Secondary Traumatic Stress: An Investigation of Canadian Mental Health Workers
AbstractIn the past decade, there has been an increased awareness of the deleterious effects for professionals working in the field of trauma. Claims have been made that professionals working with traumatized clients are vulnerable and at risk of developing trauma symptoms similar to those experienced by their clients. Terms used to describe this phenomenon are “vicarious traumatization” and “secondary traumatic stress.” The results of survey data collected from 280 Canadian mental health professions on work setting and client type variables, personal histories of trauma, current levels of traumatic stress symptoms, and self-report ratings on experiencing secondary traumatic stress are reported. Implications for mental health professionals working in the field of trauma are addressed.