Feel it and deal with it: mental health practitioners' experiences of exposure to the trauma of survivor clients

Degaura, Michael C. (2003). Feel it and deal with it: mental health practitioners' experiences of exposure to the trauma of survivor clients Master's Thesis, School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Degaura, Michael C.
Thesis Title Feel it and deal with it: mental health practitioners' experiences of exposure to the trauma of survivor clients
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2003
Thesis type Master's Thesis
Supervisor Deborah Setterlund
Total pages 135
Language eng
Subjects L
370204 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
730208 Occupational health (excl. economic development aspects)
Abstract/Summary Empathic engagement by the trauma therapist with another person's traumatic experiences is believed to create risks for the helping professional. Much attention has been focused upon the mental health professional experiencing symptoms of distress as a result of their exposure to the material of clients who survive traumatic incidents. This thesis contains the findings of a qualitative study that centres on a group of male mental health professionals and their experiences of exposure to the trauma material of survivor clients. The participants of the study practise within an internal Employee Assistance Program that provides, among other duties, a 24 hour, 7 day response to critical incidents to a heavy transport industry. Using semi-structured, in-depth interviews, the effects on the trauma therapists are explored by analysing their reactions to their survivor clients' accounts, the impact of these experiences upon their psychological schema, the organisational culture in which they practise and its influence upon their experiences and the methods participants use to cope with the psychological effects of exposure to trauma material. Participants' experiences are closely examined for critical comparisons with vicarious traumatization. Therapists' responses reveal their continued ability and motivation to empathically engage with the trauma material of survivor clients despite the potential risks.
Keyword Mental health
Trauma
Practitioners

 
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Created: Fri, 24 Aug 2007, 18:20:09 EST