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Matthew Fearrington


In 2012, research suggested that 21% to 67% of mental health professionals experience burnout. Burnout is described as a negative experience resulting in workplace stress that produces psychological, emotional, physical, and somatic symptoms. The purpose of this study was to examine a quantitative, correlational relationship between self-care practices and therapist beliefs in relation to burnout among home-based mental health therapists. The research question concerned whether there is a relationship between therapist beliefs, self-care, and burnout among home-based therapists. Equity theory was the base theory used for this project, indicating that reciprocity between therapist and client or therapist and supervisor may be a factor of burnout. While burnout has been researched extensively in the helping professions, this research focused specifically on those working as home-based mental health therapists (N = 80) from local community-based mental health care centers. Results of the quantitative correlational analyses showed that rigid adherence to therapeutic model, low tolerance for distress, belief in responsibility, workplace or professional balance, and balance significantly predicted burnout. Positive social change may result from this study through improved knowledge of symptoms of burnout, therapist beliefs, and self-care methods, which may allow agencies to combat early signs of burnout and promote appropriate training on burnout and approaches to self-care. The early detection and prevention of burnout would allow clinicians to be more effective in making a difference in the lives of clients. In addition, better training and awareness would lead to improvement in the lives of the clinicians and their families.

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