Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Susan Panichelli Mindel, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Robert DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

Third Advisor

Michael Roberts, Psy.D


Burnout affects approximately 21% to 61% of mental health providers throughout their careers (Morse et al., 2012). Various precursors may lead to burnout, such as caseload, the severity of the clients, workplace climate, and lack of professional support. Burnout is a significant issue for mental health providers working with perpetrators of sexual offenses, specifically due to the increase in stressors when working with this population. Individuals working with this population have the additional risk of being objectified or threatened during a session and could experience vicarious trauma when listening to the details of the offense. Due to the continuous emotional strain that mental health providers are experiencing throughout this line of work, it is hypothesized that mental health providers may experience higher rates of cognitive distortions. The study aimed to determine if there is a connection between burnout rates and specific cognitive distortions in mental health providers working with sexual offenders in various settings. Findings indicated a correlation between Emotional Exhaustion (EE) and Depersonalization (DP) and the total score of the Inventory of Cognitive Distortions (ICD); the higher the burnout symptoms related to EE and DP, the more cognitive distortions a person experiences. Personal Accomplishment (PA) and total ICD score were not correlated. A history of sexual abuse was predictive of the total ICD score. Understanding the cognitive processes of the providers can be used to create interventions to better support the staff, resulting in more effective treatment for this population.

Included in

Psychology Commons