Preventing burnout in professionals and paraprofessionals who work with child abuse and neglect cases: a cognitive behavioral approach to supervision

J Clin Psychol. 2000 May;56(5):643-63. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-4679(200005)56:5<643::aid-jclp6>;2-u.


Professionals and paraprofessionals who treat children and families where child maltreatment has occurred are subject to many strains. This article focuses on the potential for burnout in such work. It discusses strategies in supervision to combat early manifestations of burnout and to prevent its full-blown occurrence. A cognitive-behavioral framework is used to help supervisors identify the sources of strain, the maladaptive, and inflexible assumptions regarding their own capacities as professionals and their own views of families that these strains may violate, and ways to work with supervisees to reduce the impact these violations have. It also addresses supervisors' own reactions to the high level of needs such families and children present and the strain on the supervisory relationship they produce. Institutionally based and systemic issues are highlighted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control*
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child Abuse / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Family Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Risk Factors