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Working Status of Mental Health Personnel in Three Psychological Service Models

ZHANG Lin;MA Xue-yao;WEI Hong;SHI Qi-jia;Research Institute of Applied Psychology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Beijing Institute of Technology;  
Objective: To investigate the work status of psychotherapy practitioners in schools, hospitals, and other social organizations in China. Methods: Six hundred practitioners in the east part, central-south part, northwest part of China were investigated by a semi-structured questionnaire. Results: The average practical time was5.4 years; and the average weekly working time was 7.1 h. The average number of monthly admissions was 24.6.The practitioners in hospitals practice longest working time. 25.3% of all the psychological counseling and psychotherapy were finished completely. 36.9% more than half, and 37.8% less than a half. The average cost of one session was 74.8 yuan in hospitals, and 142.7 yuan in social organizations. Major complaints include general psychological problems, emotional problems and mental illness. The chief work form was face-to-face counseling,followed by telephone counseling and network counseling. The gender difference of the patients was not obvious,but female visitors were slightly more. The main clients were adults and adolescents, mainly in the cities and towns. The majority of clients have finished middle school and college education. The middle-income earners accounted for the main proportion. The number of therapy methods which the practitioners have known was about10, and more than 5 kinds of therapy methods have been used by each psychotherapy practitioner. The motivations for practitioners' career choice were personal interest, trying to help others and themselves, assignments by the employers and way to make a living, in a descending order. Professional stress mainly comes from lack of skills,lack of continuing educational opportunities, low-income, low social recognition, heavy workload, mental fatigue and the difficulty to establish the therapeutic relationship. Conclusion: The development of mental health industry in China was relatively immature. The practitioners practice time is short, and the charges were relatively cheap.The motivations and working pressures of practitioners among the three organizations were different.
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