School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling (PhD)


Frederick Volk


burnout, sense of purpose, self-efficacy, coping strategies, mental health professional




Burnout has been an area of interest in research since the 1970s. However, the World Health Organization (2019) only recently determined the state of being occupationally burned out was indeed worthy of differential criteria. Research on the impact a sense of purpose has on a mental health professionals’ experience of burnout promises to deliver a new understanding of this syndrome. Some studies have stressed that due to the many positive results observed when an individual has a sense of purpose, a sense of purpose can only reduce the presence of burnout. However, a sense of purpose can also influence factors that contribute to burnout. A sense of purpose inherently brings a high identification with one’s work and high expectations of treatment outcomes. This study explores how an individual’s purpose can contribute to the presence of burnout along with how a counselor’s self-efficacy and utilization of problem-focused coping skills can mediate and moderate that impact (Letsch, 2017). This research found that a sense of purpose, self-efficacy, and the subsequent use of problem-focused coping strategies predict clinician burnout. This study utilized a moderated mediation model. This study found that increase in sense of purpose, self-efficacy and problem-focused coping decrease the likelihood of the presence of burnout.

Included in

Counseling Commons