Date of Conferral







Chris Kladopoulos


Many mental health clinicians strive to provide their clients with rehabilitative and psychotherapy services resulting in a client gaining stable income and housing. However, the role of a senior mental health clinician (SMHC) is not without its challenges of trying to balance their well-being while dealing with increased coworker turnover, demanding caseloads, and limited access to community resources to provide clients with getting their lives back on track, thereby impacting clinicians’ understanding of their self-efficacy. Much of the research on self-efficacy has focused on mental health clients, mental health graduate students, and mental health trainees, often leaving out the lived experiences of SMHCs. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore SMHCs’ understanding of their self-efficacy through their lived experiences at community-based agencies (CBAs). Data were collected using semistructured interviews with 10 SMHCs employed at CBAs. Eight emergent themes were identified from the organizing of categories and codes from participants’ statements: finances, peer support, documentation, CBA support, supervision, trauma/diagnosis, self-care, and COVID-19. The SMHCs expressed changes to their self-efficacy and often experienced decreases in their psychological well-being while at their CBA. The findings indicate the importance of safeguarding SMHCs’ psychological well-being and self-efficacy in CBAs and academic institutions. Findings may be used by CBAs for positive social change by being aware of the needs of SMHCs.