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Palo Alto School Representative

Center for training, intervention and research

Strategic systemic approach and hypnosis

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      On the occasion of the release of the book "When work hurts", Claude de Scorraille is interviewed by Doctissimo.

       

      What are the first signs of burnout?

      It is not easy to answer this question because what we call burnout is the culmination of a process that can be more or less long. This is the moment when the fuses blow, when the body collapses, when one is no longer able to work.

       

      What is the difference between depression and burnout?

      Burnout is a process that makes the affected person act more and more. She puts more and more control into her behavior, and in doing so, thinks she is not up to par with the manager or co-workers. By excess of control, she completely loses control of the situation and exhausts herself.

      Depression causes a temporary inability to act.

       

      When we started talking about burnout, was it mainly the nursing staff who were affected?

       Indeed, in the 1970s, we talked about the burnout of hospital staff. Today, burnout can affect any individual in any private or public sector.

       

      For what ? For us, this discomfort is in the relationship that this individual has with his environment, his context, new constraints but also in his relationship to himself. For example, I recently received someone who told me that he had over-invested in his work because it had allowed him not to think about his professional environment being restructured.

       

      Can the first signs go unnoticed?

      When there is investment in work, then over-investment, at some point, things get out of hand. Here, for example, is a conscientious person, perhaps too discreet, and we will take advantage of his commitment to ask him for more. This is common, for example, on telephone platforms, places of performance where the pressure is incessant in the name of efficiency which still remains to be demonstrated.

       

      Is there a typical profile of people suffering from burnout?

      Well-being is first of all the relationship between oneself and one's body, one's colleagues and the context. All of these elements help to create a balance. When this balance is broken, if the operating logic takes the form of fear (fear of not being up to it, fear of not achieving objectives, fear of being judged by others...), we will act according to different logics: avoidance in order not to feel this fear, control in order to anticipate this fear, belief, for example, that it is difficult to cooperate with others, that there is no trust in team......and we lose control. In short, we can't get out of it and we fall.

       

      What advice would you give to avoid burnout?

      You have to look at how the pressure is fed: risk of disappointment, environment focused on efficiency beyond what is requested, small relational risks. It can be quite a complex cocktail. In a context of this nature, we can quickly forget the signals of the body.

       

      Can you get out of a burnout on your own?

      As I pointed out, the moment the diagnosis of burnout is made, there is a loss of meaning in the person affected. The next phase is the one during which the body regains its rights. The return to work must be done according to specific conditions. We see what the person wants, if they are able to return to work, in the same position, or if, too impressed, they no longer want to go because they do not consider themselves able to protect themselves.

       

      It all depends on the person, what is involved in the burnout. When a problem has set in, therapy must be as slow as the process that set it up. The convalescence will adapt to the rhythm of the person.

       

      Can there be a relapse?

      If there is a relapse, it is because the transformation has not taken place. To act differently in relation to work, to interact differently, to feel differently, to conceive of oneself as someone who is reborn from the ashes, this is what we work on with our patients, in a perspective of more strength in the face of the ordeal so that life resumes.

       

      How to explain such an expansion of burnout?

      Burnout is symptomatic of a social construct that no longer has the capacity to question its own operating rules, to question its mode of action, of decision.

       

      Towards recognition of burnout as an occupational disease? What do you think ?

      I must admit that we are very confused about this question.

      You are certainly sick of your work, but the individualization of the problem will prevent regulation in the company. The employee will be compensated by the guilty company. But it is the relationship that must be questioned and give rise to individual and collective changes. The company is an ecosystem and should be treated as such.

       

      Take the case of bullying. The phenomenon has grown, there is a law but when you look at the definitions, it is difficult to identify a culprit. And the hope of regulation has vanished.

       

      It's the same for burnout. The risk is the legalization of the problem without questioning the organization. And everyone can tomorrow be in defense before the industrial tribunals.

       

      Can an entrepreneur be in burnout?

      We have to look at the present difficulties, how we support them, what are the complaints of the entrepreneur as well as of the employees. To help solve the problem(s), we mobilize stakeholders: employer, manager, HRD, doctor, occupational physician, sometimes union representatives. And we look at what we do with the concerns of the interested party, whatever he is, his objective, the position of the employer so that things begin to change.

      It can be an individual and/or collective modification.

       

      What do you think is the mistake not to make? 

      Consider quickly that the person cannot return to their workstation. It needs to be relieved, but a definitive quick response by repositioning, for example, means that the person risks finding themselves cramped, which will pose another type of problem.

      Another erroneous way of managing the situation is to be too benevolent, to play down too much, to over-protect, because then we weaken the person.

       

      What do you think of the idea of ​​integrating psychologists into the company?

      Common sense could say "since the organizations can't do it, we're going to put shrinks in". We think that these are decisions that would tell leaders that they are incapable of solving things by themselves, which is not a good signal.

       

      What are the difficulties to overcome? The person who is embarked on an excess of investment seeks most of the time to neutralize an insecurity. She may not be asking for a particular action.

       

      In systems, which is our intervention model, we work with those who can be mobilized inside the system.

       

      Is a conversion the solution? 

      Quite often, after an acute form of overinvestment - a period during which one was negligent, one had blinders on - one relates to oneself differently. For example, we want to be more in touch with our children, our spouse. This leads the person concerned to compromise less.


      It is said that a good start is a start made at the right time; it is not normal to kill yourself at work anyway.

      Work is good for health; the best conditions are undoubtedly to stay where you are while changing, before venturing, perhaps, on another path.

       

      On the burnout of entrepreneurs and the suicides that have resulted from it, I would say that what drives the person stuck in suffering is to have the feeling that they have tried everything and that the only good solution is to disappear.

       

      While the logic of behavior in a situation that has become rigid is to let go of the reins to regain flexibility in the relationship and regain control.

       

      Are we also now talking about boreout?

      Human beings generally like to be active. If you are bored at work, you can either resign yourself or continue to show initiative and creativity even if the situation is difficult. There are indeed organizations where we are very specced; but work is an economic object and letting go can create a fear of the consequences.

       

      To flourish at work is to look at things well, to act well with others, to be or become more flexible. We can be in conflict in the company without it necessarily hurting.

       

      Contact our team

      TRAINING, INTERVENTION AND RESEARCH CENTER

      Consultation Paris
      9, rue Française - 75002

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      A team of more than
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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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