Workplace stress, personality, personal resources and mindfulness practices of 21 Australian based counsellors

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Conference Paper

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Hicks, R.E., Jones, C., & Alexander, V. (2015). Workplace stress, personality, personal resources and mindfulness practices of 21 Australian based counsellors. Paper presented at the 2nd APS College of Counselling Psychologists Conference. 26 February -01 March, 2015. Melbourne.

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There have been several older studies of counsellors at work in Australia but none recently that have examined the relationships of full-time practising counsellors in the light of their experienced stress, their personality patterns and their resources including mindfulness attributes. The current study set out to gather extensive information on how counsellors experienced their work roles and relationships and how they coped with the circumstances they faced. A series of questionnaires was used in the study including the Occupational Stress Inventory- Revised (which yielded responses on stressors at work related to the role of the counsellor, experienced stress or strain in different aspects including personal relationships; and personal resources used to cope); a burnout inventory; a mindfulness inventory (the Five-Factor multidimensional mindfulness survey); the NEO Five Factor personality questionnaire and several others relating to relationships and self-estimates of personal success on the role as counsellor. Theoretical orientations were also gathered. The current paper explores the levels of and relationships among the stress experienced at work, the roles that caused most stress, the resources used (such as recreation and/or cognitive appraisals or re-appraisals) and mindful awareness and monitoring of the stress and strain and how they are handled. Implications for further studies will be drawn.

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