Point of View

Point of View

Burnout and the Body: Emily Nagoski on Naming the Real Enemy

By Ryan Howes

January/February 2022

It probably goes without saying, but over the past few years, burnout has become endemic to therapy—on both the client’s side and the clinician’s. Spurred on by the increased pace and demands of modern life (not to mention the advent of a pandemic and the unprecedented acceleration of climate change), droves of people have begun seeking out hope and inspiration from the already overburdened mental health field, where supplies of both seem to be running low.

Of course, therapists are still society’s dedicated healers, practiced in holding the pain of others, but with increasing caseloads of skyrocketing stress—both personal and professional—is it any wonder that therapists, too, have begun to suffer burnout along with their clients? We may have a better understanding of the importance of self-care, but it’s not the panacea some once thought.

Emily Nagoski has a different solution: love.

With her twin sister Amelia, Nagoski is the author of the bestselling book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. In her previous book, Come as You Are—also a bestseller—Nagoski normalized differences in sexuality and desire for millions of readers. Her TED Talk garnered more than a million views, dismantling the myth that physical reactions to sexual stimuli are always tied to desire. Now she’s turned her attention to “the secret of unlocking the stress cycle.” Before sharing her message at the 2022 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, she…

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