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The Impact of Traditional Therapies, Creative Therapies, and Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy on Counselor Burnout in Mental Health Counseling
Counseling and Educational Psychology
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Professional burnout is a concern in the helping professions, especially in the field of mental health. Mental health counselors have high rates of counselor burnout and research has been conducted on how to identify symptoms, effects and some potential interventions. An area that has not been researched is if counseling approaches have a relationship with counselor burnout. This study was exploratory and used a causal-comparison design to evaluate if the dimensions of counselor burnout of exhaustion and disengagement of work, differed among the counseling approaches of traditional therapies, creative therapies, and canine-assisted psychotherapy (CAP). An area of particular interest for this study was CAP. Research has shown that dogs can have positive physiological effects in humans, as well as positive benefits in the workplace. This study aimed to answer the questions: a) How does burnout, as defined by 2 scales of exhaustion and disengagement, vary in mental health counselors practicing traditional, creative, or CAP counseling approaches? b) How is burnout, as defined by 2 scales of exhaustion and disengagement, different or similar in mental health counselors that practice CAP 51% of the time or more versus mental health counselors using traditional or creative counseling approaches 51% of the time or more? The findings of the study suggested that there were not any significant difference between the groups, but possible conclusions from the data are discussed.