Analysis of Emotional Burnout


The active pace of modern life often leads to changes in the human condition, fatigue, and the need for rest. Factors such as the complexity of work, outlook, and lifestyle contribute to stress. If stress and fatigue are ignored, it can lead to such nasty consequences as emotional burnout and frustration. It is important to note that burnout is not a disease, but it can seriously affect an individual.

What Does Emotional Burnout Mean?

Before beginning the analysis and comparison of two articles about emotional burnout, it is worth understanding how dangerous it is for a person. The first term, “emotional burnout,” was introduced by American psychiatrist Herbert Freudenberger in 1974. A professor of psychology, Christina Maslach at the University of California at Berkeley, concluded that burnout is directly related to constant activity, distinguishing the syndrome from other emotional changes.

In May 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) described the signs of emotional burnout syndrome, but experts did not include it in the list of medical diagnoses. The syndrome is defined as a phenomenon caused by prolonged stress (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 2020). It is a factor that can influence the development of diseases. It is difficult for a person to cope with such pressure, and burnout is considered a natural consequence of it.

Causes of Emotional Burnout

In the detailed analysis of the two articles, it becomes clear that the authors see different reasons for emotional burnout. In “Attributional style and burnout of counselors-in-training,” the main reasons are overworking, heavy workload, and complex relations with people. These factors lead to stress, the consequence of which is emotional burnout. Thus, the authors consider different elements from the outside to be the reasons for such conditions, negatively influencing an individual’s psychological and emotional state (Lee et al., 286). Thus, based on the article’s main idea, any person who has found themselves in the corresponding hostile and pressing atmosphere will come to such a state because all factors will affect and change the form of a person by all means.

At the same time, in The burnout companion to study and practice. In a critical analysis, the conclusion is different. According to the authors’ opinion, emotional burnout is connected with routine, monotonous work, which causes a person significant discomfort. In other words, there is a connection between a person’s attitude to work and the methods they use when carrying out any processes (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 2020). If it is pressurizing, any activity contributes to emotional burnout, even if the person has chosen it themselves. Thus, the source of burnout is a factor of a person’s attitude to something, internal reasons, but not external ones. For example, a schoolboy who plays the same kind of sport can burn out, even though he chose this activity independently, and is not obliged to do it permanently (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 2020). The same applies to external factors that lead to stress not because of their nature but because of the way a person perceives them in their worldview. For example, constant reproaches from the boss may be perceived, on the one hand, as passive aggression towards the employee and, on the other hand, as motivation to improve the quality of work and skills (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 2020). In the second case, this factor does not lead to psychological instability, is deprived of a harmful coloring, and a pernicious effect does not occur.

Groups at Risk of Emotional Burnout

When analyzing the criteria of burnout in “Attributional style and burnout of counselors-in-training,” it can be noticed that several features characterize a social group as prone to burnout. One of these criteria is the type of work; if it is hard, exhausting, or connected with rescuing people, it increases the probability of heavy stress and subsequent burnout and frustration. Other criteria are age and gender, so the statistics cited in the article show that women are more prone to anxiety, as are teenagers (Lee et al., 291). In other words, the authors are trying to identify specific groups of people according to certain professional or biological characteristics to explain the phenomenon’s occurrence in question.

Nevertheless, in the work The burnout companion to study and practice. In a critical analysis, the approach to identifying people prone to burnout is different. The authors note that the main criterion by which it is possible to determine the propensity to stress is the psychological state of an individual. From psychology, it is known that derives self-esteem, stress tolerance, and standards that a person creates for them. After analysis of each criterion in order, low self-esteem leads to the fact that an individual a priori begins to treat each of their actions and results negatively and pessimistically, underestimating their merits (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 2020). Lack of stress tolerance, in turn, deprives a person of the skill to release negative emotions and relax, which quickly makes the psychological state of a person tense and anxious, and then numb. Finally, inflated standards prevent the individual from judging their abilities and skills, and constant dissatisfaction with the result and the work done also aggravates the situation for the worse. According to the article, the tendency to burnout depends, first of all, on the psychological state of an individual and only then on the type of work, gender, and age.


Emotional burnout is a severe consequence of ignoring stress and fatigue and overwork, and psychological problems. It is essential to understand that the modern world is very complicated and saturated; that is why it is tough to determine the frustration state. Nevertheless, a person should monitor the atmosphere at work and rest and work through their psychological problems to prevent burnout. Otherwise, such a condition can lead to more severe consequences and mental disorders.


Lee, I., Bardoshi G., et al. (2018). Attributional style and burnout of councelors-in-training. Counselor Education & Supervision, 57, 285-300.

Schaufeli, W., Enzmann, D. (2020). The burnout companion to study and practice. A critical analysis. CRC Press.

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