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The perceived effects of emotional labor in psychologists providing individual psychotherapy

Clarke, J.J., Rees, C.S., Breen, L.J. and Heritage, B.ORCID: 0000-0002-6437-7232 (2020) The perceived effects of emotional labor in psychologists providing individual psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, 58 (3). pp. 414-424.

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Existing literature examining burnout in psychotherapists has not adequately considered the contributing role of emotional labor. Similarly, emotional labor research has not sufficiently explored how this construct operates in the context of psychologists who provide individual psychotherapy. To address these existing gaps in the literature, thematic analysis was conducted on interviews with 24 psychologists who provide individual psychotherapy to determine the perceived consequences of emotional labor identified by the participants. Participants discussed personal growth, feeling depleted and exhausted, and craving space free from people and work-related emotion as consequences of emotion management in the context of providing individual psychotherapy. The findings suggest that emotional labor can exert positive, negative, and neutral effects on psychologists providing psychotherapy and is worthy of attention as a variable in efforts to promote positive well-being. In the occupational group of psychologists providing individual psychotherapy, performing emotional labor can lead to personal growth, emotional exhaustion, and a need to distance oneself from work-related emotion. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Copyright: © 2020, American Psychological Association
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