Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Paul Hershberger (Committee Member), John Rudisill (Committee Member), Leon Vandecreek (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Despite increasing interest in the issue of clinician impairment over the past 25 years, relatively little research has been conducted regarding the occurrence and management of impairment during the predoctoral and trainee stages of clinical psychology education. This is a particularly notable gap in the literature, given the unique stressors associated with that stage of professional development that may make students and trainees especially vulnerable to impairment. Failing to properly address this issue at an institutional level can present training programs with a variety of potential problems, including legal repercussions, resource drain, impact upon the overall student body, and possible harm to the impaired student. Most recommendations for programs to date have focused upon containment and problem-focused methods for addressing impairment; virtually no resources are available for programs wishing to take a more positive and growth-oriented stance. The goal of this project is to begin to fill some of the existing gaps in the knowledge base by using the theoretical principles of positive psychology to design a sample institutional plan for addressing student impairment in a supportive, strengths-based manner. Institutional optimizations, administrative procedures, and organizational climate are discussed, as well as directions for future research.

Page Count


Department or Program

School of Professional Psychology

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Psychology Commons