Self-care among Clinical Psychology Doctoral Students
The past decade has seen notable growth in the focus on the need for self-care among clinical psychologists (e.g., Barnett & Cooper, 2009), with an increasing emphasis on self-care as a proactive, prevention-oriented process. This movement has also emphasized the need for self-care among graduate trainees in the field, who face multiple challenges related to their roles as students and as developing clinicians. In fact, some researchers have made a “call to action” for graduate training programs to increase their focus on self-care (Bamonti et al., 2014). However, comprehensive research on self-care practices among psychology graduate students, as well as predictors and outcomes of self-care, remains limited at present.
Thus, the present project aimed to provide a more complete picture of psychology graduate students' self-care practices, with several main goals: (a) to assess the effects of self-care on personal and professional (i.e., training-related) outcomes among clinical psychology doctoral students, (b) to examine potential protective effects of self-care as a buffer against stress for clinical psychology doctoral students, (c) to assess the effects of program self-care culture on students’ engagement in self-care, (d) to develop a picture of clinical psychology doctoral students’ perceptions of their programs’ cultures of self-care, and (e) to explore common themes among suggestions that clinical psychology doctoral students make for how their graduate training programs can more effectively promote self-care.
Data were collected via surveys sent to the Directors of Clinical Training of all APA-accredited PhD and PsyD programs in clinical psychology in the United States. The lab has used this data for a presentation at a major conference, with multiple publications still to come.