Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type



School for Social Work


Psychotherapist-Mental health, Psychotherapists-Job stress, Suicidal behavior-Treatment, Psychiatric clinics, Suicide, Clinicians, Agency, Organization, Perception of stress


This quantitative study set out to explore the relationship between clinicians’ levels of stress and perceptions of agency or organizational support when working with clients exhibiting suicidal behaviors, attempts or completed suicide, known throughout this thesis as client suicidal behavior (CSB). It is well documented in the literature that clinicians experience a range of personal and professional reactions when working with CSB that, if left unacknowledged, can have negative implications for clinicians, clients and the agency or organization at large. With the theoretical underpinning of person in the environment, the reciprocity between an individual and their environment can be understood. However, there is no information in the literature regarding the relationship between clinician reported level of stress and perceptions of organizational support. This study examined retrospective levels of perceived stress and perception of organizational support amongst 61 clinicians in the weeks following CSB. Major findings show that there was no significant correlation between level of perceived stress and perceptions of organizational support. Additional findings include a negative correlation between job-induced tension, perceived organizational support, affective commitment and job satisfaction. Implications of these findings suggest that lower rates of job-induced tension correlate with overall higher perceptions of clinicians’ organization or agency of employment. Future research considerations include further exploring what contributes to job-induced tension and what reduces job-induced tension.




iv, 57 pages. M.S.W., Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Ma., 2016. Includes bibliographical references (pages 35-38)

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