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A systems psycho-dynamic perspective on burnout

Author(s): F. Cilliers

Journal: South African Journal of Industrial Psychology
ISSN 0258-5200

Volume: 29;
Issue: 4;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: Burnout | Systems psycho-dynamic perspective

The aim of this research was to explore burnout from a systems psycho-dynamic perspective. A qualitative design, using focus groups, was used. Burnout can be seen as a phenomenon resulting from the psycho-dynamic relatedness between subsystems in the organisation. The macro system disowns and projects its unacceptable behaviour onto and into an individual with a specific valence, who identifies with the behaviour. Through counter transference, the individual experiences and contains the behaviour on behalf of the system. Coping with burnout implies that the total system will try to become aware of its projections and own its good and bad parts alike. Opsomming Die doel van hierdie navorsing was om uitbranding vanuit ’n sisteem-psigodinamiese perspektief te eksploreer. ’n Kwalitatiewe ontwerp met fokusgroepe is gebruik. Uitbranding kan gesien word as ’n fenomeen wat ontstaan uit die psigodinamiese verbintenis tussen subsisteme in die organisasie. Die makrosisteem onteien en projekteer sy onaanvaarbare gedrag op en in ’n individu met ’n spesifieke valensie, wat met hierdie gedrag identifiseer. Deur middel van teen-oordrag, ervaar en behou die individu die gedrag namens die sisteem. Coping met uitbranding impliseer dat die totale sisteem sal probeer bewus word van sy projeksies en om sy goeie en bose dele tegelyk te eien.
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