Journal of Student Engagement: Education Matters


Burnout, a multifaceted psychological construct, is associated with a diverse range of undesirable physical and psychological consequences. School counsellor, employed in New South Wales (NSW) public schools, like other mental health professionals and teachers, are vulnerable to burnout that may negatively affect their work with students. While there is some international research into burnout within school counsellors, no studies have examined this within NSW school counsellors. This study, therefore, replicated Australian research by Di Benedetto and Swadling (2014), who investigated the relationships among burnout in psychologists, work-setting, mindfulness and career-sustaining behaviours (CSBs). One hundred and thirty-one NSW Department of Education (NSW DoE) school counsellors (M = 44.08, SD=11.99) were surveyed to assess self-reported burnout, mindfulness and CSB preferences. Moderate levels of burnout were reported among these school counsellors. School counsellors working in rural areas reported significantly higher burnout compared to counsellors working in Sydney metropolitan or urban (Wollongong, Newcastle, Central Coast) areas. There was a strong negative relationship between mindfulness and burnout. Specific CSBs had small to medium associations with lower burnout. Some CSB preferences were linked to higher burnout. Increasing mindfulness practices may help in the prevention and management of burnout in NSW school counsellors.