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Secondary Trauma among Judges, Jurors, Attorneys, and Courtroom Personnel

There is no single authoritative definition of secondary trauma. Researchers and practitioners continue to struggle with defining the boundaries of primary and secondary trauma and other related conditions. However, general consensus within the field of traumatology is that exposure to an event or series of events that cause helplessness and symptoms of a primary stress condition constitutes a secondary traumatic stress. The symptoms of primary and secondary trauma are essentially the same. Both include intrusions, avoidance, and arousal. When exposure to trauma is chronic, and especially when it occurs during childhood and adolescence, associated features such as dissociation, pervasive interpersonal problems, and an inability to regulate emotions also are seen, as are efforts to dull memories through self-medication and other self-destructive acts. The essential ...

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