Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


Although psychologists have been practicing for nearly one hundred years, relatively little research has been conducted on the impact of the profession upon the psychologist's personal life. Historically, most studies have attempted to determine whether the practice of psychology leads to burnout or impairment rather than what helps a psychologist to function well. A growing body of research on self-care places an emphasis on the personhood of the clinician and his or her ability to function well in practice and personal life (Alterman, 1998). The purpose of this study is to add to the growing body of literature that addresses clinician self-care by investigating the relationship between resilience, emotional depletion, sources of stress in clinical practice and dyadic satisfaction. A sample of 190 doctoral level licensed psychologists from Pennsylvania who were also members of the American Psychological Association (APA), were surveyed using the Well-Functioning Questionnaire, Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale, Maslach Burnout Inventory - Third Edition, Sources of Stress in Clinical Practice, and About You, a demographic survey. No evidence was found to indicate that practicing psychology has an effect upon dyadic satisfaction. However, the data support a positive relationship among Resilience, Personal Accomplishment and Dyadic Satisfaction. Findings suggest that there are eight behaviors and or characteristics that consistently contribute greatly to the well-functioning of psychologists, and three factors, physical rest, emotional restoration and belief in efficacy that are essential to managing stress in clinical practice. Further research on self-care and the well-functioning of psychologists is needed.

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