Psychologists' positive and negative effects of client work: correlates and predictors of compassion fatigue and personal growth

Oyen, Malin (2009) Psychologists' positive and negative effects of client work: correlates and predictors of compassion fatigue and personal growth. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

Although many studies have assessed the negative effects of trauma therapy on therapists, little is known about the potentially enriching and/or stress inducing effects of therapy on British psychologists. Also, it remains uncertain whether psychologists’ own emotional woundedness and differences in specialist training (i.e., clinical or counselling) may influence such stress and growth outcomes. The current study examined psychologists’ Vicarious Posttraumatic Growth (VPTG) and Compassion Fatigue (CF) from therapy and how this was associated and/or predicted by occupational factors (i.e., caseload and experience) and individual factors (i.e., current emotional woundedness; specialist training; sense of coherence; coping; social support). A total of 112 psychologists (50 clinical and 62 counselling) completed a battery of self-report questionnaires.

Psychologists’ current emotional woundedness, SOC and distractive coping were significant predictors of CF. Also, positive reinterpretation was predictive of VPTG, and counselling psychologists and/or those psychologists who had received their own therapy were significantly more likely to see their clinical work as growth enhancing. Additional correlates of CF and VPTG were also found. This study stresses the importance of clinicians’ self awareness, such as attending own personal therapy if currently emotionally wounded, as this could prevent CF, but also prompt VPTG. The findings reaffirm the importance of compulsory therapy in counselling psychology training and its applicability for other specialisations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: psychologists’ emotional woundedness; stress inducing effects of therapy; therapy effects on psychologists
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
Department: School of Social Professions (to June 2021)
Depositing User: Chiara Repetto
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2023 16:50
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2023 13:25


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