Counselor Burnout

Topics: Compassion fatigue, Burnout, Psychology Pages: 8 (2598 words) Published: July 19, 2009

Counselor Burnout

Gary R. Weiler

Seton Hall University

Counselor Burnout
This research paper discusses the issue of the compassion fatigue, also known as ‘burnout,’ among workers in the teaching profession, social workers, counselors, nurses and doctors, psychologists, and other mental health professionals. Through research, it has been proven that the working conditions inherent in the majority of the professions mentioned above are characterized with situations that may bring about professional burnout. This scenario is based on the fact that a majority of the administrators are not devoted to uplift the morale of their workers and are, in many cases, unsure about the preventive measures of compassion fatigue. The importance of uplifting the morale of mental health professionals is also an issue of paramount importance in this paper. This paper addresses the need for the encouragement of workers due to the sensitive nature associated with their services and the possible disaster that may result from their deprived services. It will also identify coping strategies to help reduce compassion fatigue.

The greatest achievements in the performance of the worker in diverse professions are rooted on the extent of the enthusiasm in as far as the working environment of the worker is concerned. The abhorrence subjected to the worker in line with the monotony of repeated performance of the same task day in and day out has been observed to have fewer impacts on the hindrances of the worker in matters of job attendance. However, scenarios of this nature are pride or passion unfriendly in the consideration of the working environment. The culture of the workplace beats significant influence on the issues related to the performance of the workers. The culture should be one that is in a position to promote the morale of the workers as one of the most important principles guiding productivity. Most of those people working in the environment involving offering care to others will at some point assume a behavior likely to suggest that they do not care. The extreme of this situation is associated with an occasional serious mistake made by the worker that is not a practice of the past. Literature review

A definition of compassion fatigue is ‘a state of exhaustion and dysfunction – biologically, psychologically, and socially – as a result of prolonged exposure to compassion stress It is further noted that compassion fatigue is ‘identical to secondary traumatic stress disorder (STSD) and is the equivalent of PTSD’ (Simpson, Starkey and Figley, 2006).

Studies that have so far been conducted have the indication of the fact that compassion fatigue as well as the counselor burnout have a direct relationship with the length of time that the worker have been in service in the same field. According to the studies it has been asserted that the counselors who were employed over the last ten years and above will be affected by a less degree of burnout relative to counselors serving in the same field for as long as thirty years and above (Penny, 2005).

The burnout as well as the stress associated with the compassion fatigue is associated with low productivity and therefore it is costly in terms of money and time. It is a source of harm to a person’s enjoyment, family, job as well as friends, and the best approach to handle it is to avoid it. According to Dujits, Landeweerd & Swaen, “Teachers, Social Workers, Doctors, Nurses, Counselors, Psychologists, and other Mental Health Professionals all are at very high risk for burnout” (Dujits, Landeweerd & Swaen, 2006). He further asserts that “People in "helping professions" consistently put themselves at risk because they care so much and because they are expected by everyone else to take care of everyone other than self” (Dujits, Landeweerd & Swaen, 2006).

The majority of the individuals...
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