Title

Coping Strategies That Psychotherapists Use in Working With Stressful Clients

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2-1-1988

Abstract

Historically, research in the area of coping has been based on subjective data-gathering techniques and has dealt with specific life crises or the phenomenon of burnout. Many researchers concluded that client contact is the basis of burnout; however, little or no research has dealt solely with the client-therapist interaction. The purpose of this study was to address this interaction. The coping instrument used in this study consisted of selected coping scales of Folkman and Lazarus and of Prochaska and DiClemente, as well as those that we constructed. We identified six coping strategies that psychotherapists use to deal with the stress that they experience in working with difficult clients. Analyses also revealed that certain coping strategies were related to perceived success. By ascertaining coping strategies used by psychotherapists who perceive themselves as successful, both practitioner and researcher can gain a better understanding of how therapists cope with client-generated stress.

Publication Title

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice

Volume

19

Issue

1

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