What support do you need? And where will it come from?
This workshop is a conversation … & the beginning of some action research… to explore how we can fight burnout by providing emotional first aid & reflective support through supervision
Fighting Burnout – Emotional First Aid Burnout occurs when we have given too much, & left ourselves with little or no reserves. Burnout is that sense of total depletion of inner resources – where tiredness creeps in & creativity gives way to frayed emotions & poor judgement.
We have all felt tired and exhausted, a little drained and uninspired. Burnout – is a little beyond feeling ‘reasonably tired’ – it diminishes our sense of good judgement & stress symptoms can easily become apparent such as: poor concentration poor sleep and loss of appetite edgy emotions a range of physical complaints strained relationships at work & home generally feeling stressed!
What is stress? A familiar term and part of our everyday vocabulary A reasonable amount of stress enables us to cope with threats through the ‘fight or flight’ response However, ongoing & persistent stress is detrimental to our health & wellbeing and leads directly to burnout – where we stop doing the things we generally love to do!
“We can find ourselves under too much stress & pressure by the psychological, mental & emotional demands of dealing with: workloads interacting with a range of people balancing conflicting needs coping with difficult working conditions & the whole range of problems we face every day.” Hartley, 2003.
Exercise: stress & your mental ability What have you noticed about yourself recently? Poor decision making Inability to concentrate Difficulty with thinking clearly Poor memory Loss of creativity Less able to plan your work Less able to prioritise Increasing sense of loss of control in life Other symptoms…… And when does this most occur?
Exercise: Stress & your emotions What else do you notice? Feeling upset & tearful Mood swings Feeling de-motivated Feeling like a failure Feeling unable to cope Feeling powerless Being irritable Anxiety & depression Feeling panicky Feeling apathetic Withdrawing into yourself Lack of enjoyment Feeling angry Sense of hopelessness Feeling isolated Loss of humour Loss of hope Other………
Exercise: The need to take care of ourselves What do you do to take good care of yourself? How do you unwind and let go of stress? What steps or precautions have you put in place to look after yourself physically, emotionally & mentally?
Emotional First Aid! We are all familiar with first aid, but what preventive or restorative measures do we take to look after our emotions and sense of wellbeing?
Supervision: A chance to stop and think. An opportunity to reflect… on what went well, & what could be developed a little more. A safe place - in which to unpack, explore, & recharge the batteries.
Supervision prevents isolation…. It is a restorative conversation A time when the practitioner can unwind and let go….
Within the UK, ‘super’-vision has become an integral part of any therapeutic undertaking. The BACP regards the on-going provision of supervision essential to ethical therapeutic practice.
Supervision is NOT another layer of Line management! Supervision is a separate space. A restorative conversation. An opportunity for safe reflection. Supervision offers a sense of containment within which we can celebrate & mourn, and feel comfortable in exploring & downloading our emotions as well as regaining a sense of equilibrium & perspective.
The BACP’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice 2010) establishes the difference between supervising and managing: “There is a general obligation for all counsellors, psychotherapists, supervisors and trainers to receive supervision/consultative support independently of any managerial relationships” in order to “enhance good practice… and protect clients from poor practice” (BACP, 7/8).