The Role of Mindfulness in the Relationship Between Self-Care Practice and Vicarious Traumatisation in Trainee Therapists
Denney, Anabelle June
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
To enable future publication of the research
Vicarious traumatisation (VT) has been defined as an experience of change in several domains of personhood including worldview, identity, and beliefs related to major psychological needs. Self-care practice is widely considered essential in sustaining personal and professional well-being, and a lack of appropriate practice can enhance the risk of VT in trainee and newly qualified therapeutic practitioners. Both quantitative and qualitative research suggests that mindfulness practice can have a protective role in the risk of VT for trainees. This study examined the relationship between VT, self-care and mindfulness in a sample of 238 trainee therapists from the UK, Australia, Canada and Ireland. Structural equation modelling was used to test a mediation model with good fit with self-care as predictor variable, mindfulness as mediator, and VT as outcome variable. The hypothesis that when controlling for the effects of mindfulness on VT the effect of self-care on VT is no longer significant could not be confirmed as no mediational effect was present. The hypothesis that predicted a negative association between self-care practice and VT was confirmed with a significant total effect although the direct effect of self-care on VT was not significant. Findings are discussed in relation to previous research involving mindfulness in trainee cohorts. Links are made with neuroscience research to consider underlying mechanisms of mindfulness within the context of VT.
Doctor of Clinical Psychology