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Book by Duncan Rodger Dean
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Why do so many clergy burnout in midlife, leaving ministries they’ve diligently shepherded? The phenomenon has become an epidemic, with an estimated 1,500 pastors leaving the ministry each month in the United States alone. Bishop Trevor Walters draws on his more than three decades as an Anglican priest and counselor, to show how so many professionals (not just clergy) burnout at around age 50. Contrary to popular assumption, the author explains that the primary cause of burnout is not stress, as we thought . . .
Rather, burnout is the result of an internal conflict. (Many high-stress professions have relatively low burnout rates.) Lacking affirmation from parents (particularly fathers) during their formative years, many professionals seek to get affirmation from those they serve, a path to inevitable burnout. With collaboration from psychiatrist Jim Stanley, M.D. Walters offers hope by demonstrating that recognizing this source of burnout, far from being a fatal diagnosis, is the first necessary step to seeking the healing available through the Great Physician Jesus Christ. The author looks as a pattern for relationships to the example of the Heavenly Father’s relationship with Jesus during his Incarnate Son’s earthly ministry. When earthly fathers fall short, real injury is imparted to their children. But seeing, understanding, and acknowledging the injury can set the course for genuine healing and genuine forgiveness. Dr. Stanley, a Stanford University and Yale Medical School trained psychiatrist, affirms that the author’s observations and therapy are consistent with current practices in psychiatry, and that they hold true for highfunctioning professionals in a variety of fields.
While the insights offered are vital for counselors and psychiatrists treating those suffering from External Affirmation Syndrome (EAS), the book is also valuable, and very accessible, for lay people seeking to understand their own struggles or those of a loved one.
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