Organization: Publiс Organization «Association for the Person Centred Approach»
Marina Zhigulina. Master’s degree in psychology, a person-centered counsellor in private practice, member of the national and international person-centered community.
Title: Opportunities for a Person-Centred Approach to Prevent Burnout
Professional burnout is still an unsolved problem. The risk of burnout is especially high among helping professionals. Is it possible to look at this problem from the Person-Centred Approach point of view? Does being a Fully Functioning Person (as described by C. Rogers) influence burnout in helping professionals? Can the Person-Centred Approach help employees cope with professional burnout?
The first stage of the current research included a survey on social sphere specialists (338 participants, 251 females, 87 males) aged from 22 to 64 years old. The questionnaires/scales used were as follows: “Emotional burnout” (V.V. Boyko); Level of communication skills (V.F. Ryakhovsky); Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI); “Locus of Control Scale” (J. Rotter); POI (Personal Orientation Inventory) E. Shostrom; The Strathclyde Inventory (SI-22) reflecting Rogers’ characteristics of a Fully Functioning Person. In the second stage, an experimental and a control group were formed randomly from employees suffering from burnout. The experimental group was trained once a week for 3 hours for 9 months using the Person-Centred Approach. The total time of the sessions was 108 hours. Measurements were taken before sessions, at the end of the study and 6 months later. Statistical analysis and data processing methods were used to analyze the results: correlation analysis, analysis of variance, Mann-Whitney U-test, Wilcoxon T-test and Cohen’s d-method.
The findings suggest that there is a negative correlation between professional burnout and being a Fully Functioning Person. The higher the indicators of a Fully Functioning Person, the fewer burnout symptoms were expressed. Conducting a program based on the Person-Centred Approach reduces the levels of burnout symptoms.
Specialists with higher levels of Fully Functioning Person indicators understand and accept themselves and their clients, build constructive and cooperative relationships, are more adaptive and cope better with work stress. The Person-Centred Approach can be effective at preventing burnout in the workplace when applied. The achieved findings remain without significant changes for quite a long time.