The Lived Experiences of Burnout in Clinical Psychologists in Pakistan: A Phenomenological Study
Keywords:Lived Experiences, Burnout, Clinical Psychologists, Coping Strategies, Phenomenology, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Clinical psychologists are compelled to encounter the challenging conditions of psychologically ill clients in their exacerbating journey. They must bear the emotional burden of apprehension, worry, overtiredness, and mental fatigue. The adverse lived experiences of clinical sessions, psychotherapy, and counseling lead to work-related mental stress and emotional exhaustion. Consequently, burnout has been one of the main precursors that mental health professionals are constantly dealing with. The research study aims to explore the lived experiences of burnout among clinical psychologists and identify the coping strategies used by these clinical psychologists in Pakistan. The study uses the qualitative phenomenology method to evaluate the respondents' experiences. The purposive sampling technique was used to conduct semi-structured interviews with six clinical psychologists. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, the four themes of lived experiences of burnout and the five themes of coping strategies emerged. Results suggest that clinical psychologists have encountered burnout mainly due to workplace conditions, caregivers' attitudes, a state of helplessness, and societal stereotypes. They cope with burnout because of family-work balance, a support system, religious affiliation, and determined personality traits. The findings contribute new aspects of knowledge about the burnout phenomenon and help shape mental healthcare policies. There remains a need for further rigorous investigation of burnout to establish a formal policy for the mental health of clinical psychologists.
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