Journal of Wellness


Introduction: Counselors-in-training (CITs) commonly encounter issues of burnout, compassion fatigue, and/or vicarious traumatization due to the nature of their jobs in the helping profession. Wellness infused supervision may help CITs foster personal wellness and mitigate deleterious effects of helping. This investigation examined connections related to counselor-in-training wellness and professional quality of life during an internship-level supervision course across a wellness and control section.

Methods: A quasi-experimental design was piloted, comparing a wellness-focused supervision internship section with a non-wellness control group supervision internship section during one academic semester. Participants included 15 clinical mental health CITs (9 experimental; 6 control), who were randomly assigned into the wellness or control internship section. Internship classes consisted of two-hour meetings across a 16 week semester, with participants working towards 300 clock hours of experience. All participants who were offered inclusion into internship accepted, and were randomly assigned into the wellness-infused or control internship sections, which took place within a large, Council for Accreditation in Counseling and Related Educational Program (CACREP) accredited program.

Results: Results indicated decreased wellness scores in both internship sections from pre-to-post assessment, no differences between wellness-based internship and the control group in wellness or professional quality of life, and an increase in compassion satisfaction in the wellness-based internship group.

Conclusion: Although counselors are vulnerable to compromised wellness due to the nature of their work, training CITs to work from a wellness paradigm in their personal and professional lives may facilitate well-being, and mitigate the effects of burnout and fatigue. Results from this study shed light on how CITs are viewing their personal wellness and how supervisors can utilize assessments to facilitate reflective conversations with supervisees about their wellness and quality of life.





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