Compassion fatigue, secondary trauma stress, and burnout among licensed mental health professionals
Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Barry S. Lee
Scholarship of Discovery, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
This quantitative research explored the presence of compassion fatigue (CF) and burnout (BO), and examined predictors that might include or exclude traumatic stress with the purpose of examining the levels of CF, secondary trauma stress (STS), BO, and use of career-sustaining behaviors (CSB) among licensed mental health professionals in order to improve the well-being of clinicians. This research sought to find the presence of CF, STS, and BO with descriptive analyses, and risk factors that appear predictive of these phenomena using regression analyses, and Pearson Product Moment Correlations to determine relationships between career-sustaining behaviors, the three phenomena, and the working lives of 37 licensed mental health professionals. The instruments used were the Professional Quality of Life Scale, the Burnout Measure, the Career-sustaining Behaviors Questionnaire, and a demographic questionnaire. Of the predictors investigated, both using more consultation (β = .77, t(14) = 2.48, p < .05) and developing new interests in work (β = -.59, t(14) = -2.42, p < .05) were statistically significant. There is a significant positive relationship between not being responsible to solve client problems and burnout, r(35) = .462, p < .01. Burnout appeared the most prevalent of the phenomena for the participants of the study. Future research could emphasize encouraging psychotherapists in their work by exploring the positive aspects of providing psychological help. Feeling pressure to serve can overwhelm helping professionals and inhibit their competent help. The researcher recommends that service providers be with other professionals, connecting, and sharing both triumphs and defeats.
Thompson, Kyle Lee, "Compassion fatigue, secondary trauma stress, and burnout among licensed mental health professionals" (2017). Ed.D. Dissertations. 113.
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