A mixed methods study of the impact of providing therapy to traumatized clients: vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and vicarious posttraumatic growth in mental health therapists

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A mixed methods study of the impact of providing therapy to traumatized clients: vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and vicarious posttraumatic growth in mental health therapists

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2014-07

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The purpose of this research was to examine the impact of trauma therapy work on mental health professionals who work with traumatized clients. ANOVA's were used to compare participants by experience and exposure level on measures of vicarious trauma (VT) compassion satisfaction (CS), and vicarious posttraumatic growth (VPTG). MANOVA was used to compare participants by experience and exposure level on the two components of compassion fatigue (CF), burnout (BO) and secondary traumatic stress (STS). A hierarchical regression equation was used to explore whether STS and VT predicted VPTG. In addition, a qualitative component examined negative and positive effects of the therapy work. The results of the study were: There were no differences on mental health professionals' scores of VT, STS and BO, or CS based on differences of mental health professionals' exposure to traumatized clients. There were significant differences between high and low exposure caseload groups on scores of VPTG; participants in the high exposure group had significantly higher scores of VPTG than participants in the low exposure group. There were no differences on amount of VT, STS and BO, or CS and VPTG as a result of differences among mental health professionals' experience level. A hierarchical regression analysis showed that the predictor variables of STS and VT did not increase the percentage of variance accounted for by the dependent variable, VPTG, which was already accounted for by the covariate variable of exposure. Main qualitative themes included: experiencing symptoms of VT, and the components of CF (STS and BO), as well as experiencing aspects of VR, VPTG, and CS.

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University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2014. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: John L. Romano. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 155 pages, appendix p. 146-155.

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Froman, Monica Simone. (2014). A mixed methods study of the impact of providing therapy to traumatized clients: vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and vicarious posttraumatic growth in mental health therapists. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/165355.

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