Articles by Meagan Graydon

Meagan Graydon is completing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Medicine in the Human Services Psychology Program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Her research interests focus on health behavior change, particularly substance use, using the framework of the Transtheoretical Model. Her clinical work has included providing court-mandated interventions for perpetrators of domestic violence, assessment and rehabilitation services with individuals with neurological conditions, and treatments for veterans with substance use disorders. She will be applying for internship in the fall and hopes to pursue a career in health psychology working with veterans and members of the military.

Yes, You Can Overcome Grad School Burnout – Here’s How

Yes, You Can Overcome Grad School Burnout – Here’s How

Previously in this series, we introduced burnout and outlined symptoms of burnout to look out for.

In this article, we will discuss strategies that can help you prevent and treat burnout, so that you can continue to excel in your graduate program and future career as a behavioral health professional (or if you found this article and you’re not in the behavioral health field, these burnout tips can help you regardless of your field).

Oftentimes there are environmental factors (e.g., too few resources, too many responsibilities, too little time) that contribute to the experience of burnout; however, these factors are often outside of our control. Fortunately, there are things you can be doing to cope with environmental stressors and manage your response to frustrations.

Ideally, these strategies should be implemented early on to prevent burnout from occurring. However, even if symptoms of burnout have already reared their ugly head, these strategies can help break the cycle of behavior and thinking patterns that can produce and perpetuate the symptoms of burnout.

Grad School Burnout is Real – Here are the Symptoms

Grad School Burnout is Real – Here are the Symptoms

Burnout is believed to be coined by the psychologist Dr. Herbert Freudenberger who defined it as “failing, wearing out, or becoming exhausted through excessive demands on energy, strength, or resources” [1].

At times, graduate school seems synonymous with burnout – it is a multi-year, grueling process of hurdle after hurdle.

There is often a mentality in graduate programs that this “suffering” is a right-of-passage of sorts, an initiation that all therapists before us endured and overcame before entering into the profession.

However, the reality is that these expectations and this laissez faire attitude, when left unchecked, can produce burnout that is of detriment to not only the physical and mental health of graduate students, but also to their productivity and quality of work. Unfortunately, for many in the psychology field, this experience does not end with graduate school.