Publication Date

Spring 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Counselor Education

Abstract

Burnout is an increasingly prominent phenomenon that exists within helping professions due to the nature of the work required by them. Initially a deep look into burnout and the factors that contribute to it are explored. Consequences of burnout are compartmentalized into organizational and personal components to build necessary support for the current study. Risk factors that predispose an individual or establish an environment that facilitates higher levels of burnout are then examined. A general look at helping professionals and the impact burnout has on each is then followed by a specific look at the population of agency-based mental health counselors versus private practice mental health counselors. Research focusing on self-care and it’s interaction with burnout is reviewed concluding that self-care is a possible treatment strategy used to prevent and reduce burnout. The current study seeks to test for this relationship between burnout and self-care. A sample population of mental health counselors working in an agency setting has been assessed for level of burnout, using the Counselor Burnout Inventory, and level of self-care, using the Self-Care Assessment Worksheet. A significant relationship was not found between burnout and self-care, but consideration of individual data reveals trends that strongly support further research. Factors to consider include alternative assessments to measure burnout and/or self-care and increased sample size.

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