Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Family Therapy

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Family Therapy

Advisor

Anne Rambo

Committee Member

Christopher Burnett

Committee Member

Kara Erolin

Abstract

Resiliency is an important characteristic of successful therapists (Aponte, 1991; Aponte & Carlsen, 2009; Aponte & Winter, 2000; Clark, 2009; Hamel & Laraway, 2004; Kuiper, 2012; Protinsky & Coward, 2001; Rosenburg & Pace, 2006; Wolgien & Coady, 1997), especially those in entry-level positions that tend to involve high stress and turnover (Acker, 2004; Clark, 2009; Davis, 2013; Greenson, Guo, Barth, Harley, & Sission, 2009; Grosch & Olsen, 1994; Gupta, Peterson, Lysaght, & Zweck, 2012; Horan, 2002; Maslach & Leiter, 1997; Negash & Sahin, 2011; Rosenburg &Pace, 2006; Skovolt &Trotter Mathison, 2011). This study explored the perspectives of six therapists providing in home services in community based agencies who succeeded and thrived in entry-level positions. The researcher inquired about how the therapists defined and maintained necessary resiliency. The participating therapists were recommended by their agency directors for their exemplary performance; they defined themselves as succeeding and thriving. The researcher used the qualitative research method of phenomenology (Kafle, 2011) to examine the participants’ lived experiences. The researcher derived five primary themes from the thematic analysis of the interviews: (1) In-home therapists should enjoy the freedom of their jobs; (2) In-home therapists should schedule their time creatively; (3) In-home therapists should understand the unique needs of their clientele; (4) In-home therapists should practice self-care; and (5) In-home therapists should vary their clientele. These themes represent methods by which the participants manage to become successful in-home therapists and prevent burnout.

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