EAS Syndrome

Publisher: Anglican House Media Ministries, Inc.

EAS Syndrome: Healing Burnout in Adults Lacking Parental Affirmation

By Trevor Walters

With Jim Stanley, M.D.


Why do so many pastors burnout and leave the ministries they’ve diligently shepherded? The phenomenon is epidemic, with record numbers leaving monthly. Writing in professional partnership with a psychiatrist, Trevor Walters shows that midlife burnout is not caused by stress, as we thought, but by an inner conflict strong and persistent enough to ignite burnout in professional men and women. From decades of counseling burned out clergy and other professionals, the author concludes that in most cases the operative inner conflict is affirmation deficiency. When parents fail in their task of affirming a son’s or daughter’s unique personhood, the child embarks on a life long quest of seeking after affirmation elsewhere. This is a pursuit they can maintain only so long before burning out around age 50. No book until now has explained External Affirmation Syndrome (EAS), its consequences, and therapy for healing. This will enrich readers and all therapeutic counselors, Christians especially.

In this groundbreaking new book, Bishop Trevor Walters draws on his more than three decades as an Anglican priest and marriage and family counselor to show why high-functioning professionals break down in midlife. Contrary to the popular assumption, Walters explains that the primary cause of burnout isn’t stress. (Some very high-stress professions have low burnout rates.) Rather, burnout results from an internal conflict. Adults lacking affirmation from parents – particularly fathers – during the formative years will go about seeking it from those whom they serve – an inevitable path to burnout.

In collaboration from psychiatrist Jim Stanley, M.D., Walters offers hope by demonstrating that recognizing this hidden source of burnout, far from being a dire diagnosis, is the first necessary step to seeking healing available through the Great Physician, Jesus Christ. Walters looks to the example of the Heavenly Father’s relationship with Jesus during his incarnate earthly ministry as a heavenly pattern for relationships. When earthly fathers fall short, real injury is done to their children. Identifying, acknowledging, understanding the nature, and the full extent, of this injury can set the course for genuine healing and forgiveness.

The insights this milestone book offers to psychologists, psychiatrists, and religious counselors are very accessible to anyone seeking to understand their own struggles, and to employers and loved ones concerned about a fall-off in the performance or wellbeing of another. This is neither a man’s nor a woman’s book, nor is it a book for any particular age or group.

Individual chapters identify and explain the following:

·      The usual cause of midlife burnout is not stress as we thought, but inner conflict.

·      Observable symptoms of burnout are catalogued.

·      The heavenly template: Jesus was affirmed at the Jordon before he had done anything to earn it. He was able to slough-off his temptations and challenges knowing that that his Father affirmed him.

·      The behaviors Jesus modeled are not beyond our reach today.

·      EAS people live in subjectivity (internalizing happenings according to   their feelings and previous experiences) rather than objectively; hence their addiction to affirmation.

·      How childhood affects you; e.g., resentment begins at home, caused by lack of affirmation.    

·      Unpacking co-dependencies of the growing-up years. A reprise of the therapy so far and an outline of the next steps to healing.

·      How misapprehending the Fifth Commandment (Honoring your father and your mother) gets in the way of healing.

·      Victims of abuse accept responsibility for what happened. Children attribute lack of affirmation to being unworthy of it, with harmful consequences in life.   

·      Cataloging parental failures is a necessary step to assigning blame where it belongs and to true forgiveness. Excusing parental failures in the guise of forgiveness allows wounds to continue festering.

·      One must know the extent of the damage done before choosing to forgive. 

·      Grieving the loss of what could have been when growing up, and grieving for one’s parents, who also missed out on God’s plan.

·      An imaginary return to one’s home of origin in order to offload toxic emotions generated there.

·      Coaching for the imaginary trip to the home of origin.    

·      The preeminence of Christ and what he has in store for those who seek his healing touch.       

·      Seeking out people of godly wisdom. St. Paul’s affirmations in the introductions to his letters. 

·      Living into words of affirmation given by discerning people.

·      Building healthy peer-to-peer relationships to replace shallow “best friend” relationships.

·      Persons healed of EAS must parent themselves. Doing it well.  

·      Advice about affirming children.

About Jim Stanley

Dr. Staley was educated at Stanford University and the Yale School of Medicine.  His education in psychiatry was furthered at the University of Munich, Germany, Stanford Hospital, and the University of Colorado Medical Center.

Dr. Stanley is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He retired following 30 years of the private practice of psychiatry in Newport Beach, California. Dr. Stanley has served as psychiatric consultant to a variety of mental health programs in Colorado and California, including more than 15 years as Director of Student Mental Health Services at Orange Coast College. Earlier he was a psychiatrist in the United States Air Force Medical Corps, with the rank of major.  Dr. Stanley is the author or co-author of several published works including Overcoming Obesity in Adolescents [Clinical Pediatrics, 9-29-36] and Adolescent Suicidal Behavior, Am. J. Orthopsychiatry 40:87-96].

Jim Staley and his wife Rhoda are the parents of three grown children and have eight grandchildren. They enjoy golf and bridge, and especially time with their kids and grandkids. Jim and Rhoda Stanley attend St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California.

About Trevor Walters

Trevor Walters is perhaps best known as a therapist for his decades of work with burned out clergy. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree form the University of Edmonton, where he has served on the Master’s of Theology Council. He has had the high honor of serving the University of Calgary as University Chaplain. He is Chair of the Mediating Committee of the Anglican Church in North America, and a Circuit Civil Mediator for the Supreme Court of Florida. Most recently he has functioned variously as a counselor, mediator, preacher, lecturer, and as a Bishop, in Canada, Cuba, Sudan, the UK and the United States.

London born, the author was ordained at Salisbury Cathedral and sent to Canada to serve as curate at a parish in Calgary. He was Rector at St. Matthew’s Church in Abbotsford, Canada, Anglican Church of Canada, until resigning in defense of Biblical orthodoxy. He is now Bishop of Western Canada for the Anglican Network in Canada, a part of the Anglican Church in North America. Earlier in life he taught high school in England, having qualified at London University. He came to know the Lord at age 15, attended a Baptist Church, and was mentored by a Plymouth Brethren teacher. Later he joined the Barnabas Fellowship, an early charismatic community in England, where he learned to pray for people in depth and was taught by inspirational leaders from around the world. His seminary training was at Salisbury and Wells Theological College, an Anglo-Catholic institution, due to its relationship to Barnabas Fellowship.


Binding EAN ISBN-10 Pub Date PAGES Language Size Price
E-Book 9780997016710 099701671X 2016-05-30 0 0.00 x 0.00 x 0.00 in $9.95
Paperback 9780997016703 0997016701 2016-05-30 196 0.00 x 6.19 x 9.07 in $21.95




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