Stressors and Resources of Oregon Psychologists: How Are Helpers Being Helped?

Nathan William Engle, George Fox University


Abstract Professional psychology requires the navigation of a complex set of skills including clinical work, research, and consultation while also demanding a level of personal investment, which can tax the psychologists’ emotional and physical resources. Bearse, McMinn, Seegobin, & Free (2013) highlighted the deleterious impact of these stressors. The American Psychological Association (APA) has shown an awareness of impactful professional stress and responded by encouraging state psychological associations to create a Colleague Assistance Program (APA, 2006). Although the research and professional guild agree on the existence of professional stress, there is little research regarding the effectiveness of strategies and resources used to manage the stress. The results from a pilot survey administered to Oregon psychologists (May 2012) were consistent with national findings showing that psychologists experienced a variety of biopsychosocial stressors. The current study identifies stressors experienced by Oregon Psychologists and the coping strategies used to manage professional and personal stress.