapes. Intervention exposure was monitored by tracking session attendance, and participant engagement and confidence in the intervention were monitored by administering participant surveys ("manipulation checks") after the third and sixth sessions; no significant differences were found between study groups on these variables. There were no missing data among study completers. Attrition rates were similar for the intervention and comparison groups. The study used a randomized experimental design. Individuals who were unemployed for more than 6 months, looking for part-time or contract work, or currently participating in psychotherapy were excluded from the study, which helped to focus the study on job-seekers most likely to benefit from the intervention while controlling for some confounds. Data measuring perceived control over job loss were analyzed appropriately, and the use of repeated measures boosted the level of statistical power for the tests of change over time.

Study Weaknesses

The study lacked fidelity measures specific to the four conceptual areas of the model: emotional expression, ideal self, rehearsal of success, and spiritual reframing. Only the first area was examined in the manipulation checks. Attrition was high, and there were at least two differences between participants who dropped out and study completers (dropouts reported lower monthly income and less anger). There were several limitations or omissions in the study design that increase the risk of confounding factors impacting study outcomes. For example, limited information was provided on the sampling and recruitment approach, and it is possible that sampling or selection bias may have occurred. Although the analyses for the reemployment outcome were appropriate, they did not include any adjustments for covariates.

Readiness for Dissemination
Review Date: January 2014

Materials Reviewed

The materials below were reviewed for Readiness for Dissemination. The implementation point of contact can provide information regarding implementation of the intervention and the availability of additional, updated, or new materials.

Job-Loss Recovery Program flyer

Joseph, L. (2009). The Job-Loss Recovery Program: The ultimate visualization system for landing a great job now! [CD-ROM]. Riverside, CA: Discovery Dynamics, Inc.

Joseph, L. (2009). The Job-Loss Recovery Program: The ultimate visualization system for landing a great job now: Program guide. Riverside, CA: Discovery Dynamics, Inc.

Joseph, L. (2013). Evaluating the impact.

Joseph, L. (2013). Introduction to the Job-Loss Recovery Program. Riverside, CA: Discovery Dynamics, Inc.

Joseph, L. (2013). Introduction to the Job-Loss Recovery Program: Module 1 (mp3 track 1). Riverside, CA: Discovery Dynamics, Inc.

Joseph, L. (2013). Introduction to the Job-Loss Recovery Program: Module 1 (mp3 track 2). Riverside, CA: Discovery Dynamics, Inc.

Joseph, L. (2013). Level of confidence questionnaire.

Joseph, L. (2013). Level of distress questionnaire.

Joseph, L. (2013). The Job-Loss Recovery Program: Schedule of client activities. Riverside, CA: Discovery Dynamics, Inc.

Joseph, L. (n.d.). Instructions for getting the most from the Job-Loss Recovery Program.

Joseph, L. (n.d.). Job-Loss Recovery Program: Certification course: Class #1 of 5 [PowerPoint slides]. Riverside, CA: Discovery Dynamics, Inc.

Joseph, L. (n.d.). Job-Loss Recovery Program: Certification course: Class #2 of 5 [PowerPoint slides]. Riverside, CA: Discovery Dynamics, Inc.

Joseph, L. (n.d.). Job-Loss Recovery Program: Certification course: Class #3 of 5 [PowerPoint slides]. Riverside, CA: Discovery Dynamics, Inc.

Joseph, L. (n.d.). Job-Loss Recovery Program: Certification course: Class #4 of 5 [PowerPoint slides]. Riverside, CA: Discovery Dynamics, Inc.

Joseph, L. (n.d.). Job-Loss Recovery Program: Certification course: Class #5 of 5 [PowerPoint slides]. Riverside, CA: Discovery Dynamics, Inc.

Program Web site, http://www.JobLossRecovery.com

Readiness for Dissemination Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the intervention's Readiness for Dissemination using three criteria:

  1. Availability of implementation materials
  2. Availability of training and support resources
  3. Availability of quality assurance procedures

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Readiness for Dissemination.

Implementation
Materials
Training and Support
Resources
Quality Assurance
Procedures
Overall
Rating
4.0 3.5 3.5 3.7

Dissemination Strengths

The program handbook, audio files, and corresponding materials are straightforward and easy to use. A 5-week certification training course is available and includes opportunities for practice, application of learned principles, and instructor feedback. Technical assistance and consultation services are provided implementers as needed, and once certified, implementers can participate in a Web-based networking group. The Schedule of Client Activities provides a concise summary of required elements and sequence of activities, which supports fidelity. Self-assessment questionnaires are provided to monitor client progress.

Dissemination Weaknesses

Certification training is optional, and information on available training is difficult to locate on the program Web site. It is unclear whether the client questionnaires are sufficient for ongoing outcome and fidelity monitoring purposes.

Costs

The cost information below was provided by the developer. Although this cost information may have been updated by the developer since the time of review, it may not reflect the current costs or availability of items (including newly developed or discontinued items). The implementation point of contact can provide current information and discuss implementation requirements.

Item Description Cost Required by Developer
Job-Loss Recovery Program $12.98 for mp3 files, $17.98 for CD-ROM Yes
Master set of handouts (includes process checklist, self-assessment questionnaires, Schedule of Client Activities, Instructions For Getting the Most Out of the Job-Loss Recovery Program, and Introduction to the Job-Loss Recovery Program: Modules 1 and 2) Free Yes
Job-Loss Recovery Program Guide $9.95 per e-book, $14.95 per hard-copy book Yes
Certification training via webinar: 8 hours over 5 weeks, including practice client coaching $479 per participant, with an $80 discount for participants from military, nonprofit, or educational organizations No
1-day, on-site consultation and training $975, plus travel costs No
Phone and email support Free No
Replications

Selected citations are presented below. An asterisk indicates that the document was reviewed for Quality of Research.

Goins-Cornell, R. R. (2013). An examination of guided imagery and its relationship to self-efficacy and the implications for employment in college graduates seeking employment (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Minneapolis, MN: Capella University.

Contact Information

To learn more about implementation or research, contact:
Lynn M. Joseph, Ph.D.
(951) 780-7374
drjoseph@JobLossRecovery.com

Consider these Questions to Ask (PDF, 54KB) as you explore the possible use of this intervention.

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