The professional attitude of psychologists towards the depression of psychologists

Lawrence, Dianne (2007) The professional attitude of psychologists towards the depression of psychologists. Other Degree thesis, Victoria University.


The current thesis investigated the professional attitude of Psychologists towards the depression of Psychologists by conducting two phases of interviews with 14 Psychologists, designed and analysed according to the protocol of grounded theory. The aims of the current investigation were to gain an increased understanding of the experience and opinions of this cohort, and to develop theory based upon this information. Additional aims were to provide data that may inform further discussion, and thereby, to partly redress the gaps within the available literature about the depression of Psychologists. In the first phase of the current thesis, Psychologists who had themselves experienced depression were asked what they, as Psychologists, considered to be the important issues about their experience of depression. In the second phase, Psychologists who themselves had not experienced depression, were asked what they, as Psychologists, considered to be the important issues about the depression of those who were also Psychologists. Analysis of the data from both sets of interviews found four primary areas. These were firstly, the struggle or difficulties experienced by the depressed Psychologist, secondly, the attempts of the depressed Psychologist and his or her colleagues to make sense, or bring meaning to the experience, thirdly sensitivity, or the product of the experience of depression upon the personal and professional spheres of practice of an individual, and finally engagement, or responses towards the depression of Psychologists. It was hypothesised that an understanding of the experience of depression is a difficult struggle of which the depressed Psychologist seeks to make sense to effect personal and professional progress, and secondly, that the depression of Psychologist colleagues demands a collegial response. As a result of these findings, recommendations were made in the areas of collegial and organization support for depressed Psychologists, as well as the need for increased measures of workplace advocacy. Specifically, it was recommended that efforts are made within the profession as a whole, as well as within professional organizations, workplaces, and training programs that are specific to Psychologists, that a supportive and preventative approach towards the depression of Psychologists be followed, which, rather than regulatory, is adaptive and flexible in philosophy, approach, and solutions, and does not enforce a particular viewpoint. It was also recommended that these resources be overseen, reviewed, and publicised, and that services should be highly respectful of privacy and confidentiality, as the decision as to whether or not to disclose having had depression is a personal one that is congruent with the philosophical constructs of each individual.

Additional Information

Doctor of Psychology

Item type Thesis (Other Degree thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords psychologists, depression, professional attitude, psychology, mental health professionals
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