Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Frederick A. Kosinski, Jr.

Second Advisor

Marion J. Merchant

Third Advisor

E. A. Streeter

Abstract

Problem. The purpose of this study was to look at the stressors psychotherapists experience in their work to determine those that are positive and those that are negative. In addition, this study looked at stressors viewed as positive and negative by several subgroups of psychotherapists based on personality characteristics, gender, age, educational training, level of experience, preferred therapeutic school, and marital status.

Method. The Stressors Check List. Mvers-Briaas Type Indicator. and a demographic sheet were given to a sample of 244 psychotherapists employed at 12 comprehensive mental health centers in the State of Indiana. Statistical analyses included t-tests, one-way analyses of variance, and Tukey's Honestly Significant Difference Test.

Findings. Eleven stressors were found to be positive, 1 stressor was found to be negative, and 7 stressors were found to be neutral by the total sample of psychotherapists. Significant differences were found between the following groups in their perceptions of which stressors were positive and negative: psychotherapists with extroverted and introverted personality characteristics, psychotherapists with thinking and feeling personality characteristics, younger and older psychotherapists, and psychotherapists from differing therapeutic schools. There was near significance between male and female psychotherapists, between psychotherapists based on their educational training, and between psychotherapists based on their level of experience.

Summary. This study revealed that psychotherapists are exposed to positive and negative stressors at their work place. In addition, personality characteristics, gender, age, type of educational degree, experience, and preferred therapeutic school have an impact on their perception of positive or negative stressors.

Subject Area

Psychotherapists--Job stress.

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