Tips for SLPs on how to deal with burnout

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by long-term, chronic stress. It is characterized by feelings of cynicism, detachment, and a lack of accomplishment. Burnout can lead to a decrease in productivity, an increase in absenteeism, and a higher risk of developing physical and mental health problems.

As a speech therapist, you may be at risk for burnout due to the high demands of your job, the emotional toll of working with clients, and the pressure to achieve successful outcomes. It is important to recognize the signs of burnout and take steps to prevent it in order to maintain your well-being and effectiveness as a therapist. This article outlines some tips for SLPs on how to deal with burnout


Signs of Burnout

  • Feelings of emotional exhaustion
  • Loss of motivation and enjoyment in work
  • Increased cynicism and detachment
  • Decreased feelings of accomplishment
  • Physical symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and ill health

Preventing Burnout

  1. Practice self-care: Make time for activities that will nourish your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This might include exercise, hobbies, time with friends and family, and relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.
  2. Set boundaries: It is important to set limits on your work time and make sure to take breaks throughout the day. Avoid taking work home with you and try to leave work at work when you leave for the day.
  3. Seek support: Talk to a trusted colleague, friend, or family member about your feelings and seek support from a mental health professional if needed. It is also helpful to join a professional organization or network with other speech therapists to share experiences and find support.
  4. Seek supervision and training: Seek supervision and training opportunities to improve your skills and knowledge as a therapist. This can help you feel more confident and competent in your work and prevent burnout.
  5. Take breaks: Make sure to take regular breaks and use your vacation time. It is important to step away from work and recharge in order to prevent burnout.

Dealing with Speech Therapy Burnout

If you are already experiencing burnout, it is important to take immediate action to address the issue. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Seek help: As mentioned above, seeking support from a mental health professional can be extremely helpful in dealing with burnout. They can provide you with coping strategies and help you identify the underlying causes of your burnout.
  2. Make changes to your work environment: If possible, try to make changes to your work environment that will help reduce stress. This might include delegating tasks, setting clearer boundaries, or finding ways to make your work more fulfilling.
  3. Take time off: It is important to take time off to rest and recharge if you are experiencing burnout. This might mean taking a few days off or even taking a leave of absence if needed.
  4. Practice self-care: Make sure to prioritize self-care activities and make time for activities that nourish your well-being.
  5. Seek out new opportunities: Consider seeking out new opportunities for professional growth and development. This might include seeking additional training or taking on new responsibilities at work.


Burnout is a common and serious issue that can have a major impact on your well-being and effectiveness as a speech therapist. By recognizing the signs of burnout and taking steps to prevent it, you can maintain your well-being and continue to provide high-quality care to your clients. If you are already experiencing burnout, it is important to take immediate action to address the issue and seek support as needed.

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