Burnout indicators and self-care in marriage and family therapists: A mixed methods study
Burnout is a concept of interest in the fields of marriage and family therapy, psychology, psychiatry, social work, nursing, and in the general public. Marriage and family therapists are underrepresented in the mental health literature regarding burnout. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine marriage and family therapists’ burnout and the relationship to the participants’ gender, race/ethnicity, workplace setting, and self-care practices. Study participants included licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed marriage and family therapist-associates, and marriage and family therapy intern/practicum students. This study was guided by Bowen’s family systems theory (Kerr & Bowen, 1988) and Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological systems theory (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 1998). Quantitative analysis provided a current view of marriage and family therapists and how these practitioners perceived burnout indicators. Qualitative findings identified themes in burnout, self-care, and perceptions of clients. Implications for future research include the effect of reflective supervision on workplace engagement and self-care practices that may promote longevity and wellness in the field of systemic and family therapy.