College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; Department of Applied Psychology and Counselor Education, Counseling Psychology
University of Northern Colorado
Type of Resources
Place of Publication
University of Northern Colorado
Self-care has increasingly become encouraged as a means for maintaining well-being for mental health professionals; yet, there exists an unsettling lack of research and guidance on this topic for those within the field (Callan et al., 2021; Colman et al., 2016; Norcross & VandenBos, 2018). This has led to call for change and reform to recognize the importance of self-care as an ethical imperative and to incorporate it within the education and training of mental health professionals (Barnett et al., 2007; Barnett & Cooper, 2009; Wise & Reuman, 2019; Zahniser et al., 2017). These calls for reform and the increased importance of self-care have only grown given the realities of the strains included within the work that mental health professionals do and the increased stress placed on the field from the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic (El-Ghoroury et al., 2012; Posluns & Gall, 2020; Sciberras & Pilkington, 2018). Given the need for research on self-care and ways to implement it combined with the lack of prior research, the current research set out to contribute quantitative research on areas related to self-care for mental health professional trainees. The first purpose was to determine how much of the variation in the five factors of self-care was explained by anticipated stigma and attendance in personal therapy. The second purpose was to determine the contribution of both anticipated stigma and personal therapy separately on the variation within self-care. The third purpose was to determine if there was a difference in self-care between mental health professional trainee groups who had experienced personal therapy. In the current study, the Self-Care Assessment for Psychologists was used (Dorociak, Rupert, Bryant, et al., 2017). The other variables of interest anticipated stigma and attendance in personal therapy were measured by the Anticipated Stigma Scale ( Quinn & Chaudoir, 2009; Quinn et al., 2014) and having participants detail their therapy experience similarly to what prior researchers had done (Bike et al., 2009; Byrne & Ost, 2016; Byrne & Shufelt, 2014; Geller et al., 2005; Kalkbrenner & Neukrug, 2019; Kalkbrenner et al., 2019; Norcross, 2005; Norcross et al., 2008; Orlinsky et al., 2011; Ziede & Norcross, 2020). A multivariate multiple linear regression was used to analyze the data of 100 participants (Keith, 2019; Remler & Van Ryzin, 2015; Rencher & Christensen, 2012). The results did not provide any evidence that anticipated stigma and personal therapy explained a significant amount of the variation within self-care for mental health professional trainees; no evidence was found for either of the variables separately nor was there evidence found for a difference between groups of those who did and did not attend therapy. Theoretical, research, and clinical implications are discussed suggesting how further inquiry might be conducted to better understand self-care for the mental health trainee population.
Copyright is held by the author.