Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 321–331 | Cite as

Self-Compassion as a Predictor of Self-Care: A Study of Social Work Clinicians

  • J. Jay MillerEmail author
  • Jacquelyn Lee
  • Chunling Niu
  • Erlene Grise-Owens
  • Molly Bode
Original Paper


Despite the promise of self-care in dealing with employee challenges, there is nominal research related to this topic, in general, and among the clinical social work workforce, specifically. This exploratory study examines self-compassion, self-care, and the predictive relationship between the two among a sample (N = 831) of clinical social workers practicing in one southeastern state. In so doing, this paper uniquely addresses several limitations in the current literature. Findings suggest that social work clinicians in this sample engaged in moderate amounts of self-compassion and self-care, respectively. As well, self-compassion proved to be a unique and significant predictor of both personal and professional self-care, respectively. Findings from this study suggest the need to more deftly support clinicians in engaging in self-compassion and self-care, which includes ongoing training, education, and skill development.


Self-compassion Social workers Self-care Clinical Clinicians 



There is no funding to report for this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Jay Miller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jacquelyn Lee
    • 2
  • Chunling Niu
    • 1
  • Erlene Grise-Owens
    • 3
  • Molly Bode
    • 4
  1. 1.Self-Care Lab, College of Social WorkUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.University of North Carolina – WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA
  3. 3.The Wellness Group, ETCLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.College of Social WorkUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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