Burnout Treatment : 4 Jungian Insights
What is the right kind of burnout treatment? Burnout is the state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress, often work related stress. It often occurs when a person feels overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands, which can be from work, or sources such as long term caregiving, or heavy family demands. Burnout leads to disengagement, emotional blunting or numbing, helplessness and hopelessness, loss of motivation, and detachment and depression.
4 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BURNOUT TREATMENT FROM A DEPTH PSYCHOTHERAPY PERSPECTIVE:
Honestly Acknowledge Emptiness and Loss.
Often burnout sufferers have a great sense of hollowness or emptiness. Only through acknowledging what has been lost can they move beyond this. What do I hope will come back? Do I remember times in the past that were full of vitality and joy? It’s important to ask: what do I really yearn for, at this stage in my life?
Can You be with Yourself, Instead of Caught up in Doing?
Often those in burnout are so totally caught up in work or tasks that they have little time for themselves. This is particularly so with recreational time, and also time with their own thoughts and feelings. It may well be essential to take that time, even if you meet a lot of inner resistance and guilt feelings. It can be especially important to spend time away from technology: laptops, cells, smartphones, and especially social media, so that you spend time talking to you, not others.
Who am I Now?
Work identity, or persona, is not the same as your real identity. To try and understand who you are in yourself, outside of your work or other role can be key to recovering your lost vitality. To truly sift reactions, thoughts and feelings, in order to distinguish between your roles, and your own deepest feeling self takes patience and effort, but can connect you again to your real life.
What does the Unconscious Say?
People are unaware of their unconscious self, and its reaction to events in their lives. In burnout, much is going on in the unconscious levels of the self. Often, this is reflected in the dreams of the burnout sufferer, and also in reactions to daily events that the sufferer may experience, without any clear idea of from where these feelings or thoughts might come. Often the unconscious can shed a great of light on conflicts and the nature of the individual’s burnout reaction.
A therapist with /a-midlife-transition expertise may help greatly in the healing process, and with bringing material to consciousness.
Have you experienced burnout? If so, how did, or does, it affect you? I would welcome your comments.
Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst | Oakville and Mississauga Ontario