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Trainee Therapist Goal Conflict and its Relationship to Perceptions of Goal Attainment and Occupational Stress

Russ, Sam; (2018) Trainee Therapist Goal Conflict and its Relationship to Perceptions of Goal Attainment and Occupational Stress. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Aims: Therapist goals likely emerge from competency frameworks and also personal values and interests, which might not be consistent with each other. Research provides substantial evidence of associations between goal conflicts, reduced psychological well-being, and goal success. If goal conflict is a factor negatively influencing therapist well-being, it could also impede their delivery of high quality care. This study aims to explore these possibilities. Method: The study recruited 52 trainee Clinical Psychologists. A semi-structured interview was employed to identify therapists’ goals followed by a goal conflict matrix. The Maslach Burnout Inventory was used to measure occupational stress. Therapist goals were also coded as ‘lower-order’ (more concrete ‘doing’ goals), or ‘higher-order’ (more abstract ‘being’ goals), based on a commonly used goal characteristic framework. Results: Significant associations were found between higher-order goal facilitation and increased Professional Accomplishment, and, between increased goal ambivalence and perceived difficulty attaining goals. Consistent with the literature, findings were understood within a hierarchical model of goal conflict, whereby conflicts at higher levels are most detrimental to well-being. Conclusion: The findings suggest that when psychologists experience conflict between their more abstract motives, values and needs, they are likely to experience burnout. And when experiencing mixed motivations about goals, are more likely to experience difficulty attaining them. The implications that targeting goal conflicts may be conducive to the professional well-being and potential effectiveness of clinicians are discussed. However, the study was underpowered, and some findings were only found significant at p < .05, requiring caution when interpreting.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Trainee Therapist Goal Conflict and its Relationship to Perceptions of Goal Attainment and Occupational Stress
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043319
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