The psychodynamics of burnout. About the relationship between fear and sorrow.


Burnout is not the result of hard work as such. It arises because a person constantly experiences mental stress in work and/or private life. The 'carrying capacity' and the 'carrying load' have been out of balance for too long. But what is the underlying psychological force, which leads to chronic stress and which is sometimes so persistent that someone gets a burnout again? And what inner change process is needed to prevent a relapse?


The author answers these questions from integrative psychotherapy and illustrates his view with examples from his practice and personal life. The book provides concise and at the same time in-depth insight into the psychological cause and the treatment of burnout and is recommended for coaches, counselors, psychotherapists and their clients.

Excerpt from the introduction



It has got out of hand a little. Once meant as a few pages to explain to my clients what my approach is to (the prevention of) burnout, this text grew to the size of a real article and eventually it became a book. All this knowing that 'limiting' is a central topic in dealing with stress.

The theme ‘chronic stress’ affects me not only personally - I once had it myself as you will read later on - but it also has, and undoubtedly for this reason, my professional interest. In my practice for coaching and psychotherapy I regularly ac- company people who have had to lay down their work tem- porarily because of chronic stress. This is almost always a very unpleasant and fierce experience, which is accompanied by physical complaints and psychological pain.


Although the lives and problems of people are unique, it is possible to recognize the specific psychological forces that underlie chronic stress. It is essential to understand and change these psychodynamics, especially if cognitive insight into one's own functioning turns out to be insufficient to be able to change one's own behavior after a burnout. Someti- mes there are unconscious forces working in a person that continue to cause emotional instability. By changing these psychodynamics, it is possible to achieve a new, lasting ba- lance in a person's personality, enabling to make healthy choices in work and private situations. Of course, this does not eliminate any form of tension, but life can be lived wit- hout chronic stress.

Fragment uit hoofdstuk over de relatie tussen angst en verdriet.


De angst draagt zorg voor het verdriet (en streeft dus eigenlijk naar geluk). Zoals ‘faalangst’ het verdriet wil voorkomen om in de ogen van een ander tekort te schieten en afgewezen te worden. Of zoals ‘verlatingsangst’ er is om het verdriet om alleen te zijn tegen te gaan. Of zoals ‘smetvrees’ bestaat om iemand te besparen dat hij het verdriet moet dragen om ziek te zijn of dood te gaan. Als mensen hebben we dus onze angst nodig om verdriet te voorkomen, terwijl de angst zelf ons paradoxaal genoeg niet gelukkig maakt.

First reactions


"This book is refreshing! Very accessible, compelling writing style (and also professional!), well substantiated and practically explained. Great with a book with so much content. Valuable that you describe your own experience; this makes the book personal, honest and hopeful!


"I like the mix of cases and theory. You are also a pleasant writer, clear, compact, analytical and with a lot of compassion. I also found your own story moving. You had touched on it once, but of course never in so much detail. Furthermore, I realize even more what an enormously complex profession you practice and how valuable it can be to the people you help.




1. Signal ‘Fire under control’

        Environmental dynamics - Psychodynamics


2. Unresolved


3. The relationship between fear and sorrow

        Sorrow - Anger - Forms of expression


4. Protection modes

        Unconsciously - Qualities - Self-image

        Breaking point


5. When the wall falls

        Risk profile - Depression - Counteraction


6. Autonomous position

        Concrescence - Insufficient autonomy - 

        External control orientation - Sickness gain


7. Brain and burnout

        Hormones - Plasticity - Brain evolution


8. Phases in burnout counseling

        Rest - Into the deep - Change in work

        Getting to work


9. Change in psychodynamics

        Directing - Center of gravity in personality

        Imagination - Complex


10. Victor

        Failed - Emotional intelligence - In search of

        the fear  - To the sorrow - Integration - Back


Notes - Literature - About the author

Boek bestellen


Prijs € 17,50 


Te bestellen bij:

- (1,95 verzendkosten, levertijd 3 dagen),

- BOL.COM (2,99 verzendkosten, levertijd 2 weken)

- of te verkrijgen bij de boekhandel.


De psychodynamiek van burn-out. Over de relatie tussen angst en verdriet. 127 pgs. Uitgeverij Pacem. ISBN 978-94-6345-592-3.

Bestel de Nederlandstalige uitgave bij via deze knop:

The psychodynamics of burnout. About the relationship between fear and sorrow. 117 pgs. Uitgeverij Pacem. ISBN 978-94-6345-593-0

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© 2019 Peter Suijker Coaching and Psychotherapy - Mauritsweg 35 - 3012 JT Rotterdam - - 06-51993299

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