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Burnout in student therapists as related to self care

8 December 2006


Self care is frequently studied and described in modern psychology research and can be defined as any activity one engages in that fuels the body and mind and allows one to function more fully in daily life (Mahoney, 1997). Burnout is another frequently studied phenomenon, especially when considering those who work in mental health . professions. It has been suggested that the benefits of self care may influence the prevention of burnout in mental health professionals (Carroll, Gilroy, & Murra, 1999; Norcross, 2000). Other research suggests that therapists who are either young in age or new to the practice of therapy are at a higher risk for burnout than their older or more experienced counterparts (Farber, 1990; Freudenberger, 1990). Multiple correlations were performed to test hypotheses regarding the relationship between self-care and burnout, and possible effects of age and years of practice to burnout with a graduate student therapist sample. Results demonstrated a positive correlation between burnout and age as well as a negative relationship between burnout and years in practice. No significant relationships were found between self care and burnout. This study supports the literature suggesting a correlation between age and years in practice with burnout. Suggestions for future research are also discussed.


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