BALANCING ACT PRACTICE (BAP): An Embodied and Compassionate Way of Supporting Trainee Therapists in Balancing Personal and Professional Demands Through Yoga and Guided Journaling

Description
Title: BALANCING ACT PRACTICE (BAP): An Embodied and Compassionate Way of Supporting Trainee Therapists in Balancing Personal and Professional Demands Through Yoga and Guided Journaling
Authors: Riel, Chantal
Date: 2022-06-14
Abstract: The person of the therapist matters greatly in therapeutic success. In early career stages, trainee therapists experience more doubt and anxiety around professional demands and are more at-risk to a variety of hazards associated with the nature of their work. Helping trainee therapists cope with such demands and develop their reflexive capacity can benefit their professional growth and effectiveness as therapists. Research highlights that ongoing and preventative self-care practices support trainees in balancing personal and professional demands. Mindfulness and self-compassion particularly stand out for reducing stress, building emotional resiliency, and promoting wellbeing for trainee therapists. Yoga and guided journaling have been considered preventive self-care practices that enhance mindfulness. This dissertation will share the findings of a phenomenological study that examined the impact of self-reflective and mindful practice on trainee therapists participating in an 8-week yoga and guided journaling intervention, known as Balancing Act Practice (BAP). Fifteen first- and second-year trainee therapists studying in two Canadian graduate Counselling Program participated in the BAP intervention. Pre-intervention measures included a Demographic Questionnaire, a Personal Intentions reflection, and the Skovholt Practitioner Professional Resiliency and Self-Care Inventory. The last two measures were repeated post-intervention, in addition to a Personal Reflection. The analysis of participants’ written accounts revealed that compassionate values and skills cultivated through embodied practice (such as yoga) and self-reflection through journaling, increased self-compassion in trainee therapists. In turn, these increased feelings of self-worth and trainee overall sense of wellbeing and adoption of healthier habits, like better sleep and more physical exercise. The study revealed that having a compassionate role model during these early years of psychotherapist formation seems to support novice therapists to reduce unrealistic expectations, perfectionism, and people-pleasing tendencies, and increase willingness to maintain appropriate boundaries and a compassionate approach to their challenges. The study contributes to the growing literature on trainee therapist development, self-care, and burnout prevention. It also paves the way for the incorporation of embodied / experiential practices such as yoga and/or other embodied and reflexive practices in graduate programs to support trainees in their journey to become a therapist and be of help to those they encounter.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/43700
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-27914
CollectionThèses Saint-Paul // Saint Paul Theses
Files


This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons