(Interview conducted by Adil Abdulla (“AA”) and Crystal Park (“CP”) on February 16, 2023)
AA: Thank you for joining the OBA civil litigation section. I understand that you’re a registered psychotherapist who works with lawyers. Could you tell me a bit about your practice?
JB: I run a psychotherapy clinic called Eden Wellness for high achieving professionals. A huge proportion of my client base are lawyers, primarily because I used to be a litigator. I practiced on Bay Street before I decided to transition into this career. The clinic deals primarily with stress and burnout, anxiety, depression, relationship challenges, and life transitions.
AA: We’ve heard about burnout from the perspective of the person experiencing it. What does it mean from the perspective of a mental health professional?
JB: There is an official definition from the World Health Organization: it is a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that hasn’t been successfully managed. It’s characterized by three dimensions. One is exhaustion. Two is increased distance from your job, including negativity or cynicism towards your job. Three is reduced professional efficacy.
Of course, burnout can happen in other contexts as well. For example, think of caregiver burnout.
AA: That’s really important given that caregiving is, sadly, an under-recognized form of work.
JB: Of course. It comes up a lot in the situation of parents who are also professionals. They can get burnout in both domains. It’s really important to be mindful that burnout can exist in both a personal and professional capacity because when it exists in both, it can be very challenging to manage.