I have just read an article calling “emotional exhaustion” “burnout.” It was in reference to DBT therapists getting burnt out by counselling people with BPD. They now usually train DBT therapists to be on a team, meeting regularly, to prevent burnout. This in beneficial to both parties – both the therapists and the patients. I am feeling very burnt out with my husband. I don’t know how to describe it to him. It feels different than physical exhaustion (although I feel that too).
Burnout is defined as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation
usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration” (Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2013). In terms of what burnout can look like in individuals, it has been suggested that burnout is made up of three separate areas: “emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment” (Maslach & Leiter, 1997 as cited in Newell & MacNeil, 2011, p. 27). Broken down further, “burnout includes psychological and/or physiological exhaustion, a negative shift in responses to others, and a negative response toward oneself and toward personal accomplishments, and that burnout is a response to emotional strain.
DBT is not just a therapy it’s a mindset and a way if life. I have truly enjoyed growing
with my patients while learning this together through all the trial and errors. I use DBT as often as I can, I try to make a point to schedule it into my daily life (particularly mindfulness) and the great thing is that I get to share all that with my patients and colleagues and we are there to support each other through.
They allow me to continue to work effectively without burning out. They also help me recognize when I am feeling burned out and provide me with concrete ways to manage emotions and problem solve in a compassionate and validating manner.
They are “life” skills, so they are so easily transferrable to day to day stressors. By
teaching them on a regular basis, I owe it to my clients to practice what I preach. I feel grateful to know the skills to help keep my stress from rarely becoming unmanageable.
I find this study very fascinating. Now, if only it could help me in my marriage!
Just thought I would pass along this information. I love sharing information with my readers. Till next time,