Burnout and Work Stress Counselling in Edinburgh

Experiencing burnout can be an overwhelming and unexpected struggle, marked by feelings of stress, guilt, frustration, and hopelessness. This surge of mixed emotions can leave you unsure of how to navigate through it. It’s important to recognize that this feeling is normal, and you are not alone in facing it. At Edinburgh Therapy Service, we offer evidence-based tools designed to support your journey toward recovery, empowering you to address what isn’t working and refocus on what truly matters in your life.

What is burnout?

Enduring prolonged periods of workplace stress can culminate in burnout, a state that proves difficult to define. It’s important to note that burnout, although impactful on well-being, is not classified as a medical condition. As per the American Psychological Association (APA)  Dictionary of Psychology, burnout is described as “physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance, and negative attitudes toward oneself and others.” 


As this definition points out, burnout extends beyond fatigue and incorporates a complex interplay of factors. Diminished motivation becomes a noticeable aspect, where the once-engaging tasks may start to lose their allure, and the drive to excel wanes. This decline in motivation can manifest in lowered performance, a notable shift from the usual standards of achievement and productivity.


Recognizing burnout can be challenging and perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of burnout is its insidious onset. It often lurks beneath the surface, unnoticed, until the person finds themselves teetering on the edge of functionality. The transition from being “really tired” to “too exhausted to function” can be abrupt, catching individuals unaware. The warning signs may have been there, but in the relentless pursuit of professional responsibilities, they often go unrecognised until it’s too late.


In essence, burnout is an experience that goes beyond a mere reaction to workplace stress. It permeates every facet of an individual’s life, reshaping their relationship with work, self, and others.


How to book?

Email now:

contact at edinburghtherapyservice.com


Our therapists are qualified and registered with reputable professional associations for psychotherapy and counselling.

When to seek help for burnout?

Feeling burnout is a common experience, and knowing when to seek help is important. If you notice persistent exhaustion and reduced effectiveness in your work and daily life, or if you find yourself feeling trapped, persistently drained, struggling with daily tasks, or experiencing a decline in your overall mood, it might be time to consider support.


Look out for changes in your sleep patterns, increased irritability, or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. Also, nthe progression of symptoms; burnout could potentially evolve into other mental health challenges like anxiety or depression.

Therapy for burnout

In addressing burnout and stress at work, various therapeutic approaches can offer valuable insights and coping strategies:


Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on identifying and challenging unhelpful thought patterns and behaviours that maintain burnout. It helps develop healthier cognitive habits and coping mechanisms, promoting a more positive outlook on work-related stressors. By examining and reshaping unhelpful thought processes, CBT equips the person with practical tools to manage stress and prevent burnout.


Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): ACT teaches clients to accept their emotions and experiences, even when unpleasant while committing to behaviours that align with their values. In the context of burnout, ACT helps people develop psychological flexibility, enabling them to adapt to challenging work situations. It emphasises mindfulness and the importance of staying committed to meaningful goals despite the presence of stressors, fostering resilience in the face of workplace challenges.


Compassion-focused therapy (CFT): CFT is particularly relevant for those struggling with self-criticism and perfectionism, common factors in burnout. This approach cultivates self-compassion and understanding, developing a kinder relationship with oneself. 


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT): MBCT combines elements of CBT with mindfulness practices. It helps the person become more aware of their thoughts and feelings without judgement, reducing the impact of stressors. MBCT can be effective in enhancing self-awareness and providing tools for managing stress in the present moment. The mindfulness aspect promotes a healthier relationship with work-related challenges.

Our approach to burnout counselling

At Edinburgh Therapy Service, we empathise with the challenges and pressures associated with the workplace. Our passion lies in collaborating with people across various professional roles—employees from different sectors, entrepreneurs, managers, directors, etc. 


Utilising evidence-based therapies like cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), compassion-focused therapy (CFT), and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), we personalise treatments to suit each person’s specific needs and circumstances. Our goal is to create a secure and non-judgmental space where you can openly explore your challenges. Through this collaborative journey, we work towards cultivating more constructive behaviours and creating a more fulfilling life. Join us in navigating the path to a healthier, more resilient you.


Burnout can manifest through various symptoms. Here’s a list of common symptoms associated with stress at work:


➤   Feeling persistently tired, both physically and emotionally, despite adequate rest.


➤   Developing a negative and cynical attitude towards work, colleagues, and responsibilities. Feeling emotionally detached.


➤   A decline in overall work performance, including decreased productivity, efficiency, and quality of work.


➤   Difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and impaired decision-making abilities.


➤   Headaches, stomach or digestive issues, muscle tension, and other physical complaints without a clear medical cause.


➤   Insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns, leading to insufficient rest and recovery.


➤   Becoming easily frustrated, short-tempered, or having a reduced tolerance for stress.


➤   Diminished interest or satisfaction in activities that were once enjoyable or fulfilling.


➤   Feeling overwhelmed and believing that one’s efforts are futile, leading to a sense of hopelessness.


➤   Ignoring personal needs, including poor diet, lack of exercise, and inadequate self-care routines.


➤   Experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or a sense of emptiness.


➤   Taking more sick leave or time off than usual due to physical or emotional exhaustion.


➤   Avoidance or neglect of work duties, leading to incomplete tasks and unmet deadlines.


➤   Reacting more strongly to stressors, with increased emotional responses or even feelings of panic.


We don’t know the causes of burnout or any other mental health issue. However, we know risk factors that can have an impact on the development or maintenance of burnout:


➤   Workload overload.

➤   Lack of control, autonomy and recognition.

➤   Unclear expectations, roles and responsibilities.

➤   Poor work-life balance.

➤   Insufficient resources or support.

➤   Mismatch between personal values and the values of the workplace.

➤   Job insecurity.

➤   Poor organisational culture.

➤   Lack of career growth.

➤   High emotional demands, such as dealing with difficult clients or emotionally charged situations.

Do you offer burnout therapy near me?

The Edinburgh Therapy Service offers both in-person burnout and work stress counselling in Edinburgh (United Kingdom), and online therapy accessible worldwide You can find our exact location here. We offer a range of evidence-based approaches including ACT, CBT, CFT, MBCT, and customised combinations adapted to your specific needs. 

Your burnout counsellor in Edinburgh

We recognize the considerable impact burnout can have on your overall well-being, and we’re here to offer the support and guidance you require during this challenging period.


Contact us now, and let’s embark on this journey together.


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The Edinburgh Therapy Service is a psychotherapy and counseling practice based in Edinburgh, Scotland (United Kingdom). We offer therapy both in-person in Edinburgh and online, available in English and Spanish.

Contact info

Contact us for more information or to book your first appointment: [email protected]