” …The key is, you have to approach it not as a repetition but as a renewal.

And to do that your spirit has got to be 100 percent present.”


This is a great quote about avoiding burn-out. And, before you think I went through the Psychotherapy Networker archives to find the perfect clinician with the perfect quote; this one came from a journeyman. A journeyman defined by Webster is an experienced, competent but routine worker or performer. It’s someone who does a very good job doing the same work, day after day.  This particular journeyman has been doing the same work decade after decade. This quote came from Bruce Springsteen when asked if he was tired of playing the song “Born to Run”.

Now, if you’ve ever seen a Springsteen concert, you will know that when he plays “Born to Run”—everyone is on their feet–it’s usually about 2 1/2 hours in and the crowd is going wild. Whether you like Bruce Springsteen is not the issue here, but I can tell you that everyone of those long-time fans in that audience is experiencing renewal.  What’s happening here is the alchemy of being in the moment. Experiencing the present and nothing else even while they may be singing the same old song.

That’s what happens when a journeyman clinician who often is in their routine– day after day–is really good at their work. That clinician has done their own therapy, knows how to show up, leave the distractions behind, and work for the client–even when it’s hard. That hour is a communion between therapist and client and if it goes the way it should, both parties feel the renewal of a familiar theme with a movement that’s unique to that time and place.

Avoiding burnout has many components. That’s another post. I’ll just say, keep anticipating and expressing gratitude for a full, enthusiastic house who’s willing to buy the ticket, show up and sing along with you, decade after decade. Carl Rogers may have considered this a component of unconditional positive regard–I’ll call it the Bruce Springsteen effect.