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Burnout amongst clinical and counselling psychologists: The role of early maladaptive schemas and coping modes as vulnerability factors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Susan Simpson
  • Gabriella Simoniato
  • Matthew Smout
  • Michiel F van Vreeswijk
  • Chris Hayes
  • Christina Sougleris
  • Corinne Reid

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    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Simpson S, Simionato G, Smout M, et al. Burnout amongst clinical and counselling psychologist: The role of early maladaptive schemas and coping modes as vulnerability factors. Clin Psychol Psychother. 2018;1–12, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2328. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

    Accepted author manuscript, 663 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Article number15959771
Pages (from-to)35-46
JournalClinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Issue number1
Early online date2 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2019


Psychologists are subject to multiple competing emotional demands that increase the risk of burnout. Research has demonstrated that burnout arises from both organizational and personal factors, including psychologists’ personal beliefs and coping. Preliminary research indicates that Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMS) are associated with high burnout, yet, to date, the role of EMS and associated coping responses (Maladaptive Coping Modes [MCM]) in predicting high burnout among psychologists has not been investigated. Four hundred and forty-three psychologists completed a self-report online questionnaire comprising the Maslach Burnout Inventory—Emotional Exhaustion Scale (EE), Young Schema Questionnaire (YSQ), and Schema Mode Inventory (SMI). The two most common EMS amongst psychologists were Unrelenting Standards and Self Sacrifice. There was substantial indication of burnout, with 18.3% in the high range and 29.6% in the moderate range of EE. The most common MCM were Detached Protector and Detached Self-Soother. Controlling for demographics and job demands, EMS accounted for an additional 18% variance in EE. MCM accounted for an additional 6% beyond the variance explained by demographics, job demands and EMS. Practical recommendations are suggested to reduce psychologist burnout.

    Research areas

  • schemas, modes, coping, burnout, psychologists, emotional exhaustion

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