Essay on Understanding Burnout from a Cognitive Approach

Essay on Understanding Burnout from a Cognitive Approach
📌Category: Behavior, Psychology
📌Words: 2829
📌Pages: 11
📌Published: 09 November 2020

Within research there are many components to address including but not limiting to synthesizing a school of thought to support and contribute to the chosen research topic.  The research topic and literature should be analyzed and evaluated through relevancy, efficacy, currency of scientific research, methodologies, and practice.  Additionally, a theoretical foundation should be chosen, and the study is designed as well as addressing any ethical concerns, principles, methods on collecting data and approved instruments.  Lastly, exploring the need for research, citing relevant research and how results can have practical use.

1.1 Research Topic 

The research topic that has been chosen to be explored is: “How mental health therapists improve the process in providing services to children and families, while working in a multi system of care”.  Specifically exploring and assessing linking developmental variables that cause burnout, turnover and/ or termination as well as conceptualizing mental processes and the effects of how individuals evolve and acclimate over time.  

The research will be used to explicitly explore mental process of managing workload and preventing burnout and to understand how mental process affects how individuals change over time, creating profiles based on the information received and information on improving the process for mental health therapists characteristics or profile to understand how therapist can aid in feedback in a collaborative setting would be interesting to understanding childhood upbringing and to conceive a perspective of parental style and how the child to employee develops and in turn  will aid in further understanding of parenting styles, techniques and effects in the evolving generations (O’Dell, Brownlow & Bertilsdotter Rosqvist  2018). 

The theoretical framework that will be utilized throughout the study will be cognitive psychology influenced by Jean Piaget (cognitive processes) and Erick Erickson (psychosocial stages).  By understanding values, principles, subject matter, and research methods (Blass, 2009) will set the foundation of research for the chosen topic.

Principles and values of developmental psychology to will be assessed for the proposed

topic for how and why humans respond in accordance to psychosocial stages and cognitive stages.  In application developmental psychology evaluates mental abilities (Bray, 2010). Developmental psychology can enhance research with school of thought of cognitive psychology which focuses on analyzing cognitive abilities, researchers can evaluate cognitive functions and how deficits of cognition can affect behaviors thus being able to provide additional support in those specified areas. 

Supplementary assessments of relevancy, efficacy, currency of scientific research, methodologies, and practices within cognitive psychology will provide further support and contribution to the research topic.  In developmental psychology researchers are wanting to understand how and why humans change of time: each chronological stage as well as assessing and individual’s development overtime the use of cognitive psychology can be used in aiding in explaining stages of develop as  illustrated as the needed ability to learn quickly, show competence and the ability to adapt; all skills that are learned at an early age of development (Wallace, Quetsch, Robinson, McCoy, & McNeil, 2018) as well as suggesting that those individuals who experience a deficiency these physiognomies to perform will develop burnout, report on having less satisfaction in their jobs and causing behaviors that are indicated as lacking ability to provide service to fidelity. 

The relevancy of understanding of topic is become more needed as the medical field is evolving into a more collaborative approach based on the past research that indicates numerous wraparound services/ collaboration of therapist is effective and highlights the need to examine fidelity of the systems of care and delivery which will be identified in my research as a gap in the research benefits( Labouvie-Vief, 2015). Wraparound services are services that can be provided in the home and in the community and offer individualized care based on the needs of the client and family (Renzaglia-Weir, 2006). Plans are goal orientated based and are developed and individualized constructed by strengths. 

The efficacy of the study would indicate further advancement to developmental psychology, superfluous navigation of workload and treatments as well as instilling long lasting changes for the clients being served and comparing to other treatment options will experience less time in treatment (Hodges, 2004). 

The currency of scientific research is constantly evolving. When it comes to directions of psychology and the concepts that enhance the growth; there are many modalities that are influential factors.  Articles written by Bray (2010) and Confer, Easton, Fleischman, Goetz, Lewis, Perilloux, & Buss (2010) write with the intent of providing a prospective of change; with a more collaborative approach to solve problems and an understanding to improve theories and make discoveries there are no limits to restrain research.

Bray (2010) he concludes the best practice is done in a collaborative setting and those who can conceptualize a multi-facet approach such as one having a collected approach. Bray further writes that psychology has evolved based on theories as well as other personal influences which concludes the idea that concepts will emerge and evolve over time. 

With a more collaborative approach to solve problems and an understanding to improve theories and make discoveries there are no limits to restrain research.

Confer, Easton, Fleischman, Goetz, Lewis, Perilloux, & Buss (2010) they express the idea of exploring reality and meanings within the capacity of psychology and that it should be a perspective from multiple angles.  They then further expand on the history of evolution as well as the modifications that the field of psychology has endured over the years and how many ideas of reality and their meanings play and continue to play a role in today’s society.  Final thoughts from Confer, Easton, Fleischman, Goetz, Lewis, Perilloux, & Buss (2010) is as long as there are advancements in society there will always be modification in evolution psychology as it further attempts to explain learning, adaptation, genetics and how people communicate with one another.

The methodologies and practices within in cognitive psychology is the exploration and expansion of understanding mental ability and processes as individuals develop mental processes in theory should as well however there are events/ situations/ risks factors that may impose a deficit for individuals; by recognizing deficits and collaborating a plan individuals can address said deficits become successful as well as for those on track for normal cognitive stages will be able to enhance skills. Additionally, Halbert (2018) suggests that having discussions of communication, accommodation and group dynamics are utilized in support as a means to model a similar topic that would focus on mental health providers and creating a profile or understanding of individuals based on cognitive development and abilities.

Cognitive psychology in a developmental lens will allow for research to explain cognition and inform any effects of brain damage on normal cognition.  When abnormalities are formed or discovered treatment plans can be made vice versa when an individual exhibits high cognitive ability how does one function without compromising other domains of functioning. 

Does cognition play into the effect of informing understanding of brain damage and/ or on normal cognition as past research has alluded to is that there is not enough research to conclude that what one theory is that environment does not play contributing factor and thus any theory is subjective(Confer, Easton, Fleischman, Goetz, Lewis, Perilloux,  & Buss, 2010).


2.1 Analytical Literature 

The Summon database was utilized to obtain literature due to ability for obtaining outsourced documents.  Other data based that were utilized in obtaining information: PsycINFO Database, Google Scholar, and Capella’s Database A-Z. Keywords that were identified: collaborative care, cognitive psychology- Piaget, psychosocial psychology- Erickson, burnout, personal growth, communication, self-esteem, benefits of wraparound services. 

The following literature suggests and supports my topic in explaining benefits of collaborative care as well as burnout within therapist and the associated characteristics per employees that experience burnout however do not expand on cognition and psychosocial stages (Ariyanto, Muluk, Newcombe, Piercy, Poerwandari, & Suradijono, 2018). 

Interprofessional collaboration is an up and coming approach that has been deemed to

have many benefits however there is little to know research on the effects that therapists endure when providing services to the clients they serve (Helton, Funke, & Knott, 2014).  By utilizing a developmental approach and understanding characteristics, the research could aid personal growth and prevent burnout and continually provide success to clients. 

The Epistemological of social engagement and social theories can influence the collaboration with the understanding that there are factors that might be affected by: gender, age, socioeconomics, experience in the work field and cognitive deficits. 

The axiology of the study can aid in the support of how individuals interact and how behaviors can be influence by others based on levels of cognition and psychosocial stages based on a  needed evaluation of needs contingent on performance and characteristic traits of a common goal as well as how coworkers communicate and navigate through conflict (Helton, Funke, & Knott, 2014).

Paradigms are constantly being challenged and changing when applying grounded theory methods to research; it can be simply explained as a general way of interpreting information. 

When using the terminology of qualitative and quantitative there are differences of how data is interpreted regarding relationships.  Gathering additional data and using ontology, epistemology, and methodology one can know that those concepts are insistent with qualitative approaches (Hall, 2013). 

When knowledge, values and understandings do not line up grounding theory methods can become convoluted and thus having data that is inconsistent and in turn having a non-desirable reputation. 

In person evaluation it is important to have a qualitative approach however my current agency focuses on quantitative outcomes which then makes the job duties challenging when being pressured with X amount of productivity needing to be rich without compromising the quality of work.  

3.1 General Research Approach 

The suggested theoretical foundations upon the study is being designed to understand and explore the gap in literature. Elaborating on theories and concepts of developmental psychology: cognitive and psychosocial as well as parallel considerate of evolution and personal growth. The general research approach will be a qualitative approach utilizing in-depth interviews/ narrative and a needs assessment. 

Participants will be humans who are in adulthood (18 yrs. & older) and assumed that being a mental health therapist has obtained a master’s degree or higher. Thus, demonstrating the basic cognitive skills: sensorimotor, preoperational, and concrete operational; what the study will be referenced is the formal operational skills: logical thinking, hypothetical/ future oriented thinking, and ability to create hypotheses and test.

The study will use standard multiple regression to answer and analyze cognitive abilities and psychosocial skills. The psychosocial stages being evaluate in the participants will be: young adulthood 19-40 (intimacy vs isolation) (relationships/love), middle adulthood 40-60 (generativity vs stagnation) (work and parenthood/care) and 65+ (ego integrity vs despair) (reflection on life/wisdom) (Clark, 2010). Research will identify and analyze age of participants, length of experience in the field as well as current cognitive stage and psychosocial stages.  Additional questions that will be asked would be if there are any current risk factors and if so, what preventive measures have been taken. 

The ethical steps and principles that you will employ during the research study will be set and adhered by the standards of the American Psychological Association and Capella University IRB, including appropriate boundaries, ethical principles, and application (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

Research will need to be approved by the IRB and follow all guidelines such as seeking approval for appropriate participants and not cause harm. The population being studied: mental health therapists do not fit the criteria for vulnerable populations and will take appropriate precautions to not cause harm to the participants. Ways to eliminate harm will inquire and recruit volunteers, have the participants leave the interview at any time as well as provide full disclosure of the study and provided resources in the community that would be able to offer support to the process after the session.  The data being collected will be in the form of an interview and needs assessments by this writer. 

The research study will be planned and reviewed by peers, mentors, and the IRB as a preventative method for any misleading results. Researchers will be educated on ethical principles and code of conduct (APA, 2016) and will follow guidelines to protect all involved participants. Researchers will not release any information about the participants, keep all information behind two locking mechanisms, remove all identifying information and shred information when no longer needed. 

  Additionally, all research can provide significant data to management in understanding how practitioners contribute to program development.  However, with all applications there can be undesirable outcomes such as presenting research to therapist and management and thus resulting in interagency conflict or contribute to a revolution to decrease motivation to continue to work.  Overall the practical implications of this study provide further insight to agencies as well as statewide programming.

The study will refine/ add to developmental theory as well as to advance scientific knowledge with a further understanding of effective communication, agency expectations, best practices on how to work in a team setting.  It shall be expected that improvement of the agency process as well as provide appropriate reflection of the mental health provider to further ensure growth of psychosocial stages and the need for additional developmental stages to occur or be refined. 

When discussing validity in the psychology world there is terminology and concepts that rely as well as overlap in structure; psychometrics is different from a validity scale in a test of personality.  Psychometrics is the measurement tool that collects data to make an informed decision such as a diagnosis whereas the validity of a personality test is based on the opinion of the test taker and based on their responses will compute a personality style.  Assessments that I am considering utilizing are Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Beck depression scale, Standford-Binet Intelligence Scale and Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) for Human Services Survey for Medical Personnel.

Scales that are considered personality test would be the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory or the Beck depression scale both test rely on the individual taking the test to answer to the best of their ability however validity is always challenged by several factors such as self-reporting bias meaning that the test taker is taking the questionnaire based on what they seem like are appropriate answers to line up with their wants of a personality whereas psychometric testing is based on evidence collected such as many Intelligent quotient (IQ) tests like the Standford-Binet Intelligence Scale (Cohen & Swerdlik,  2018). 

Using American Educational Research Association (AERA)standards that focus on validity would be standard 8.2 “rights and responsibilities of test taker” which has been described as frontloading information to the individual taking the test/questionnaire, etc.  (American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, & National Council on Measurement in Education, 2014).  When educating a test taker processes and intentions should be discussed as well as answer all questions that may arise.

One advantage of validity scales is receiving data and being able to have a direction of treatment however disadvantage concerning the use of validity scales could be recognized as questionnaires being misleading if the tester does not understand the test or answers questions incorrectly thus providing inaccurate data (Cohen & Swerdlik, 2018). The position that I take  on using and interpreting validity scales on a measure of personality is that there should be assessments from the provider and from the individual who is receiving services this is to increase validity from multiple perspectives in order to provide the best interventions for treatment. 

4.1 Research and Application 

The need for research within developmental psychology has been indicated by the gap in research.  Additionally, by addressing the gap in literature results can aid in practical use in the field. Theoretical implications that research can provide to the field of developmental psychology and children and adolescent development is understanding adult roles and their own development while providing wraparound services. 

Further understanding of working mental health therapist working in a team setting will aid in providing added information of stages of cognition: communicate, understand goals and roles to indicate a delay or enhancement and to what degree if any (Traynor, Dobbins & DeCorby, 2015) as well as to explore procedures to maintain cohesiveness between all parties involved as a means to mitigate or prevent challenges in the workplace as factors indicated as: miscommunication, decision- making  and burnout. 

It can be suggested that mental health therapist are constantly in conditions highly stimulus and having to learn to acclimate in order to continue to  provide services to clients; these therapists are interacting with new individuals and new situation in every encounter is original challenge of cognitive ability suggesting that individuals have the following skills: creative thinking, can embrace ambiguity, high levels of emotional intelligence and can shift focus. Exploring the emotional tasks at an early age (Social- Emotional Development) can cause advanced effects that are viewed negatively as well as correlating perceptions of an absence of early life exposure to high demands  which could potentially have a lack of knowledge of systems and interpreting concepts thus having negative outcomes and vice versa. Individuals communicate based on cognitive abilities to remember/ process as well as psychosocial stages in which individuals communicate; analyzing routine tasks and those tasks that are new and could contribute to stress. 

Practical implication from the research would provide significant data that developmental psychology will aid in understanding how therapist contribute to program development by increasing: workplace comradery, employee retention/longevity as well as personal growth and confidence by providing an opportunity of reflection of a mental health therapists in different psychosocial stage(s) and analyzes of further development. 

The alternative: the research could present interagency conflict or contribute to a revolution to decreased motivation to continue to work. Individuals who are able to navigate through conflict demonstrate higher levels of cognition as well as reflect appropriate cognitive stages suggesting that through events in life will alter development and influence future perspectives and behaviors. Further research is needed to understand the balance of intrapsychic conflicts as well as how interpersonal relationships depend on the development of one’s self, specifically referencing Erickson psychosocial stages of development (Clark, 2010). 

5.1 Conclusion

The study will attempt in understanding how mental health therapist improve the process in providing services to children and families, while working in a multi system of care while to creating a profile to predict lack of feedback from mental health therapy through the analysis of cognitive and psychosocial stages, and the control variables of gender, ethnicity, social economics and years in services. Doing so would aid research in recognizing employees who have low job satisfaction and/or burnout and aid in agencies who experience high turnover.


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