The mental health care profession is one of the most stressful occupations; the breadth of literature suggests that therapists are at risk for developing work-related psychological disturbances such as burnout, compassion fatigue and therapist incompetence. Indeed, Shapiro, Shapiro, and Schwartz (2000) found that stress may have damaging effects on therapist effectiveness and success by reducing their capacity for attention, concentration, and decision-making. Such stressors can deeply impact the personal and professional lives of mental health care providers and therapists in training. Therefore it is necessary to find ways to reduce stress and learn self-care tools as a way to protect against such occupationally-related risks. Research has continually demonstrated that the practice of self-care and routine stress-management can have positive results, such as lower levels of anxiety and depression, greater capacity for empathy, and improved immunologic functioning (Shapiro et al., 2000). This paper proposes that Mindfulness practice, and in particular, the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, offers a promising approach to therapist self-care and helping to prevent burnout, compassion fatigue and therapist incompetence. Mindfulness practice is adapted from the Buddhist tradition and is finding wide acceptance as a technique, for clients and therapists alike, to improve well-being, mental and physical health and symptom management. The product of this project is a Power-point presentation that was presented to an audience of seven psychology professionals at a mental health agency and training site. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed as part of this doctoral project.
Keywords: self-care, stress-management, mindfulness, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, burnout, compassion fatigue, therapist incompetence.
|School:||Alliant International University|
|Department:||Los Angeles, CSPP|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Burnout, Compassion fatigue, Mental health care providers, Mindfulness, Self-care, Stress management, Stress reduction|
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