Re: Burnout

Harry Oxley (
Mon, 29 Jan 1996 18:53:56 +1000

>Hello to everyone,
>happy new year to all. A colleague of mine Ross Colquhoun is interested in
>researching burnout in mental health workers/ counsellors of the "mentally
>ill"- from a PCP perspective. Can people make some suggestions or provide some
>references. - Lindsay Oades - Wollongong

And a happy new year to you too. Surely there is an abundance of
riches here, and the only problem is to sort out 'stress' from sensible
adaptation. I have seen a lot of the latter in what gets called 'burnout',
and engage in a lot of it (I do not "suffer" from it!) myself. When I
reviewed a book on 'academic burnout' more than a decade ago I said
something like "in one of its aspects, 'burnout' is what happens when newly
proletarianised professionals learn the tricks of disengagement from
work-commitments suddenly made unrewarding that members of the exploited
classes of longer standing have known and practiced for ages". Personal
disengagement from the job is common because most work is stultifying
drudgery and it is much better to tie one's self-definition to activities
that ARE intrinsically rewarding. That's survivor-rationality! How's that
for a construct?
Harry Oxley
Harry Oxley