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The impact of trauma work – A meta-synthesis on vicarious trauma and vicarious trauma growth

By Keren Cohen and Paula Collens


The current work examines the impact on trauma workers of working with people who have been traumatised within the framework of both vicarious trauma (VT) and various posttraumatic growth (VPTG) by using a meta-synthesis of findings from 20 published qualitative papers. The synthesis found that the impact of trauma work can potentially increase short and long term levels of distress and that such psychological impact can be managed through personal and organisational coping strategies. It was also found that trauma work leads to changes in schemas and day-to-day routines and that these changes can be both negative and positive. Such changes correspond to both VT and VPTG, but for VPTG to occur, trauma workers will need to be exposed to the client’s own growth

Topics: B940, C890, L500
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Year: 2013
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