Marissa Joy Scroggins is a 2015 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee:

  • Suzanne Englelberg, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Colin Ward, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Kelly Brown, Ph.D., Committee Member


quantitative, descriptive, exploratory, APA-Accredited, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, doctorate programs, program chairs, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, ethics, secondary trauma, higher education; preventative training

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The purpose of this study was to examine the present state of compassion fatigue (CF) education in APA-accredited clinical and counseling doctoral level training programs. It also sought to identify the number of training programs that require CF training or offer it as optional, attempted to discern the type of setting in which it is taught (class, supervision, etc.), as well as identified some of the reasons why it may not have been included (cost, time, interest, etc.) in programs without CF training. A researcher-developed survey was designed and consisted of a mixture of yes/no and multiple choice questions. Program chairs in 287 programs served as representatives of their programs and were invited to participate in this study. Participants included 69 program chairs from APA-accredited clinical and counseling programs that met study criteria. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. In response to the first question of “Does your program offer any form of compassion fatigue prevention training,” the majority of participants (75.4%) indicated that they did not have any formal CF prevention training though several indicated that CF training likely occurs in spontaneous class and supervision discussions. In response to the question “if no CF training exists, why not,” the majority of participants sited “other” (58.5%) or “lack of time” (34%). The results and interpretations are explained; contributions to the current literature, implications, and limitations are discussed; and recommendations for future research are provided. The electronic version of this dissertation is at Ohiolink ETD Center,


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