Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Roger Bufford, PhD

Second Advisor

Mary Peterson, PhD

Third Advisor

Daniel Rodriquez, PsyD


Experiencing burnout as a mental health provider is a growing concern with a number of personal and professional issues related to it; organizational and self-directed interventions are often used to combat the issue (Morse et al., 2012). With the onset of coronavirus (COVID-19), mental health providers face more isolation at work due to social distancing measures and more instances of hearing trauma reports from their patients. Self-compassion might be a solution to address the concerns stated above (McCade et al., 2021; Richardson et al, 2018). Participants in this study were members of a state psychological association, many of whom are in private practice. They completed surveys on loneliness, isolation, self-compassion, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. Results showed a relationship between isolation, certain factors of self-compassion, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. Loneliness/Isolation was predictive of burnout (ß = 0.77) and secondary traumatic stress (ß = 1.05) in mental health providers; self-compassion did not add incremental predictive validity; loneliness/isolation also predicted these outcomes but did not add incremental predictive validity due to collinearity (r = .77). The results of this study have important implications for individuals, organizations, and populations treated by and containing mental health providers. Present findings suggest that within the population of mental health providers interventions and actions focused on decreasing isolation may be more beneficial to prevent and treat burnout than interventions and actions focused on self-compassion.

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