Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy
(1996) by G. Corey (estratto)

Rather than having a single cause, burnout results from a combination of factors. It is best
understood by considering the individual, interpersonal, and organizational factors that contribute to the condition. Recognizing the causes of burnout can itself be a step in dealing with it. A few of them are:

  • doing the same type of work with little variation, especially if this work seems meaningless;
  • giving a great deal personally and not getting back much in the way of appreciation or other positive responses;
  • lacking a sense of accomplishment and meaning in work;
  • being under constant and strong pressure to produce, perform, and meet deadlines, many of which may be unrealistic;
  • working with a difficult population, such as those who are highly resistant, who are involuntary clients, or who show very little progress;
  • conflict and tension among staff; absence of support from colleagues and an abundance of criticism;
  • lack of trust between supervisor and mental-health workers, leading to conditions in which they are working against each other instead of toward commonly valued goals;
  • not having opportunities for personal expression or for taking initiative in trying new approaches, a situation in which experimentation, change, and innovation are not only unrewarded but also actively discouraged;
  • facing unrealistic demands on your time and energy;
  • having a job that is both personally and professionally taxing without much opportunity for supervision, continuing education, or other forms of in-service training;
  • unresolved personal conflicts beyond the job situation, such as marital tensions, chronic health problems, financial problems, and so on.