Family Development

Journal Articles for Self-Care

We invite you to take a look at our list of journal articles. We have provided articles on the topic of self-care and how it effects and connects to the unique needs and situations of military children, couples, and families. Each title is linked to a web page that has more information on how to obtain this literature. Feel free to contact us if you have others to recommend so we can add to our growing list.


Bishop, S.R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., Anderson, N.D., Carmody, J., Segal, Z.V., Abbey, S., Speca, M., Velting, D., & Devins, G. (2004). Mindfulness: A proposed operational definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11(3), 230-241 (p. 230).
There has been substantial interest in mindfulness as an approach to reduce cognitive vulnerability to stress and emotional distress in recent years. However, thus far mindfulness has not been defined operationally. This paper describes the results of recent meetings held to establish a consensus on mindfulness and to develop conjointly a testable operational definition. We propose a two-component model of mindfulness and specify each component in terms of specific behaviors, experiential manifestations, and implicated psychological processes. We then address issues regarding temporal stability and situational specificity and speculate on the conceptual and operational distinctiveness of mindfulness. We conclude this paper by discussing implications for instrument development and briefly describing our own approach to measurement.

Figley, C.R. (2002). Compassion fatigue: Psychotherapists’ chronic lack of self-care. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(11), 1433-1441.
Psychotherapists who work with the chronic illness tend to disregard their own self-care needs when focusing on the needs of clients. The article discusses the concept of compassion fatigue, a form of caregiver burnout among psychotherapists and contrasts it with simple burnout and countertransference. It includes a multi-factor model of compassion fatigue that emphasizes the costs of caring, empathy, and emotional investment in helping the suffering. The model suggests that psychotherapists that limiting compassion stress, dealing with traumatic memories, and more effectively managing caseloads are effective ways of avoiding compassion fatigue. The model also suggests that to limit compassion stress, psychotherapists with chronic illness need to develop methods for both enhancing satisfaction and learning to separate from the work emotionally and physically in order to feel renewed. A case study illustrates how to help someone with compassion fatigue.

Goldin, PR., & Gross, J.J. (2010). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder. Emotion, 10(1), 83-91.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is an established program shown to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. MBSR is believed to alter emotional responding by modifying cognitive-affective processes. Given that social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by emotional and attentional biases as well as distorted negative self-beliefs, we examined MBSR-related changes in the brain–behavior indices of emotional reactivity and regulation of negative self-beliefs in patients with SAD.

Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., & Walach, H. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57(1), 35-43.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a structured group program that employs mindfulness meditation to alleviate suffering associated with physical, psychosomatic and psychiatric disorders. The program, nonreligious and nonesoteric, is based upon a systematic procedure to develop enhanced awareness of moment-to-moment experience of perceptible mental processes. The approach assumes that greater awareness will provide more veridical perception, reduce negative affect and improve vitality and coping. In the last two decades, a number of research reports appeared that seem to support many of these claims. We performed a comprehensive review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished studies of health-related studies related to MBSR.

Hesse, A.R. (2002). Secondary trauma: How working with trauma survivors affects therapists. Clinical Social Work, 30(3), 293-309.
Secondary trauma, a relatively recent topic that has emerged in the field of social work, includes the emotional and psychological effects that working with traumatized clients has on therapists. Secondary trauma can seriously impact therapists’ personal and professional well-being. Trauma therapists face major ethical dilemmas if their reactions to being traumatized enter into the therapeutic relationship, exposing clients to psychological harm or possibly re-traumatization. As many graduate programs in social work and social service agencies are still unaware of this phenomenon, recommendations are made for how to introduce the topic as priority and how to cope with and prevent secondary trauma.

Hofmann, S.G., Sawyer, A.T., Witt, A.A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, 78(2), 169-183.
Although mindfulness-based therapy has become a popular treatment, little is known about its efficacy. Therefore, our objective was to conduct an effect size analysis of this popular intervention for anxiety and mood symptoms in clinical samples. We conducted a literature search using PubMed, PsycINFO, the Cochrane Library, and manual searches. Our meta-analysis was based on 39 studies totaling 1,140 participants receiving mindfulness-based therapy for a range of conditions, including cancer, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and other psychiatric or medical conditions.

Lee, S.M., Cho, S.H., Kissinger, D., Ogle, N.T. (2010). A typology of burnout in professional counselors. Journal of Counseling and Development, 88, 131-138.
The authors used a cluster analysis procedure and the Counselor Burnout Inventory (S. M. Lee et al., 2007) to identify professional counselors’ burnout types. Three clusters were identified: well-adjusted, persevering, and disconnected counselors. The results also indicated that counselors’ job satisfaction and self-esteem were good discriminators between the 3 clusters. Implications for counselors are discussed.

Myers, J.E., Sweeney, T.J., & Witmer, J.M. (2000). The Wheel of Wellness Counseling for wellness: A holistic model for treatment planning, Journal of counseling and Development, 78, 251-266.
A holistic model of wellness and prevention over the life span was presented by T. J. Sweeney and J. M. Witmer (1991) and J. M. Witmer and T. J. Sweeney (1992). Recent advances in research and theory related to wellness support modifications of the original model. The foundation for the model is examined, research related to each component is explored, and implications for use of the model as a basis for counseling interventions are presented.

Puig, A., Baggs, A., Mixon, K., Park, Y.M., Kim, B.Y., Lee, S.M. (2012). Relationship between job burnout and personal wellness in mental health professionals. Journal of Employment Counseling, 49, 98-109.
This study aimed to determine the nature of the relationship between job burnout and personal wellness among mental health professionals. The authors performed intercorrelations and multivariate multiple regression analyses to identify the relationship between subscales of job burnout and personal wellness. Results showed that all subscales of job burnout, except for the Negative Work Environment subscale, significantly predicted a large amount of the variance in the collective personal wellness subscales. Implications for mental health professionals’ clinical practice, training, and supervision and limitations and prospects for future studies are discussed.

Shapiro, S.L., Astin, J.A., Bishop, S.R., & Cordova, M. (2005). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for health care professionals: Results from a randomized trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12(2), 164-176.
The literature is replete with evidence that the stress inherent in health care negatively impacts health care professionals, leading to increased depression, decreased job satisfaction, and psychological distress. In an attempt to address this, the current study examined the effects of a short-term stress management program, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), on health care professionals. Results from this prospective randomized controlled pilot study suggest that an 8-week MBSR intervention may be effective for reducing stress and increasing quality of life and self-compassion in health care professionals. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.