#22: An interventional approach to burnout

An interventional approach to burnout: Episode Notes

In this episode of the Stepsero podcast we dive deep into the complexities of of burnout.

Nowadays, many current approaches focus on preventing burnout from developing in the first place. To this purpose, working on one’s resilience or practicing yoga and meditation can be very effective.

Some organizations however, focus primarily on interventional practices rather than preventative ones. Among these, The Burnout Clinic advocates an interventional approach which helps patients free themselves from any limiting beliefs and break unhealthy habits.
According to their co-founder Duncan So, it is in fact possible to address people’s deep-rooted beliefs and counter them with alternative paths. By doing this, individuals manage to successfully shift their own thoughts and abandon certain negative behavioral patterns.

This is particularly important for companies at risk of developing a toxic culture. By spotting destructive habits and identifying pockets of toxic behavior across the organization, leaders are able to track most problems down to their root cause and start a precise intervention process based on behavioral change.

Along the conversation, Duncan guides us through 5 main paths directly associated with burnout:

  1. Exhaustion path: people are overworked, tired, and therefore performing at a slow pace.
  2. Anxiety path:  Panic settles in and individuals fear for their future.
  3. Productivity or creativity block: People experience some sort of paralysis, usually due to missing clarity on things that were once natural to them. This can get pretty daunting when professionals hold a role of great responsibility within the organization and find themselves unable to make decisions.
  4. Cynicism: People experience apathy, and generally see themselves as being simply realistic, which makes them hard to deal with.
    Cynicism can lead to micro-aggressive behavior at work, and can lead to a very toxic environment.
  5. Dark night of the soul:  Individuals lose grasp of themselves and their purpose in life, and feel completely stuck.

Our Guest: Duncan So

Duncan So Profile Picture

Duncan So is the Co-Founder & Executive Director at The Burnout Clinic. Duncan has been a child of corporate burnout that has led him professionally into the field of human flourishing for over a decade working on systemic social change projects.
He’s a social entrepreneur and change agent, on a mission to create a more passionate world building systems and programs for companies and communities on the path of making social good. 

Board Certified with the Association of Integrative Psychology. A Master Practitioner in Mental Emotional Release, NLP and Hypnosis.  He graduated with a degree in Applied Sciences specializing in Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. 

At the Burnout Clinic, we help HR Leaders and Entrepreneurs develop and integrate burnout intervention programs within their organization.  Our flagship 2-day burnout intervention program stops the cycle of high anxiety, fatigue, creative slumps, and burnout, and rapidly returns leaders back happy, productive and creatively engaged at work.


Ducan So Linkedin profile


20-minute free therapeutic recording by The Burnout Clinic