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Title: The association between work-related potential stressors, self-compassion and perceived stress in IAPT therapists
Author: Kostaki, Evgenia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 2500
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2018
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Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT ) therapists form a relatively new workforce delivering psychological interventions to people with mild to moderate mental health difficulties in often high-volume environments (Department of Health [DOH], 2008c). Emerging research has suggested that working as an IAPT therapist can be a demanding and stressful role (Walket & Percy, 2014 ; Westwood, Morison, Allt, & Holmes, 2017). Work-related stressors have been linked to physical and mental health difficulties (e.g. Bosma, et al., 1997; Stansfeld, Fuhrer, Shipley, & Marmot, 1999) and the financial cost of stress related illness is considerable (Blaug, Kenyon, & Lekhi, 2007). Across the literature stress has been conceptualised in a variety of ways (Cooper, Dewe, & O’Driscoll, 2001). The transactional approach understands stress through the relational processes between the person and the environment (Lazarus, 2006). Self-compassion (Gilbert, 2010a ; Neff, 2003b), a way of self-relating in times of hardship and suffering, has predominately been inversely associated with perceived stress and has been linked to psychological wellbeing (Neff & Costigan, 2014). This quantitative cross-sectional online project explored IAPT therapists’ levels of perceived stress and examined whether self-compassion moderated the relationship between work-related stressors and perceived stress in IAPT therapists. IAPT therapists reported experiencing levels of perceived stress that were higher than the norm. Self-compassion did not moderate the relationship between work-related stressors and perceived stress. Multiple regressions, employed as model cleansing strategies, revealed that work-related stressors and self-compassion are independent predictors of perceived stress in IAPT therapists and that self-compassion is more strongly related to perceived stress than work-related stressors. The study demonstrates the applicability of Lazarus’ (2006) approach in workplace research. The findings are discussed in relation to self-compassion theory (Neff , 2003b) and affective regulation systems (Gilbert, 2006), and are considered in relation to future research and practical implications around workplace wellbeing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RA790 Mental Health