Self -care advocacy as an ethical obligation in counseling psychology programs

Christina Barland Edmondson, Tennessee State University


Graduate school is known for its grueling schedule and requirements (Bernard, Murphy & Little, 1987; Lamb, Cochran, & Jackson, 1991; Cushway, 1992). For those in the helping traditions such as Counseling Psychology, the demands of one's programs often causes a very real need to implement and utilize effective self-care practices (Fuselier, 2003). The literature on the consequences of poor self-care among psychologists makes a good case for the early promotion of self-care advocacy among training programs (Baker, 2003; Figley, 2002; Gilroy et al., 2002; Guy & Norcross, 1998; Skovholt, Grier, Hanson, 2001; Porter, 1995; Cushway, 1992; Mearns & Allen, 1991). Generally, how doctoral graduate programs promote and communicate the importance of trainee self-care to their respective students is unknown. This qualitative study used Grounded Theory to analyze literature regarding Psychology doctoral student self-care and electronic interview data compiled from the responses of six training directors, to develop an emerging theory of how programs understand and promote trainee self-care. The findings showed that training directors identified trainee self-awareness as essential to proactive self-care and wellness. Additionally, they noted the salience of cohort alliances and cohesion along with extracurricular endeavors. In conclusion, inspired by the theoretical outcome, a trainee self-care statement was created.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Christina Barland Edmondson, "Self -care advocacy as an ethical obligation in counseling psychology programs" (2009). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3369436.