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03-10-2016 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 2/2017

Mindfulness 2/2017

The Mediating Role of Self-Compassion Between Mindfulness and Compassion Fatigue Among Therapists in Hong Kong

Mindfulness > Uitgave 2/2017
Sindy Y. C. Yip, Winnie W. S. Mak, Floria H. N. Chio, Rita W. Law


Compassion fatigue is known to be an occupational strain for therapists, whose work involves facilitating changes among people who are experiencing adversities. Compassion fatigue can dampen therapists’ quality of life. Using a cross-sectional questionnaire design, the present study tested the mediating role of self-compassion between the relationships of mindfulness with two aspects of compassion fatigue, burnout and secondary traumatic stress, as well as compassion to clients, among a group of therapists. A sample of 77 clinical psychologists and trainees in Hong Kong were invited to complete measures on positive and negative qualities of self-compassion, mindfulness, burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion to clients. Using the bootstrapping multivariate procedure, results showed that the relationships between mindfulness with both burnout and secondary traumatic stress were mediated by self-coldness (i.e., the composite of negative qualities in self-compassion). On the other hand, the relationship between mindfulness with compassion to clients was mediated by self-warmth (i.e., the composite of positive qualities in self-compassion). The present study showed that mindfulness may confer psychological benefits on therapists in preventing burnout and secondary traumatic stress. It also showed outcome-specific mediating effects of self-coldness and self-warmth in a group of therapists that varied in self-reported levels of mindfulness.

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