Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mental health therapists' humor styles, trait mindfulness, and burnout: A regression analysis
by Townley, Margo D., Psy.D., Union Institute and University, 2015, 99; 3714274
Abstract (Summary)

Research has shown that being a mental health therapist (MHT) is an extremely stressful vocation and often leads to burnout (Gibson, 2009). Evidence supports that humor and mindfulness assist in mitigating the negative effects of stress and burnout (Malinoski, 2013; Brown & Ryan, 2003). It is also known that the effective use of humor (McGhee, 2010a) and mindfulness practices (Hayes, 2005) can be learned, practiced, and integrated into daily interactions across the lifespan. This research examined humor styles, trait mindfulness, and burnout of 94 licensed MHTs in community mental health centers located in Western Massachusetts in an attempt to add to research regarding burnout and protective factors that may minimize the impact of burnout.

Results found that MHTs with higher scores of trait mindfulness reported reduced levels of burnout, which supports existing research. Additionally, those reporting higher frequency of maladaptive styles of humor tend to report higher levels of Depersonalization. MHTs who reported the regular use of affiliative types of humor reported a lower rate of Emotional Exhaustion. These findings may be used to inform future pre-service and in-service training of MHTs to include attention to the possible protective factors of adaptive humor styles and trait mindfulness in an effort to prevent burnout among practicing MHTs thereby improving longevity in the field.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Scott, Jennifer L.
Commitee: Ossege, Jennifer M., Remen, Anna L.
School: Union Institute and University
Department: Psychology Progam: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Mental health, Clinical psychology, Personality psychology
Keywords: Burnout, Humor, Humor styles, Mental health therapists, Mindfulness, Trait mindfulness
Publication Number: 3714274
ISBN: 9781321914559
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