Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploration of Integrative Mental Health Practitioner Wellness: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis
by Segal, Katherine A., Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2020, 133; 27665622
Abstract (Summary)



Katherine A. Segal

Saybrook University

Job burnout is a pervasive workplace outcome for many practitioners in the mental health field that negatively impacts providers, their clients, and the mental health industry (Paris & Hoge, 2009). This study explored how psychotherapists who utilize complementary and alternative medicine practices with their clients experienced and healed from job burnout. Interventions to address the impact of job burnout generally rely on individual providers to engage in new or modified behaviors. Motivation is a key feature of implementing and maintaining new behaviors and therefore the role of practitioner motivation was identified as a potential factor for developing, preventing, and recovering from job burnout symptoms. Self-determination theory was presented as a framework for understanding the experiences of job burnout and the recovery process through the lens of motivation and need fulfillment (Deci & Ryan, 2000).

Interpretive phenomenological analysis was used because of its focus on understanding the lived experience of an individual and identifying shared elements of the experience across participants (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009). Eight participants each completed a semi-structured interview, which was recorded. The thematic analysis of each interview transcript was conducted in line with interpretive phenomenological analysis principles. Four superordinate, 41 subordinate, and five outlier themes were identified. Findings from this study affirm previous definitions of job burnout (Kim, Ji, & Kao, 2011) while also supporting an expanded perspective on the contributing factors to and impact of job burnout. Complex job burnout was introduced as a term to encompass (1) the multiple sources of pre-job burnout stress not included in previous definitions and (2) a broader perspective of the impact of job burnout which expands beyond a practitioner’s ability to complete work tasks. Continued exploration into job burnout from the complex job burnout viewpoint is needed to better understand the complexity of provider wellness and the experience of job burnout. Recommendations for preventing or treating job burnout should support healing from past experiences and building a sustainable and personally fulfilling career.

Keywords: integrative mental health (IMH), complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), self-determination theory (SDT), provider wellness, job burnout, interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Heintzman, Jennifer
Commitee: Moss, Donald, Willmarth, Eric
School: Saybrook University
Department: Mind Body Medicine
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 81/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Occupational psychology, Alternative Medicine
Keywords: Complementary and alternative medicine, Integrative mental health, Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, Job burnout, Provider wellness, Self-determination theory
Publication Number: 27665622
ISBN: 9781658464628
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