Post-Graduate Training and Professional Development: Exploring the Nexus Between Self Compassion and Compassion Fatigue Among Mental Health Clinicians Working With Trauma Survivors

Nicole L. Arkadie, Allen E. Lipscomb


Mental health clinicians who work with clients who have experienced severe trauma are at greater risk of developing compassion fatigue. Limited prior research investigated the relationship between self-compassion and compassion fatigue. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to assess the relationships of self-compassion and duration of professional service to compassion fatigue among licensed mental health clinicians who worked with clients that have experienced trauma in southern California. Two research questions asked whether self-compassion and duration of professional service were significantly related to compassion fatigue. The researcher collected primary data for the variables of interest via an online survey using two validated instruments, SCS-SF and ProQOL-Version 5. The study was conducted with a convenience sample of (n = 67) licensed mental health clinicians who resided in southern California. The results of non-parametric Kendall’s tau-b correlations revealed a significant inverse correlation between self-compassion and compassion fatigue, τb = -0.273, p = .002. The correlation between duration of professional service and compassion fatigue was nonsignificant, τb = -0.104, p = .299. These results are vital and relevant to the field as they justify further research, training and professional development in this area, leading to the development of clinical interventions that are needed to mitigate compassion fatigue symptoms among this population.

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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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