Interpersonal Trauma: Vicarious Trauma and Protective Measures
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The impact of interpersonal trauma can be devastating for survivors. Survivors who have directly experienced violence perpetrated against them may seek therapy for assistance with a wide range of negative consequences, challenges, and symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s). Trauma therapists who work with survivors and are vicariously exposed to their clients’ trauma narratives, pain and suffering, are at risk of suffering consequences themselves due to the emotional stress and strain of the work. Some therapists will experience reactions and symptoms that are similar, yet not as severe as their clients’. The possibility for positive consequences, growth and resilience are also possible. Measures can be taken on a personal, professional and organizational level to counteract stress and promote therapists’ resilience. Three essays are presented in this manuscript-based thesis which illustrate interconnected and key aspects of the central topic of the trauma therapist’s experience.