Although there are a handful of evidence-based treatment interventions for clients seeking treatment for trauma related concerns, limited evidence-based treatment interventions exist for the professionals treating survivors of trauma that are experiencing symptoms of vicarious trauma. Mental health counselors are potentially at-risk for developing vicarious trauma or secondary traumatic stress while working with clients seeking treatment for traumatic experiences. Signs and symptoms of vicarious trauma include emotional and physical symptoms similar to those of posttraumatic stress disorder. Risk factors include childhood or personal trauma, work-place organization, lack of supportive clinical supervision, and lack of self-care. Screening tools utilized to measure and assess vicarious trauma amongst mental health counselors include: The Vicarious Resilience Scale, the Professional Quality of Life Protocol, the Coping Strategies Inventory, the Differentiation of Self Inventory, and the Modified Stroop. Preventative efforts against developing vicarious trauma include attending regular clinical supervision and consultation groups, practicing healthy self-care, and participating in continuing education. Treatment interventions associated with vicarious trauma include self-care, mindfulness-centered therapeutic approaches, additional supervision, and cognitive behavioral techniques. Additional research is needed to quantify further evidence-based treatment interventions for treating mental health counselors experiencing vicarious trauma.
Date of Award
Sobkowiak, Nicole, "Mental Health Counselors and Vicarious Trauma" (2018). Counselor Education Capstones. 75.
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