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Vicarious Trauma

Vicarious traumatization (VT) is a negative transformation in the self of a trauma worker or helper that results from empathic engagement with traumatized clients and their reports of traumatic experiences. Its hallmark is disrupted spirituality or meaning and hope. Lisa McCann and Laurie Anne Pearlman coined this term in 1990 with specific reference to the experience of psychotherapists working with trauma survivor clients. Others have expanded its application to a wide range of persons who assist trauma survivors, including clergy, frontline social service workers, justice system professionals, health care providers, humanitarian workers, journalists, hospice professionals, and first responders. Because vicarious trauma is a common effect of working with traumatized persons, it is essential to understand its origins, manifestations, and treatment.

Contributing Factors

VT, conceptually based in constructivist ...

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