Counseling for Burnout

Are you feeling like a battery that won’t hold its charge anymore?

Many of us are all-too-familiar with the feeling of burnout — that run down, barely hanging on, run-over-by-a-truck feeling that too often goes along with our modern work lives. 

When you’re burned out, you know the status quo isn’t working and it isn’t sustainable. But it’s also difficult to imagine how things can get better. Maybe you find yourself fantasizing about quitting your job, or even finding a new career altogether, but it’s just not practical right now. And you’re too exhausted to even think about updating your CV, let alone interviewing. 

Maybe you’ve already tried meditation apps, or read a self-help book, or gone to a self-care workshop at work. And it helped, a little. Especially at first. But it’s not enough. Because the situation creating burnout is still there, seemingly draining the life right out of you.


Exhausted woman in professional attire leaning against wall, with her tablet next to her on the floor

How to Recognize Burnout

Burnout is a particularly difficult type of exhaustion — one that doesn’t seem to go away even after a good night’s sleep or a long weekend unplugged. Burned out employees can find themselves right back at square one the minute they open their email after a tropical vacation or a week in the woods. Burnout is generally thought of as being related to professional stress, although it can be related to other forms of labor as well, such as providing care for an aging loved one or attending a challenging graduate program.

One key sign of burnout is an increased cynicism and suspicion of the motives of the people around you. For example, a burned out professor might start to see their students as lazy or manipulative. A physician may find herself blaming patients for their ailments or feeling unmoved by their pain. (People in the healing professions are in fact particularly susceptible to burnout and its cousin, compassion fatigue.) Irritability and numbness are common emotional experiences. 

Burned out people feel less motivated by their work overall, and can struggle with concentration and brain fog that makes productivity impossible. But even when they’re performing well, they may find little joy in their accomplishments or reaching their goals.

Burnout Isn’t Just About Overwork

Think of a time in your life where you were doing something that felt super challenging in a good way. What made that different from the type of challenge that causes burnout? 

Chances are, it wasn’t just long hours that made the difference. In fact, when we’re feeling excited by a project in our personal and professional lives, we may work long hours and maintain a sense of being energized and inspired. Yes, we still get tired and we need rest and breaks. But we don’t get to that place where we’re like a battery that won’t hold a charge. 

So if burnout isn’t just about working too much, what is it? Well, I’ve got good news and bad news. 

The good news is that you’re not to blame—many of the things creating burnout in our professional lives are related to modern work culture, not any personal flaw or deficit. Dysfunctional interpersonal dynamics, lack of autonomy, poor support, and lack of clarity around expectations all contribute to burnout for employees. Some of our clients have even found themselves in workplace situations that cross the line into physical, mental, or sexual abuse, compounding burnout with trauma

The bad news is that unless you’re in a real position of power in your organization, the issues creating burnout probably aren’t going away anytime soon. So…now what?

Black Millennial professional woman with natural hair in a gray pantsuit, holding a phone receiver. Her eyes area closed and her expression is stressed, exhausted, and burned out.

Counseling for Burnout at Stella Nova

Counseling for burnout often blends support for coping with the situation today, with help navigating towards a future where you feel more empowered, effective, and inspired. Your therapist may offer support for finding clarity on big decisions, learning new skills with boundary setting and communication, or managing the inner critic that’s been especially loud lately. We can also help you reconnect with the goals, activities, and values that bring a spark of energy and purpose to your life. 

If you think you may be experiencing burnout, a Stella Nova therapist can help. We specialize in therapy for women and nonbinary professionals across a wide variety of industries and experiences, from students preparing to launch their careers, to folks at the top of their game, to mid-life career changers and more. Our diverse team includes therapists with different backgrounds, approaches, and expertise so that we can offer a great match for you.

Meet Stella Nova Therapists Offering Counseling for Burnout


Burnout in graduate students & professional women of color

Headshot of Megan Sullivan-Tuba, a white woman with glasses and brown hair pulled back. Individual and couples therapy, LGBTQ+ allied.


Artists, musicians & creative professional burnout

Sydney Woodward, AMFT (she/they) a femme presenting Black person with short natural hair. She is standing in front of a yellow background and smiling brightly into the camera. Sydney offers individual and couples therapy. LGBTQ+ affirming therapy.


Burnout support for professional people pleasers & conflict avoiders


Burnout in caregivers & adult children of immigrants


Burnout in high-achievers & healthcare professionals


Navigating burnout with a chronic health condition

Connect with a Stella Nova Burnout Therapist, with Services Online Throughout California

If you’re ready to start feeling like yourself again, we invite you to reach out to Stella Nova today.

We offer a free, 20-minute phone consultation where we’ll get to know a little bit about your current concerns, goals, and preferences, so that we can match you with a great-fit therapist who can help. It’s a commitment-free way to learn more about our resources and get your questions answered. (And if we can’t help, we’re always happy to refer you to someone who can.) Appointments are limited so schedule your free consultation today!

COVID-19 Note: We are currently offering services online throughout California via secure video. Local clients may opt to transition to in-person care when we reopen our San Francisco office mid-2022. 


A Filipinx woman working from home with a laptop on the couch. She has a slight smile on her face, eyes closed, and she is stretching overhead, as though she is taking a mindfulness or yoga break during the workday.

Are you curious about therapy for burnout or work stress?

Contact us for a free 20-minute phone consultation to see how we can help you.

Other Services at Stella Nova

We don’t just offer counseling for burnout and work stress! Stella Nova offers a range of services to support the mental health needs of women and nonbinary professionals, including the unique needs of women of color. We also serve couples of all genders! Learn more about online therapy for anxiety, chronic pain, trauma and more.