School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Jaesook Gho


Mental Health Professionals, Resilience, Burnout


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this qualitative transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the lived experiences of mental health professionals (MHPs) in California who have worked in private practice settings. The three research questions that framed this study were: what resilience-promoting mindsets do these mental health professionals rely upon, what resilience-promoting behaviors or practices do they demonstrate, and how do these mindsets and behaviors protect MHPs in private practice from experiencing burnout? The theory guiding this study was the metatheory of resilience and resiliency by Glenn E. Richardson (2002; 2016) as it provided a framework to assess how these professionals utilized resilience mindsets and practices to resist burnout. Data collection consisted of demographic questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with 12 mental health professionals. Data analysis strategies consisted of first and second cycle coding procedures, namely, descriptive coding, in vivo coding, and focused coding, as well as bracketing and journal reflections. Data analysis revealed two primary themes of the mental health practitioners’ lived experiences of the phenomenon of resilience and nine supportive sub-themes. The findings indicated that these MHPs experience resilience by operating from their optimal self and flowing with temporal fluidity. Recommendations are provided for educational, spiritual, and clinical settings as well as topics for future research.

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