Stress & Burnout Counselling

Construction Man Sitting Thinking - Men's Counselling and Mental Health Therapy Support for PTSD and Trauma

What is Stress?

Stress is the emotional, mental, and physical response we have in challenging situations we feel ill-equipped to deal with. Stress tends to arise when we feel threatened, fearful, overwhelmed, or uncertain. It can also be thought of as a fight, flight, or freeze response to a real or imagined circumstance in which we feel a lack of control or an inability to cope.

What Causes Stress?

It can sometimes be difficult to predict what will provoke a stress response, as it varies widely depending upon the individual. Each person will also respond differently to potentially stressful situations depending on other life circumstances. Conditions which might provoke a stress response include:

  • Changes in life circumstances
  • Limited social support network
  • Work/life imbalance
  • Relationship difficulties or breakdown
  • Financial strain or unemployment
  • Excessive levels of activity
  • Abuse, overuse, or misuse of drugs, including alcohol or prescription medication
  • Ineffective coping strategies

Stress and Burnout Counselling Areas of Focus

  • Stress Management

  • Financial Stress and Money Worries

  • Workplace Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination

  • Managing and Navigating Change

  • Workplace and Career Concerns

  • Job Insecurity and Unemployment Stress

  • Stress and Burnout

  • Stress and Coping with Change

  • Managing Business Related Stress

  • School Related Issues and Bullying

  • Academic and Exam Stress

  • Impact of Technology and Social Media

What are the Symptoms of Stress?

What are the symptoms of stress, and how do I know if I am suffering from stress? Temporary or mild stress can be helpful – it can help you feel active and alert when you are in a demanding situation. A moderate level of stress can improve performance during high-pressure circumstances such as sporting events, exams, and job interviews. However, if you are excessively stressed for long periods of time, it may impact you in the following ways:

  • Constant worrying or racing thoughts
  • Irritability and anger
  • Issues with memory or concentration
  • Feeling lonely, isolated, or unhappy
  • Rapid heartbeat, nausea
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Inability to relax or wind down
  • Changes to appetite, sleeping patterns, or sex drive
  • Nervous tics and behaviors
  • Social avoidance or withdrawal from previously enjoyed activities

Stress has both biological and psychological aspects, which everyone experiences and copes with differently. Some people attempt to block or ignore their feelings, others relieve stress through physical exertion, and some cope by talking about it with another person. However, these coping methods are not always sufficient, particularly if you are stressed for long periods of time. Ongoing feelings of stress can become a very serious long-term health issue that can intensify rapidly.

PTSD Trauma Man Looking Down Talking with Counsellor - Men's Counselling and Mental Health Therapy Support for PTSD and Trauma

Don’t ignore the symptoms of long-term stress. If you leave stress unresolved, it can lead to anger, depression, severe anxiety, and physical health complications. Research has found that mental or emotional distress is closely linked with poor physical health. People who are highly stressed are more vulnerable to illness. Poor physical health is also a maintaining factor for increased levels of stress. It underlies many other mental health issues and maladaptive mood states, such as depression, anxiety, panic, fear, and anger. Ongoing stress can affect your relationships with friends and family and also negatively impact their health and well-being.

Treatment Options for Stress Reduction?

At Melbourne Therapy and Counselling Centre, our highly trained and experienced counsellors can help you learn new coping strategies to deal with life’s inevitable stressors. We will work with you to understand the origins, underlying causes, and patterns of thinking and behavior that contribute to your stress. Our specialist stress and burnout counsellors will use client-focused, evidence-based treatments to reduce stress and restore your health and well-being.

For more information about the therapies that we offer for stress and burnout, please click here.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress, particularly in the workplace. It is characterised by feelings of depletion, cynicism, and a reduced sense of accomplishment or effectiveness. Burnout is often a result of chronic work-related stress that has not been effectively managed or addressed.

While stress is a general response to challenging situations, burnout specifically refers to the long-term impact of ongoing stress. It goes beyond temporary feelings of fatigue or overwhelm and can have significant effects on a person’s well-being, relationships, and overall functioning.

Young Man Working Burnout

What are the Symptoms of Burnout?

The symptoms of burnout can vary from person to person, but common signs and symptoms include:

  • Physical exhaustion: Feeling drained, lacking energy, and experiencing frequent fatigue.
  • Emotional exhaustion: Feeling emotionally drained, overwhelmed, and unable to cope with stressors.
  • Increased cynicism and detachment: Developing a negative or cynical attitude towards work, feeling detached from colleagues and clients, and experiencing a loss of enjoyment or satisfaction.
  • Reduced productivity and effectiveness: Finding it difficult to concentrate, being less efficient, and experiencing decreased performance.
  • Emotional and interpersonal problems: Having conflicts or difficulties in relationships, both at work and in personal life.
  • Physical symptoms: Experiencing headaches, stomach problems, sleep disturbances, and other physical ailments related to chronic stress.
  • Increased absenteeism: Taking more sick leave or finding reasons to be absent from work.
  • Lack of motivation: Feeling demotivated, apathetic, and disengaged from work tasks and responsibilities.
  • Decreased satisfaction: Feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied with one’s job and overall career path.
  • Negative self-perception: Developing low self-esteem, self-doubt, and a sense of ineffectiveness.

The Relationship Between Stress and Burnout

The key difference between stress and burnout is that stress is typically a short-term response to specific stressors, while burnout is a chronic condition that develops over time due to prolonged exposure to excessive stress. Burnout often occurs when individuals feel overwhelmed, unsupported, and emotionally drained by their work or other demanding responsibilities.

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What To Expect In A Stress And Burnout Counselling Session

During your initial session at Melbourne Therapy and Counselling Centre, the focus is on gaining a comprehensive understanding of your personal circumstances and developing a tailored treatment plan.

Together with your counsellor, you will:

  • Identify the underlying causes and triggers for your stress and through open discussions and exploration assist in understanding the root causes of stress for you and develop effective strategies to manage and cope with it.
  • Learn practical coping strategies and skills that are tailored to your individual and unique needs. These may include relaxation techniques, mindfulness exercises, problem solving skills, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and healthy communication strategies to better manage stress and burnout.
  • Identify maladaptive behaviours and thought patterns contributing to stress and develop healthier coping mechanisms, challenge negative thinking patterns, and promote positive behavioural changes.
  • Self-care and lifestyle adjustments through developing practices that prioritise your physical, mental and emotional well-being. This may involve exploring lifestyle adjustments, setting boundaries, improving sleep habits, engaging in enjoyable activities and hobbies and promoting in self-nurturing practices.
  • Learning to build resilience, the ability to bound back from adversity and manage stress more effectively by developing coping skills, fostering a positive mindset and building social support networks.
  • Engaging in self-reflection and introspection, allowing you to gain deeper insight into your thoughts, emotions, and patterns of behaviour which can help individuals identify and address stress triggers more effectively.
  • Supporting you to achieving the work-life-balance you’re seeking by striving for a healthy balance between work and personal life, ensuring that your personal needs and relationships are not neglected.

Simply having a non-judgemental, supportive and understanding space to talk about your stress can be incredibly valuable. Our stress counselling centre provides an unbiased perspective and can validate your individual experiences, providing reassurance, encouragement and hope for your future.

Stress and Burnout Therapy

Stress Management Counselling

For individuals facing challenges in managing their stress, seeking support is essential. By setting realistic goals and implementing effective strategies, it becomes possible to regulate emotional responses and lead a life free from unnecessary conflict and stress.

At Melbourne Therapy and Counselling Centre, our qualified, experienced and skilled counsellors can provide stress and burnout management counselling and the necessary support that you require.

For appointments or inquiries please contact us or make an appointment directly via our booking portal.

We offer in-person stress management counselling in Melbourne at our stress and burnout specialist centre in Murrumbeena, or via telehealth for online stress management counselling.