Publication Details

Gray, T. L. & Birrell, C. (2005). Burnout In Adventure Therapy: Bush-fire as a catalyst for change and soul work: An Australian perspective. In T. Dickson, T. L. Gray & B. Hayllar (Eds.), Outdoor and experiential learning : views from the top : a collection of writings on connections with nature, risk management, leadership and facilitation from the outdoor and experiential learning communities in Australia and New Zealand (pp. 137-152). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press.


As a background to the exploration of burnout as a psychological notion, it seemed appropriate to place it in a broader context. Both authors have at various stages, experienced symptoms of burnout, hence they were naturally drawn together by the need to understand this phenomenon more deeply. The bushfire metaphor seemed to link this naturally occurring event to the psychology of burnout. Rather than examining burnout from merely a pathological perspective, it was decided to look at it as a natural phenomenon that could perhaps unearth soulful qualities. In the tradition of Moore (1992; xiii), “soul lies midway between understanding and unconsciousness, and that its instrument is neither the mind nor the body, but imagination”.

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