Couch is short-cut to employment

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The Independent Online
In the Eighties, the message to the unemployed was "On yer bike." In the Nineties it could become "On the couch".

Researchers have found that the best way for the jobless to get a job is to get a shrink. A study of 289 unemployed people found those who had group psychotherapy were three times more likely to find new work than those who had more conventional help.

All those in the study were white-collar workers who had previously held jobs in management, sales or administration and had been out of work for two years. They were divided into two groups, which were either given help developing social and business contacts or enrolled in a programme of cognitive behaviour therapy.

Cognitive behaviour therapy is designed to make people aware of their self-defeating thought processes and school them in healthier ways of thinking.

In the study, by Dr Judith Proudfoot and colleagues at the University of London, published in the Lancet, one-third of those who had cognitive therapy had found full-time jobs within four months, compared with 13 per cent of those who had social support. If part-time work is included, almost half of the group had found work, compared with 28 per cent of the remainder.