Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise, Ph.D., ABPP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Michael Degilio, Psy.D.

Third Advisor

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP


The present study's foundation is based on research suggesting that the attitudes of clinicians regarding their clients have profound effects on therapeutic alliances, empathy, and staff burnouts, which may contribute to treatment barriers. Because professionally appropriate behavior often conceals stigma, misconceptions, and negative feelings that clinicians may have toward sexual offenders, an anonymous survey of attitudes, job burnout, and empathy was conducted in an outpatient setting. The survey instruments tap into some latent factors concerning the attitudes of clinicians, their perceptions of burnout, and their abilities to empathize with their clients. This research focused on describing a population of clinicians who work with sexual offenders in an outpatient setting in Pennsylvania. In this study, using anonymous surveys, data was collected from clinical staff who work with sexual offenders. Each packet of surveys contained a demographics questionnaire, a survey developed for this study entitled, Attitudes Regarding Sexual Offenders, the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Using SPSS statistical software, frequency distributions and item percentages were calculated for each of the survey question as a descriptive measure of this population. The results are descriptive in nature of the staff at this particular agency. Significant finding are presented and treatment implications are discussed.