Vicarious Trauma

Vicarious trauma is a negative dynamic that can occur in medical, psychological, and other aid-focused professionals (commonly referred to as helping professionals) as a result of being exposed to client disclosures of negative events and traumas. Consequently, helping professionals can develop a host of problematic symptoms in their professional as well as personal lives. Additionally, the spillover can create negative interpersonal dynamics and issues in helping professionals’ loved ones. Negative issues and dynamics of vicarious trauma are the direct result of cognitive changes in the helping professionals, altering their worldviews, feelings of personal safety, and self-identities. The influence of vicarious trauma is significant enough for such changes to possibly be permanent. This entry reviews the concept of vicarious trauma, providing implications for its relation to ...

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