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The role of self-care and professional quality of life in sustaining a long-lasting career in sport psychology: a qualitative exploration

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  • Alessandro Quartiroli
  • Dr Chris Wagstaff
  • Rebecca A. Zakrajsek
  • Sharon M. Knight
  • Edward F. Etzel
In this study, we aimed to explore experienced and senior sport psychology professionals’ (SPPs’) understanding of and experiences with the relationship between their professional quality of life and self-care. Adhering to the philosophical stance characterizing the consensual qualitative research methodology, we conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. Following criterion-based sampling, we interviewed 10 male and 10 female experienced and senior (Myears of practice = 23.9; SD = 8) SPPs from seven countries and four continents who worked in university (n = 10), private practice (n = 7), and governmental (n = 3) settings. We constructed one main domain encompassing seven categories (viz. Inextricably interrelated, Personal relationships, Professional relationships, Role model, Influence of SC on SP-PQL, and Enhancement of professional effectiveness) that highlight quality of life and self-care as inextricably linked and combined to provide a foundation for one’s professional journey. The participants highlighted the importance of concurrently engaging in practices aimed to take care of themselves. They also described their professional experiences to protect and preserve themselves and their ability to guarantee the delivery of ethical and effective care to their clients as well as to their students. These can be interpreted to highlight the key interplay between practitioner holistic well-being, effectiveness, and a meaningful and lasting career in the sport psychology profession. Recommendations for professionals are discussed in terms of implications for professional bodies, supervisors and employees.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 19 Mar 2021

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