Empathic social workers at higher risk of burnout and stress

Social workers with high levels of empathy for their clients are more at risk of burning out, particularly if they are unable to manage their emotions and reflect on their practice effectively, research reveals.

 

Findings from a study of over 300 social work trainees found that the more empathic social workers reported higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression than their colleagues. Distress was also higher among students who had a lower ability to reflect on their practice effectively.