Differential effects of online training on job-related burnout among substance abuse counsellors

Yan Leykin*, Michael A. Cucciare, Kenneth R. Weingardt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


High voluntary turnover of substance abuse counsellors is a recognised and pervasive problem, likely due in large part to job-related burnout experienced by providers. This article explores the influence of the type of training on three facets of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and a reduced perception of personal accomplishments) among substance abuse counsellors participating in an online training protocol consisting of cognitive-behavioural therapy for substance use. Two training types were used: high fidelity (i.e. structured, didactic "classroom"-style training), and low fidelity (i.e. more flexible and customisable training). Participation in a more flexible training model predicted lower burnout scores for participants both immediately and 6 months after training. Participants with a history of personal recovery from substance abuse and those working in positions of leadership also reported lower burnout scores after training. We conclude that perception of support and flexibility in the workplace may be helpful to prevent burnout and decrease existing burnout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Substance abuse counsellors
  • burnout
  • cognitive-behavioural therapy training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)


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