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As a reader it is probably not entirely unknown to you that there is a more or less common view about the fact that people, who as a result of medical restrictions can no longer (fully) participate in work and/or social activities, are inhibited or are not even motivated to get back into their regular work or social activities.

This image that has been created, often unintentionally, creates an extra barrier to the person who attempts to return from of a situation of disability to work and/or social activities. People, affected by a situation of reduced possibilities, or as I would rather like to say, "changed possibilities", seem to have a tendency to expand their, what I call "lost time", and become passive.

When an injury, illness or chronic disease disrupts one’s work, this disruption has in general a temporary effect in career and life. Yet, no matter how minor the impairment, some individuals have difficulty adapting to the various physical and emotional demands that the injury or illness creates.

Moving beyond the injury or illness seems to be difficult, if not impossible. The level of disability or subjective impact of the medical condition that is experienced by a person is usually higher than the way the disability or subjective impact of the medical condition is observed and resulted from research or from talking to the person. This has a great impact on the employers, coworkers, friends and family.

When an employee fails to return to productivity in a timely manner, employers often look for a quick, simple explanation, e.g. this person is simply not motivated. A more negative conclusion may be that the individual is intentionally faking an illness or injury in attempt to receive financial support.

However, in my opinion, this is nothing more than a situation in which one is stuck. In most cases, the doubt and uncertainty of a person take over as an "unconscious" control in the return to work process.

The approach we apply at Advies bij Arbeid B.V. is aimed at removing the uncertainties and doubts, bringing back the focus on the only person that is actually responsible for the situation, the person itself. Developing self-reflection, self confidence and self control, promotes an active attitude in the return to work or viable activities. A pragmatic approach and a clear analysis of the situation are key at the start of our interventions and investigations.

Jan F. Stoffijn, Managing director / Professional in Ability management.