Self-compassion, coping with stress and the burnout syndrome among psychotherapists
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Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny w Katowicach Katedra Nauk Społecznych i Humanistycznych Zakład Psychologii
SWPS Uniwersytet Humanistycznospołeczny Wydział zamiejscowy w Katowicach Zakład Psychologii Klinicznej i Zdrowia
Submission date: 2019-04-02
Final revision date: 2019-05-13
Acceptance date: 2019-05-22
Publication date: 2019-09-07
Corresponding author
Anna Daniel-Sielańczyk   

Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny w Katowicach Katedra Nauk Społecznych i Humanistycznych Zakład Psychologii
Psychoter 2019;189(2):59-70
Persons performing the profession of psychotherapy, and similarly other helping professionals are at a particular risk of occupational burnout. Hence, it seems to be an important issue to find adequate resources to prevent this phenomenon. One of them, recently identified in the context of occupational burnout, is self-compassion which is regarded as a regulator of emotion-oriented coping style. The aim of the study was to analyze the relationship between self-compassion and the style of coping with stress and occupational burnout, and to verify the mediational model in which the style of coping with stress served as a mediating variable between self-compassion and occupational burnout.

A total of 70 psychotherapists with an average age of 39.56 (SD = 8.18), mostly women (94.3%), were examined in a cross-sectional study, wherein varied instruments were used: the Link Burnout Questionnaire (LBQ), the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS) and the Self-Compassion Scale – Short Form.

The study showed a negative relationship between psychophysical exhaustion and disillusion – as dimensions of occupational burnout – and self-compassion, as well as a positive relationship between disillusion and emotion-oriented coping. The negative relationship concerned self-compassion (SC) and the emotion-oriented coping style (EOS), there were no correlations associated with the task-oriented (TOS) and avoidance-oriented (AOS) styles. The mediation analysis demonstrated no evidence to maintain that stress coping strategies mediated the relationship between self-compassion and professional burnout in the sample group of psychotherapists.

The obtained results indicate that developing self-compassion may directly prevent occupational burnout without the indirect effect of coping with stress.

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