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Shared Trauma

Several terms have been forwarded in the mental health literature to describe the deleterious effects of working with trauma survivors, including burnout, compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, and vicarious traumatization. Although each makes a distinct and crucial contribution, these concepts describe similar symptomatology and address secondary exposure to patients' traumatic content. With the advent of worldwide terrorism and an increase in natural and human-made disasters, helping professionals may find themselves exposed to trauma primarily as citizens and secondarily through the trauma narratives of their clients, thereby necessitating an explanatory framework that captures the entirety of their experience. For these clinicians and first responders living and practicing in a traumatogenic environment, existing terms do not adequately convey the complicated nature of their multimodal reactions given that they ...

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