How Physical Therapists can Fight Burnout

All movement professions have a certain level of practitioner burnout.  This includes the full spectrum of those that work in rehabilitation (health minus) to those that work with enhancing wellness (health plus).  It also runs the gamut of those that work with children to those that focus on the geriatric population.

What Causes Burnout?

The causes of professional burnout can be very varied.  Certainly some professions see higher burnout rates than others.  The work environment can be a major factor, and how this environment interacts with the needs and expectations of the movement specialist will influence the percentage of employees who experience burnout.  One factor that may be common to many of these situations is the repetitive nature of client interactions in the work environment

Avoid Burnout

At the Gray Institute, we believe that the single most important way to avoid professional burnout is to have the ability to INDIVIDUALIZE every patient/client program.  One of the core Principles of Applied Functional Science (AFS) is that “everyone is an individual”.  Pre-scripted plans and algorithms may seem beneficial to us, but at best they can serve as the foundation of our training and rehabilitation programs.   These plans must be altered (tweaked) in response to the needs of each person.  Individualized programs will never be the same for different people even if their goals, condition, or diagnoses are the same.

Individualize Treatment

In order to create an individualized program for each client, the movement practitioner must have an analysis/assessment system that identifies the “strengths and weakness” of that individual based on global movements. Movements that require the different body parts to be integrated and coordinated.  The 3D Movement Analysis and Performance System (3DMAPS) does exactly that.  Utilizing 6 global movements (Chains), that drive the body in and out of 6 Vital Transformational Zones, the Movement Specialist will readily see how the body “answers” these movement “questions”.  By determining which movement chains are successful and which ones are not as successful, and by comparing sides for symmetry, a logical sequence of progression is revealed.  These analysis movements check for the ability to execute the movement (mobility) and control those movements (stability).


One of the maxims of the Gray Institute is: “The test is the exercise, and the exercise is the test”.  For a test to become a valuable exercise it must be tweaked for that individual based on their present abilities, as well as the activities they need and want to do in three-dimensional space.  Logical tweaks of the 6 Movement Chains produce the 14 components of the 3DMAPS Performance System.  Those components can be further “individualized” through the 10 Observational Essentials of the Certification in Applied Functional Science (CAFS).  The Observational Essentials provide a limitless opportunity to discover the best program sequence for each client /patient.


At the Gray Institute there is a tremendous emphasis on success.  The analysis determines the client’s degree of success.  The program starts with success.  Success begets more success.  Our clients love success.  The client’s success becomes the practitioner’s success.  The client’s success allows for authentic encouragement.  The client’s encouragement becomes the practitioner’s encouragement.  Individualized analysis and training creates an amazing environment of success. The AFS practitioner will not suffer burnout.

Fight Burnout with AFS

To learn more about 3DMAPS and CAFS ……