Those called to ministry care for people?۪s burdens and have concern for the future of humanity.
However, conveying such love and compassion has a cost. Many ministers experience feelings
of burnout and compassion fatigue. Anxiety and depression often accompany secondary
trauma. Loneliness and isolation are frequently inherent in leadership positions. As a result,
ministers often display a lack of self-care that combines with repetitive negative thinking
(rumination and worry for those in their care) to exacerbate the burnout experience. The latest
research indicates several, important keys for mental health professionals working with those
in ministry who are experiencing burnout. Mindfulness techniques have been associated with
decreases in burnout, stress, anxiety, and depression, but sometimes create concerns for
Christians. More positively, Christian meditation practice has demonstrated reductions in
repetitive negative thinking patterns. This workshop describes three strategies to address
burnout: 1) Adapting mindfulness to the Christian worldview, 2) Enhancing meaning-making,
and 3) Incorporating periodic spiritual retreats into a minister?۪s lifestyle. These may promote
resiliency, reducing burnout and compassion fatigue.
Presented by: Fernando Garzon, Psy.D.
- Apply practical methods for decreasing repetitive negative thinking to help prevent symptoms of burnout, anxiety, and depression
- Describe strategies for increasing secure attachment to God and others to help prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation and promote healthy interpersonal relationships
- List practical ways to incorporate self-care and spiritual retreat into daily life to help prevent burnout and compassion fatigue