Department of Family Therapy Dissertations and Applied Clinical Projects

Date of Award


Document Type

Applied Clinical Project (ACP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT)


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


Jamie West

Committee Member

Christopher Burnett


Stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue are pervasive risk factors of being a clinician in the mental health field. Morse et al.(2012) found the rate of burnout among mental health professionals ranged from 21 to 67 %. The prevalence of clinicians and graduate students who experience burnout highlights the significance of creating a culture of self-care in graduate schools. Both clinicians and graduate students are trying tofind a balance between their personal and professional lives, and at times it can become overwhelming. After reviewing the research, many studies are addressing the importance of self-care in the mental health field. Research related to self-care supported the notion that self-care is an effective tool to increase overall well-being. However, there is a gap in research focusing on marriage and family therapy students. Thepurpose of my applied clinical project is to critically evaluate the existing research that focuses on self-care in graduate school in hopes to support the proposed development of a structured self-careworkshop that can be implemented in graduate programs.