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DHS Special Treatment Unit

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Presentation on theme: "DHS Special Treatment Unit"— Presentation transcript:

1 DHS Special Treatment Unit
BURNOUT Merrill Main, Ph.D. Clinical Director DHS Special Treatment Unit

2 INTERNAL Have, get, buy, borrow, or rent a life. Lack of self-care.
Too much tendency to externalize. Unmanaged general mental health issues. Savior complex gone wrong. Poor affect management.

3 EXTERNAL ? Answers in Organizational Psychology. For example, Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory ?

4 EXTERNAL Lack of training Unclear expectations Lack of support
Lack of resources Overutilization Underutilization

5 NUMBERS 20% to 25% show clinical burnout 30% of the teachers
Kadambi and Truscott, 2003 30% of the teachers Rudow, 1999 50% of medical residents Martini, S., Arfken, C., Churchill A., and Balon, R. (2004)

6 Sexual Offending Is it contagious?
Were all sexual offenders once sexual victims? Will all victims become offenders? Do we begin to behave like the population that we work with.

7 PARALLEL PROCESS Psychoanalytic idea that relationship between patient and therapist is reflected in relationship between therapist and supervisor. Searles (1955) See the world through the patient’s eyes too often and it may become habitual.

8 SYMPTOMS Vicarious Tramatization Hypervigilence Distrust Sexualization
Objectification of patients Over-identification with patients Stress Exhaustion Depression Detachment from work Over-investment in work Italicized are unique to sex offender treatment, second two unique to therapists, latter sx common to all burnout


10 YOU’RE THE BEST The high-school kid striving to be popular is still alive inside all of us. Savior complex. Misguided striving for personal safety. Stockholm Syndrome.

11 YOU’RE THE WORST I’ll prove that I’m worthy.
The beatings will continue until morale improves. Effort justification We like most what we’ve struggled to master

12 Divisive Build one faction up, tear another down
‘Shop’ for the best answer Play one against the other Highly attuned to existing differences/conflicts Magnify and exacerbate real differences Between individuals Between groups Instigate conflict for personal pleasure or gain

13 Manipulative Starts with small things Progresses to big things
Favors given or taken I won’t tell Progresses to big things May seem reasonable at each step Often starts with small quid-pro-quo

Beyond gallows humor Distain Distrust Disregard Disrespect

15 THERAPIST STYLE “Among the influential therapist behaviors, the most important appear to be: empathy, warmth, rewardingnes, and directiveness.” Marshall (2005)

16 Effects and problems of working with sexual offenders
Excessive identification with offenders. Excessive anger toward of offenders. Parallel processes. Effect on clinicians’ sexual functioning. Work intruding into life. Become used to talking about sex with patients.

17 ANTI-BURNOUT Engagement Vigor Person-Environment Fit

18 Burnout Prevention Communicate with colleagues
Commiserate with colleagues Utilize supervision HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK Don’t worry more about patients’ problems than they do.

19 REFERENCES Drapeau, M. (2005) Research on the Processes Involved in Treating Sexual Offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment. 17, Edmunds, S. (Ed.) Impact: Working with Sexual Abusers. Safer Society: Brandon, Vt. Ennis, L. and Home, S., (2003). Predicting Psychological Distress in Sex Offender Therapists. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment. 15, Farrenkopf, T. (1992) What Happens to Therapists who work with Sex Offenders? Journal of Offender Rehabilitation. 18(3/4), Kadambi, M., and Truscott, D., (2003) Vicarious Traumatization and Burnout Among Therapists Working with Sex Offenders. Traumatology. 9(4) Lea, S., Auburn, T., and Kibblewhite, K. (1999). Working with Sex Offenders: The Perceptions and Experiences of Professionals and Paraprofessionals. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. 43(1), Little, L. and Hamby, S. (2001). Memory of Childhood Sexual Abuse Among Clinicians: Characteristics, Outcomes, and Current Therapy Attitudes. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment., 13, Moulden, H. and Firestone, P. (2007). Vicarious Traumatization: The Impact on Therapists Who Work With Sexual Offenders. Trauma Violence Abuse. 8, Nelson, M., Herlihy, B., and Oescher, J. (2002) A Survey of Counselor Attitudes Towards Sex Offenders. J of Mental Health Counseling. 24(1), Salter, A. (2003) Staff Seductions. In Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists and Other Sex Offenders. Basic Books:New York.Shelby, R., Stoddart, R., and Taylor, K. (2001) Factors Contributing to Levels of Burnout Among Sex Offender Treatment Providers. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 16(11), Steed, L., and Bicknell, J. (2001). Trauma and the Therapist: The Experience of Therapists Working with the Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies. 2001(1). Thorpe, G., Righthand, S., and Kubik, E. (2001). Brief Report: Dimensions of Burnout in Professionals Working with Sex Offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatmnet., 13, W.L. Marshall, W. (2005) Therapist Style in Sexual Offender Treatment: Influence on Indices of Change. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatmnet., 17;


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