The Female Entrepreneur: Burnout Treated Using a Psychodynamic Existential Approach

Ayala Malach Pines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A burned-out female entrepreneur was treated using a psychodynamic existential approach. Psychodynamic theory contributed to this treatment approach idea that people choose an occupation that enables them to reenact significant childhood experiences. Existential theory contributed the idea that people attempt to find existential significance through their work. Burnout is assumed to result from a failure in the existential quest. This case demonstrates that when treating burnout, it is essential to address (a) Why, psychodynamically, did the individual choose the particular career and howwas it expected to provide existential significance? (b) Why does the individual feel a sense of failure in the existential quest, and how is this related to burnout? (c) What changes need to happen for the individual to have a sense of existential significance? In addition to demonstrating a treatment approach for burnout, the case contributes to the understanding of gender differences in burnout and the family dynamics of entrepreneurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-180
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Case Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • burnout
  • female entrepreneur
  • psychodynamic-existential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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