TitleAn exploratory study of self-care and wellness in early career female psychologists
NameMartin, Amanda H. (author), Gantwerk, Lewis (chair), Riggs-Skean, Karen (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology,
Women psychologists--Job stress--Prevention,
Women psychologists--Mental health
DescriptionProfessional distress and impairment have been identified as significant problems in the field of psychology. Recent research studies have shifted from assessing the prevalence rates of distress and impairment in psychologists to investigating self-care as a preventive measure. The present study explores the ways in which early career female psychologists practice self-care and maintain wellness. Ten female psychologists who received their doctorates in psychology within the last seven years took part in in-depth, semi-structured interviews that examine the role of self-care in their personal and professional lives. For the purposes of this study, self-care was defined according to Faunce's (1990) conceptualization of self-care for feminist therapists. Interviews were transcribed from audiotapes and brief narrative cases were highlighted in order to present a representative picture of the unique professional choices of each participant. Qualitative analysis of the data revealed a number of themes characterized as follows: 1) challenges associated with the early career phase, 2) emotional self-care, 3) physical self-care, 4) self-care through "play," 5) cognitive self-care, 6) spiritual self-care, and 7) recommendations to other early career psychologists. Major points of discussion include 1) connections to others, 2) boundaries between professional and personal lives, 3) coping with guilt, 4) female mentoring, and 5) pursuing activities outside of psychology. All of these factors relate to the well-being of female psychologists in the beginning stages of the profession. Limitations of the study, implications for the field of psychology, and implications for future research are also addressed. The results of the study can be used to inform training programs and professional organizations seeking to promote self-care and wellness in early career female psychologists.
NoteIncludes bibliographic references (p. 101-104).
Noteby Amanda H. Martin
CollectionGraduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.