Title page for ETD etd-04092006-224720

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Kyrgos, Elena
URN etd-04092006-224720
Title Female Seasoned Marriage and Family Therapists: Maintaining Passion for Their Work
Degree Master of Science
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stith, Sandra M. Committee Chair
Huebner, Angela J. Committee Member
McCollum, Eric E. Committee Member
  • balance
  • qualitative
  • stressors
  • passionate
  • seasoned
  • marriage and family therapy
Date of Defense 2006-03-30
Availability restricted
Little has been published regarding the experiences of seasoned MFTs who not only manage to survive the demands and pressures in the mental health field, but also thrive and find enjoyment in their work. This qualitative study, guided by a phenomenological perspective, provides a rich understanding of the experiences of seasoned MFTs who continue to remain joyous and passionate in their work. Six female peer-nominated therapists, with at least 15 years of clinical experience, from the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area participated in semi-structured interviews. Results from the interviews are organized around six themes: Portrait of passionate seasoned therapist; getting renewed by clinical work; managing spillover; sustaining balance; changing commitment to the profession; and advice to novice therapists. The findings are both consistent with, and add to the literature indicating that accumulated experience is a major resource for therapists and sustaining balance through the use of various self-care strategies is vital. Limitations, suggestions for future research, and implications of this study also discussed.
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