Burnout in Mental Health Counselors Essay

3453 Words Sep 19th, 2012 14 Pages
Burnout in Mental Health Counselors: Can Mindfulness Improve Well Being?
Heather Payne
Argosy University
Research and Program Evaluation
R6032
Dr. Dale Coovert
December 14, 2010

Abstract

Because mental health counselors are susceptible to burnout, which may negatively affect their clients, it is ethically imperative that they practice self-care. There is a growing body of research supporting the positive effects of mindfulness in facilitating counselor effectiveness, but little is known about the link between the practice of mindfulness and the rate of counselor burnout. The research proposal discussed in this article seeks to examine the link between mindfulness and counselors’ ability to practice effectively without experiencing
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The MBSR intervention teaches participants to become more aware of and relate differently to thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. It allows for greater awareness of the here and now. The practitioner learns to let go of any regrets or fears, and to cultivate healthier and more adaptive ways to respond to stress.
The purpose of this study was to replicate and extend initial research demonstrating the benefits of MBSR for medical students (Shapiro, et.al, 1998). It was the first time anyone had examined the effects of MBSR on actively practicing health care providers. The primary hypotheses of the study were that MBSR would decrease overall psychological and physiological stress, and decrease job burnout. A second hypothesis was that MBSR would increase overall life satisfaction and self-compassion (Shapiro, et al, 2005).
The authors used a randomized controlled study design that implemented a 2x2 study design (experimental vs. wait-list control group) x (baseline post –treatment group) to yield a between groups comparison condition (Shapiro, et al, 2005).Participants were randomly assigned to an eight week MBSR group or a wait list control group. The control group received the identical eight-week program after the experimental group had finished their program (Shapiro, et al, 2005). Participants were recruited by posting fliers around the hospital and sending e-mails…