School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)


Robyn Trippany Simmons


Mental Health Counselors, Counselors, Compassion Fatigue, Compassion Satisfaction, Organizational Culture, Self-care




It is the responsibility of mental health counselors to provide compassion for broken and hurting populations. For counselors, the continuous strain of empathizing with distressed clientele can often result in physical and emotional exhaustion known as compassion fatigue (Figley, 1995a). Although providing continuous compassion for others may contribute to negative experiences such as compassion fatigue, counselors can also experience positive outcomes from showing compassion towards clients, known as compassion satisfaction (Figley, 2002b). While risk factors to compassion fatigue have been widely explored among various occupations within the literature, less has been researched regarding moderating effects between compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction, specifically among counselors. The purpose of this quantitative study is to assess the moderating effects of organizational culture and self-care practices between counselor compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction, using regression analysis. Participants include licensed and pre-licensed counselors. As expected, compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction were negatively correlated (r = -.367, p < .001). Data analysis results indicated that organizational culture and self-care practices did not have a significant moderating effect between compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction. However, peer support, supervisory support, personal self-care, and professional self-care transmitted a significant positive effect on compassion satisfaction. Limitations for this study and implications for future research are presented.

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Counseling Commons