Lact - Palo Alto School Representative

Palo Alto School Representative

Center for training, intervention and research
Systemic approach and hypnosis

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GENERAL INFORMATION on work addiction by Olivier Brosseau

We see that the addiction to work is really an addiction to action which always consists in doing more and which gives the person who is the object or the actor a feeling of omnipotence. Activity, managerial incentives, pressure on results, one can even go so far as to say global, economic culture, willingly exploit this skill and exacerbate this personal tendency when it is put into action.


The main attempt at a so-called functional solution to a personal difficulty is a means of controlling, or a means of avoiding, an unpleasant emotional or relational reaction. But these are ways that work extremely well. And so there are few reasons to abandon them along the way since we are rather rewarded at the beginning in any case for this good performance.

We have seen from different angles that the attempt at the main solution is behind the basic sensations that may be linked to a fear: fear of not being up to it, fear of disappointing. And at that moment we realize that by working a lot we neutralize this fear. Or it can also be, without being a fear at the start, the pleasure of discovering to be successful, to be heroic and that you always want to exploit this feeling.

A little reminder that will focus on what is happening in the entourage. The entourage is often torn by the observation of the harmful consequences for health: to see someone who is trained towards an infernal curve on doing too much. And then in the context of a job, the secondary benefits, in particular the company can find that someone who works a lot is also an advantage for them.

But it turns out that the entourage is really helpless in the face of workaholic behavior if it continues.

The different attempts at solutions that the professional entourage may have, can be in a first stage, to simply ignore the problem, to ignore the first worrying signs, to avoid talking about it, to avoid a negative reaction, not to break too much the machine which seems to work well. After all, the person does what she wants, that's none of our business.

You can take it upon yourself if the behavior of this person is really starting to be annoying and embarrassing. But we will take it upon ourselves, not say anything to the person concerned. But that doesn't prevent those around you from complaining about it, talking about it behind your back and it becomes a socialized problem. But when you really start to deal with the subject, the entourage will rather start by making people listen to reason, they will try to convince the person to do less with an intuitive message behind "you don't think as you should".

By pushing this logic we will want to protect him in spite of him/her. We can even go so far as to force him to really do less. By forcing him to come home earlier in the evening, to take a break from work because he is considered to be too tired. And this kind of constraint, as these are obstacles and we begin to curb pleasure, it generally has the effect of increasing the temptation to transgress this constraint. With the implicit message behind this constraint that “you are unable to find a limit yourself, fortunately I am here to do so“

The person who is taken in this movement, each success of his excess of action comes to feed a belief which will be very strong and acceptable because he finds that “ I am doing what must be done” . And what she's going to experience in terms of feeling is that she's doing what has to be done. She will receive the message from all sides that will tell her “do less” so she will have a hard time integrating this message.


Keywords: video , training , problem solving , psychology , LACT , Palo-Alto , company , Quality of life at work , generalities , web conferencing , addiction , work clinic , addictive behaviors

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