Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Counseling Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (v, 50 pages) : 1 illustration.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Michael V Ellis

Committee Members

Rachel Brenner, Tony Crespi


Mindfulness, Quality of Life, Supervisees, Vicarious Traumatization, Mental health counselors, Interns (Clinical psychology), Secondary traumatic stress, Mindfulness (Psychology), Quality of life, Well-being

Subject Categories

Counseling Psychology


This study sought to replicate and extend existing research (i.e., DelTosta et al., 2019) on predictors of vicarious traumatization among mental health counseling trainees and tested empirically the effects on trainees’ quality of life. The current investigation examined relations among personal distress empathy (PDE), the supervisory working alliance (SWA), mindfulness, vicarious traumatization (VT), and quality of life (QoL) in a sample of 294 mental health counseling trainees in the United States and Canada. Multivariate path analysis was used to test serial mediation of PDE and QoL through the SWA and VT. Additionally, this study examined the extent to which (a) mindfulness moderated and (b) the SWA mediated the relation between PDE and VT. Mindfulness did not moderate the relation between PDE and VT; however, it significantly and negatively predicted VT and significantly and positively predicted the physical and psychological domains of QoL. The SWA partially mediated the relation between PDE and VT, and the SWA and VT mediated the relation between PDE and all four QoL domains. These results indicated the adverse effects of VT on trainee QoL. Furthermore, the SWA and particularly mindfulness seemed to protect against VT, while mindfulness positively affected aspects of QoL. Strengths and limitations of the present study in addition to implications for theory, practice, and research are discussed.