Burnout

Most of us have heard the term burnout, right? You or someone you know may be struggling with burnout right now.

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Burnout occurs...

  • in the workplace
  • at home, tending to a house full of kids, or ones with special needs
  • care-taking for a sick relative or friend
  • during long commutes to and from work
  • when working 2 or more jobs

Those at risk for burnout...

  • tend to be perfectionists
  • have difficulty saying "no"
  • work very long hours, many days in a row
  • have little to no time for long breaks
  • are first responders
  • are in the helping, medical and teaching professions
  • often put others' needs before their own

Burnout stems from a lack of control (real or perceived) over one’s environment.

Burnout’s symptoms include:

  • apathy and a sudden lack of drive and energy
  • overwhelm and not knowing where to start
  • feelings of detachment or helplessness regarding the assignments and duties
  • irritability, insomnia, anger, cynicism and pessimism
  • significant forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating
  • using food, alcohol or drugs to stay alert or calm you down

When treating burnout, I ask clients about their workplace history, what they’ve enjoyed and are proud of, and what they did not like and felt overwhelmed by. I’ll assess their thought processes and responses to colleagues and supervisors, or other outside stressors, to determine if their responses appropriately matched the situation, or if there were some previous experiences or expectations that got in the way of working the stressors though.

It's important for us all to learn about burnout and recognize its signs and symptoms. If you need help on burnout or any of its symptoms, or if you are an employer who would like for me to provide an inservice training about burnout, feel free to contact me.

Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue (CF) is the sum of feeling both burnout and secondary traumatic stress, with symptoms that combine the two.

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CF affects...

  • therapists, nurses, physicians, and others in the “helping profession”
  • soldiers, disaster relief workers, emergency workers
  • family and close friends of trauma victims
  • those with a history of prior trauma

The four leading causes to CF...

  • poor self-care
  • previous unresolved trauma
  • inability or refusal to control work stressors
  • lack of satisfaction from work

Why trauma therapists are more vulnerable to CF...

  • use of empathy
  • past personal trauma
  • unresolved trauma
  • counseling children of trauma

CF negatively impacts therapists...

  • who are unaware that their CF could be limiting their empathy and connection with their clients, which negatively impacts their coping, healing, growing, and closure
  • either becoming critical or distant from the trauma client
  • who have a strong need to rescue their clients from their pain
  • who find it difficult to maintain appropriate boundaries
  • who agree to friendships with their clients
  • who stop helping their clients grow and find safe and supportive friends

Contact Cristina