Dan D. Dodd is a 2015 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee:

  • Alejandra Suarez, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • William Heusler, Psy.D., Committee Member
  • Christopher Dunn, Ph.D., Committee Member


substance abuse counselors, burnout, disease concept, recovery status, addictions

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This study examined the association between substance abuse counselors’ (a) level of burnout and strength of belief in the disease concept of addiction, (b) level of burnout and recovery status, and (c) recovery status and strength of belief in the disease concept. Participants were recruited via a purposive convenience survey sampling method of counselors who were certified Chemical Dependency Professionals (CDPs) or Chemical Dependency Professional Trainees (CDPTs) who were employed in substance use disorder outpatient treatment facilities. A total of 130 surveys were distributed of which 72 were returned giving a 55% response rate. Six surveys were removed due to not providing evidence of informed consent or high frequency of missed answers. Of the remaining 66 participants, 45 were female, 20 were male, and one declined to report gender status. The largest age cohort was 41 years of age and over. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory—HSS (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1966), and the Addiction Belief Scale (Schaler, 1995). Analysis of data included Spearman rank order correlation, Chi-square Test for Independence, and Fisher’s Exact Test. Results indicated that as strength in the belief in the disease concept increased, level of emotional exhaustion/burnout decreased. There was no association for the burnout subscales of depersonalization and personal accomplishment. In addition, there was no significant association between (a) level of burnout and recovery status, or (b) recovery status and strength of belief in the disease concept. Future research should determine if results of this study can be replicated and shift its focus from why professionals are leaving the addiction field to why individuals remain working in the field. The electronic version of this dissertation is at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, and OhioLINK ETD Center,


ORCID Scholar ID # 0000-0002-2536-8704