International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 11 Num. 2 - June 2011


Preventing Sick-leave for Sufferers of High Stress-load and Burnout Syndrome: A Pilot Study Combining Psychotherapy and the Flotation tank

Volume 11 Num. 2 - June 2011 - Pages 297-306


Anette Kjellgren , Hanne Buhrkall , Torsten Norlander


The aim of the present pilot study was to get information whether or not a 10-week combined treatment program with relaxation in a flotation tank and subsequent psychotherapeutic sessions, may be beneficial for persons suffering from high stress-load and ?burnout syndrome?. Four women and two men between the ages of 33 and 57 years old took part in the study. They were all diagnosed as on the brink for sick leave and suffering from ?burn-out syndrome? with symptoms of fatigue and problems organizing daily life. All clients participated in the 10-week treatment program consisting of flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) treatments and conversational therapy with a psychologist. During the treatment program they continued their usual work, but were able to leave for 4 hours a week for participating in the treatments. The results revealed a significant decrease in degree of depression and anxiety and an increase in positive outlook on life. There was also a significant decrease in extent of painful areas and a significant decrease in their experienced worst pain-intensity. After the treatment period, they all continued to work, and there was no need for sick-leave. The conclusion is that this combined treatment program is promising and should be further evaluated in a randomized control trial.

Key words:

Flotation-REST, burnout syndrome, stress reduction

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