Health  Vol.6 No.5 , February 2014
Occupational stressors in practicing psychological psychotherapists

Background: To the present, there has been no empirical clarification regarding to which extent psychological, physical, existential, and other stressors present health risks to psychotherapists. Methods: To identify the work strains of psychotherapists, German practitioners were interviewed using the model of the job security crisis. The constructs of this model as well as the occupational stressors and the individual state of health were measured by questionnaires. Results: In particular, the results brought light burdensome demands on time and high administrative demands as well as disappointing financial compensation. More than 25% of the participants felt that they were “financially burdened and/or very strongly burdened”. Concerning the proportion of needs (“spending”) and compensation (“reward”), this did not differ from the full-time employed German population of the same age group. However, concerning theExpenditure-Reward-Imbalance”, personal health was subjectively estimated as being worse: more physical complaints were reported and the health-related quality of life was lower. However, there were no differences in the number and intensity of physical complaints between psychotherapists and the general population. Conclusion: In sum, the demands of administrative processes, the stress due to the considerable temporal demands, and considerable dissatisfaction with the financial situation stand out for psychotherapists, in particular. These stresses and strains notwithstanding, psychotherapists do not have a disadvantageous ratio of stressors to gratifications. The study illustrates the high degree of discontent practicing psychotherapists feeling about their financial situation. This fact is important in regard to professional policy and has a direct effect on the therapeutic process.

Cite this paper: Petrowski, K. , Hessel, A. , Eichenberg, C. and Brähler, E. (2014) Occupational stressors in practicing psychological psychotherapists. Health, 6, 378-386. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.65055.

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