According to Flasher and Fogle (2012), speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and audiologists (AuDs) can be susceptible to professional burnout due to our involvement with clients and their stakeholders who are going through emotionally trying experiences. To be effective as clinicians, we must respond to our clients and their families empathetically and compassionately. Unless we are able to effect appropriate boundaries and practice self-compassion, however, we might find ourselves beginning to feel stressed and anxious about our professional practice. “Burnout can become evident when a professional becomes exhausted, drained, depleted, or even apathetic about her clinical work” (Flasher & Fogle, 2012, p. 472). Burnout can even advance to a stage where the professional experiences symptoms similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Therefore, it is critical to establish a self-care practice. Flasher and Fogle (2012) quoted 2007 work by Norcross and Guy: “self-care is not a narcissist luxury to be fulfilled as time permits; it is a human requisite, a clinical necessity and an ethical imperative” (pp.475-476). As we start this new academic year, please take these words seriously and ensure that you make time to care for yourself.
Flasher, L. V., & Fogel, P. T. (2012). Counseling skills for speech-language pathologists and audiologists (2nd ed.). Clifton Park: NY.
Anything by Brene Brown.
Germer, C.K. (2009). The mindful path to self-compassion: Freeing yourself from destructive thoughts and emotions. New York: The Guilford Press.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go there you are. New York, NY: Hyperion.
Neff, K. (2011). Self-compassion: Stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind. New York: HarperCollins.