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Strategic systemic approach and hypnosis

      Do you think you know everything about Burn out or professional burnout syndrome? But do you know the benefits provided by the systemic approach for the treatment of this occupational disease? What are the prospects for the treatment implemented? How can the process of headlong flight be stopped by establishing a new relational dynamic and, above all, how can you regain self-confidence after burnout? To understand it, immerse yourself in this original article on burnout.

      What is Burnout?

      What is Burnout?

      Burn out, also known as burnout syndrome, is characterized by a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. This phenomenon results from prolonged investment in emotionally demanding work situations, manifested by an intense feeling of exhaustion, emotional detachment and a loss of confidence in one's abilities (Source: Foundation for Medical Research​​ , National Institute for Research and Security​​). What are the 3 logics leading to burnout?

      The syndrome is also associated with various symptoms such as sadness, memory and concentration problems, increased aggression, decreased motivation, as well as physical problems such as fatigue, back pain, problems with sleep and gastrointestinal disorders (source: Haute Autorité de Santé).

      In their book “When work hurts”, Claude de Scorraille, Olivier Brosseau, and Grégoire Vitry describe the process of professional burnout as “all the cumulative effects of the attempts at solutions that an individual implements in an attempt to adapt as best as possible to your work environment.” This adaptive dynamic is a circular process that connects the person to their work situation, to others and to themselves, prey to rigidity, which is the result of a dynamic combination of avoidance, control and/or belief.

      In the process of burnout, the person avoids facing their fears by experiencing an action that has the effect of calming them. It’s a process of escapism that works like a drug. The person ends up being addicted to action.

      Burn out in France?

      Burnout is a growing concern in France, with alarming figures illustrating its growing prevalence in the world of work:

      • According to a study by INSEE and DARES published on 06/29/2023, 27% of employed people who have had a health problem caused by work over the last twelve months declare that it is a problem of stress, depression or anxiety (Source: Insee ).
      • A study by Technologia indicates that 3.2 million employees, or 12% of the working population, are at risk of burnout (Source: Link ).
      •  Another study carried out by Opinion Way before the summer of 2022 reveals that 41% of French employees suffer from psychological distress, including 14% at a high rate, and 34% of French employees are in a state of burnout, 13% being qualified as “severe” (representing more than 2.5 million people).

      Specific groups appear to be more vulnerable to burnout, including women (46%), those under 29 (59%), teleworkers (45%) and managers (43%). 

      These figures demonstrate the scale of the burnout problem in France, highlighting not only its impact on the mental health of individuals but also the associated economic and social costs for businesses and society in general.

      What are the first signs of burnout?

      The first signs of burnout usually manifest as a combination of emotional, physical and behavioral symptoms. 

      Initially, the individual may experience persistent fatigue, trouble sleeping, and decreased energy. 

      Emotionally, he may feel more irritable, anxious or depressed. Gradual disengagement from work, decline in motivation and job satisfaction are also common.  

      Behaviorally, we often observe a drop in performance, social isolation and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms, although not specific, can progress and worsen if not adequately managed.

      Several risk factors contribute to the development of burnout. These factors, identified by studies and health organizations such as INRS and the High Authority of Health, are multiple and interdependent.

      Working conditions, such as work overload, time pressure, unrealistic goals and lack of clarity in missions and means, play a crucial role. They are often accompanied by low autonomy and low rewards, leading to a feeling of lack of fairness and recognition. Are perfectionists good candidates for burnout?

      Emotional demands, such as confronting suffering or death, and emotional dissonance, are particularly significant in certain professions, notably those in the health and social sectors. These factors can lead to cynicism about work and reduced personal accomplishment.

      Work relationships, including interpersonal conflicts and lack of support, can also contribute to the development of burnout. Value conflicts and job insecurity are other significant factors.

      The risk of burnout can also vary depending on the category of profession carried out. Studies have shown that professions with a high emotional load or requiring a significant investment are more at risk.

      In addition, personal and family factors, life events, and relationships with work also influence the risk of developing professional burnout syndrome. Personality traits that can limit coping skills, such as a history of depression, are also risk factors.

      Preventing burnout involves paying particular attention to these factors, both at an individual and collective level, in order to reduce professional demands and increase the resources available to employees. This includes setting up discussion groups, strengthening teamwork, and improving recognition of work accomplished.

      For more information and an in-depth understanding of the risk factors for burnout, you can consult the following sources: INRS​​ and Haute Autorité de Santé .

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      How can the systemic approach treat burnout

      Why can burnout be serious?

      Burnout is much more than a simple state of fatigue; it’s a red alert signaling deep psychological distress. Its seriousness lies in its long-term devastating power, as it can cause severe consequences on mental and physical health.  

      Psychologically, it can lead to depression, anxiety and diminished self-esteem, turning the pleasure of work into an oppressive burden. 

      On a physical level, chronic stress associated with burnout can increase the risk of heart disease, hypertension, immune disorders and even contribute to the onset of chronic diseases such as diabetes. 

      It can also affect social and family relationships, causing isolation and misunderstanding that exacerbate the individual's suffering. 

      In the professional environment, it leads to a drop in productivity and a reduced quality of work, which can harm your career in the long term. 

      Managing burnout is therefore crucial and requires multidimensional intervention to prevent these serious outcomes and support the recovery and well-being of the affected person.

      How can the systemic approach treat burnout? 

      The systems approach, or systems thinking, offers a powerful framework for treating burnout by recognizing that individuals are part of a complex set of interactions in their personal and professional environments. 

      It is the attempted solutions put in place by the individual, which can perpetuate or aggravate the problem (“The problem is the attempted solution” - Paul Watzlawick). The systemic approach makes it possible to implement specific corrective actions by pushing the individual to do “differently” by experiencing something that they are no longer able to identify by doing “always more of the same.” thing".

      For example: a nurse suffering from burnout, despite her initial commitment and desire to help, finds herself overwhelmed by an overload of work, a lack of recognition, and constant confrontation with the suffering of patients. These factors, combined, lead to feelings of burnout, cynicism about work, and loss of personal accomplishment.

      In a strategic systems approach, the therapist and patient work together to deconstruct this complex situation, identifying the interactions and feedback loops that maintain the problem. They focus on stopping attempts at solutions that are not working and use strategies to move the person into concrete emotional experiences of change. What is the impact of strategic dialogue on change?

      Systems thinking encourages a co-discovery of the feedback cycles, positive and negative, that govern our lives. This can consist, for example, of reframing the need to be perfect in relationships with others by experimenting, for example, with displaying a very small flaw allowing one to become “better perfect” rather than exhausting oneself in the “more-than-perfect ”. This can also consist of experimenting with a strategy which consists of avoiding avoidance - for example by daring to give one's opinion, or by taking the risk of saying a slight no - rather than entering into a cycle where overactivity has the function of avoid confronting reality or showing yourself as you are.  

      The systems approach also suggests that small changes in one part of the system can lead to big changes overall, allowing for strategic intervention points that can have a disproportionate impact on the well-being of the individual. . Using this approach not only treats the symptoms of burnout, but addresses the roots of the problem, which can lead to lasting solutions and greater resilience to future stresses.

      How to regain self-confidence after burnout? 

      Rebuilding self-confidence proves to be a crucial part of the recovery process. This reconstruction involves a modification of internal beliefs and a different interaction with the environment. It is a gradual process that builds on minor victories to build a sense of competence and self-efficacy.  

      This can be achieved by: 

      • Setting achievable goals, thus generating positive dynamics.
      • Engaging in activities that provide a sense of accomplishment 
      • Establishing healthy boundaries with work 
      • Recognizing individual contributions and achievements in a collective context
      • Practicing self-compassion; Treating yourself with the same kindness and forgiveness as you would a friend is a fundamental aspect of post-burnout resilience.  

      In the research article "Efficiency and implementation mechanisms of the strategic systemic approach in the resolution of conflicts at work" Audrey Becuwe and Grégoire Vitry explore the effectiveness of the strategic systemic approach in the management of professional conflicts ( Source: link ). For cases of anxiety disorders, the problem improved or resolved in 85% of cases. For cases of burnout this rate is estimated at 95%.

      Deconstructing and replacing dysfunctional solution attempts with more effective strategies is a particularly relevant approach to restoring self-confidence after burnout.

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      • Foundation for Medical Research. (2023). Everything you need to know about burnout, professional exhaustion syndrome. Link
      • INRS. (2023). Professional exhaustion or burnout. Link
      • High Authority of Health. (2023). Burnout – Identification and management. Link
      • “When work hurts” - Claude de Scorraille Olivier Brosseau Grégoire Vitry published by InterEditions - February 22, 2017 Link
      • “Efficiency and implementation mechanisms of the strategic systemic approach in the resolution of conflicts at work” - Audrey BECUWE, Grégoire VITRY Link
      • The complete study: exhaustion syndrome, an occupational disease - Technologia - Link
      • “In social action, health and education, more health problems declared, more often caused by work − Employment, unemployment, income from work” - Insee - Link

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      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

      of our students satisfied with
      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action

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