Counselor burnout


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Counselor burnout

  1. 1. Counselor Burnout Sheila M. Bennett Fall 2007
  2. 2. What Is Burnout? <ul><li>Definitions include: </li></ul><ul><li>Physical, emotional & attitudinal exhaustion </li></ul><ul><li>Goes beyond fatigue…hallmark is the distancing that goes on in response to the overload </li></ul>
  3. 3. What Is Burnout? <ul><li>Definitions include: </li></ul><ul><li>Happens when people feel out of control or feel a lack of recognition and reward </li></ul><ul><li>One of the biggest contributing factors is a mismatch of values </li></ul>
  4. 4. What Is Burnout? <ul><li>Definitions include: </li></ul><ul><li>A consequence of a perceived disparity between the demands of the job and the resources available to him or her—both material and emotional resources </li></ul>
  5. 5. General Symptoms of Burnout <ul><li>Feeling overwhelmed </li></ul><ul><li>Tired all the time </li></ul><ul><li>Anger, resentment </li></ul><ul><li>Cynical </li></ul><ul><li>Unmotivated </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship problems </li></ul>
  6. 6. General Symptoms of Burnout <ul><li>Anxiety, Depression </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling hopeless </li></ul><ul><li>Physical symptoms include: headache, GI symptoms, weight change, sleep disturbance </li></ul>
  7. 7. Examples of Counselor Burnout Mary has been a mental health counselor for 20 years. Her caseload includes the most severely disturbed clients in the center. She sees 8 to 10 clients a day leaving little time for paperwork.
  8. 8. Examples of Counselor Burnout Jim is a 41 yr, he has been a counselor for ten years. He finds himself becoming overwhelmed with stress. He comes home anxious, irritable, tired, angry and obsessed with his clients’ problems. He feels angry at many of his clients and his co-workers.
  9. 9. Symptoms of Counselor Burnout <ul><li>Bored with counseling </li></ul><ul><li>No longer attends workshops on new counseling ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Wants everything to be perfect but is very harsh on themselves when they make mistakes. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Symptoms of Counselor Burnout <ul><li>Constantly feel you should be doing more </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawn-feel more comfortable doing paperwork than interacting with clients </li></ul>
  11. 11. Symptoms of Counselor Burnout <ul><li>Can’t remember why you went into counseling </li></ul><ul><li>Take your frustration home with you and can’t get away from it </li></ul><ul><li>Worry excessively about your clients and their problems </li></ul>
  12. 12. Symptoms of Counselor Burnout <ul><li>Count the days until your next vacation </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t take good care of yourself! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Causes of Counselor Burnout <ul><li>Excessive case load </li></ul><ul><li>Too many extremely difficult cases </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of administrative and peer support </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate salaries </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Client Interest—too many court referrals </li></ul>
  14. 14. Causes of Counselor Burnout <ul><li>Difficulty in advancement </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of support from family and friends </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict in job perceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Unfamiliarity with diagnostics </li></ul><ul><li>Unwillingness to seek guidance from others </li></ul>
  15. 15. Causes of Counselor Burnout <ul><li>Fear for personal safety </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent changes in rules and regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of paper work time i.e. behind in paperwork </li></ul>
  16. 16. What You Can Do About Burnout <ul><li>Learn more about diagnostics and therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Share information, talk to your colleagues, network </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to say “no” </li></ul>
  17. 17. What You Can Do About Burnout <ul><li>Identify your main goals </li></ul><ul><li>Do relaxation activities </li></ul><ul><li>Organize time and set priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain a good diet </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise </li></ul>
  18. 18. What You Can Do About Burnout <ul><li>Leave your counseling at work </li></ul><ul><li>Pursue a project or hobby </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t procrastinate on paperwork </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t feel that you must do everything </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a “things to do” list </li></ul>
  19. 19. What You Can Do About Burnout <ul><li>Recognize and accept your own limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to tolerate and forgive </li></ul><ul><li>Get moving, take action! </li></ul>Learn to play!
  20. 20. What Your Employer Can Do About Burnout <ul><li>Allow time for counselors to collaborate/talk </li></ul><ul><li>Provide more workshops, in-services, advanced courses, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide more verbal praise & reinforcement for the job </li></ul>
  21. 21. What Your Employer Can Do About Burnout <ul><li>Provide more clerical assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Provide more educational opportunities to learn about counseling </li></ul><ul><li>Provide more social activities and “retreats” </li></ul>
  22. 22. Compassion Fatigue <ul><li>Sometimes thought of as a special form of burnout, compassion fatigue effects people in the caring professions—doctors, nurses, counselors, ministers, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Compassion fatigue results from caring to the point that you are drained of empathy </li></ul>
  23. 23. Compassion Fatigue <ul><li>Compassion fatigue is sometimes referred to as “secondary PTSD” or “Secondary traumatic stress” </li></ul><ul><li>It occurs after expending a great deal of energy and compassion to others over an extended period of time </li></ul>
  24. 24. Compassion Fatigue <ul><li>Compassion Fatigue sometimes occurs due to unrealistic expectations—i.e. we can “cure” everyone </li></ul><ul><li>People with CF feel used up at the end of everyday </li></ul><ul><li>They often have no life outside the office </li></ul><ul><li>They have given so much there is nothing left to give </li></ul>
  25. 25. Overcoming Compassion Fatigue <ul><li>Learn to recognize the symptoms before it becomes full blown </li></ul><ul><li>Do something different at work if you can </li></ul><ul><li>Take some time off </li></ul><ul><li>Eat right and exercise, get plenty of sleep </li></ul><ul><li>Spend time with family and freinds </li></ul>
  26. 26. Overcoming Compassion Fatigue <ul><li>Get in touch with your spiritual side </li></ul><ul><li>Take up a hobby or take a class </li></ul><ul><li>Do research on something you are interested in </li></ul><ul><li>Meditate </li></ul><ul><li>Lower your expectations of yourself and others, celebrate small accomplishments </li></ul>
  27. 27. The End