Bonnie Zinn, PsyD, is a 2022 graduate of the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

Mark C. Russell, PhD, ABPP, Committee Chair

Astrid Pujari, MD, ABIHM, Committee Member

Christopher L. Heffner, PsyD, PhD, Committee Member


self-care, self-care education, clinical psychology trainees, self-care skills, self-care knowledge, self-care attitudes, well-being, flourishing, vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, stress, compassion fatigue

Document Type


Publication Date



Evidence suggests that clinical psychology trainees may be vulnerable to stress, vicarious traumatization, secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, and burnout. Research also indicates that engaging in self-care may help to protect clinical psychology trainees against those experiences and enhance their well-being. However, best available research suggests self-care education is not consistently incorporated into clinical psychology training or prioritized by program directors. This study provided a systematic review of existing literature on self-care for clinical psychology trainees, utilizing reflexive thematic analysis to identify the essential skills, knowledge, and attitudes of self-care which should be taught to trainees, and how to operationalize self-care education in clinical psychology training programs. The objective was to facilitate the incorporation of self-care education into clinical psychology training by identifying what self-care education should address, and how to integrate it into training. In so doing, it was hoped that psychology training programs might increase access to self-care education for trainees, thus increasing trainees’ well-being and professional competence and decreasing the likelihood of ethical lapses, impairment, PPC, and compassion stress injuries. Reflexive thematic analysis yielded detailed findings. Essential self-care knowledge themes included the hazards of practicing psychology and an overview of self-care. Essential self-care skills themes included: self-awareness/self-monitoring; self-assessment, utilize support; cognitive strategies, mindfulness, balance/boundaries; physical self-care; spirituality/religion; and create and implement a self-care plan. Themes for essential self-care attitudes included openness/transparency; self-compassion; and gratitude. Themes on operationalizing self-care education included personal practice models for teaching self-care and recommendations from researchers.


Bonnie Zinn, PsyD, 2022

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0003-2493-9592