Title

Addressing Secondary Trauma in Social Workers Counseling Trauma Survivors

Department

Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

2014

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper

Advisors

Catherine Marrs Fuchsel

Abstract

Many individuals who seek therapeutic services from social workers have experienced trauma in their lives. Social workers who counsel trauma survivors may develop physical and emotional symptoms similar to those endured by their clients in a phenomenon known as secondary trauma. A qualitative study was done with 15 social workers exploring the risk factors for secondary trauma, its effects, and the measures that can be taken to prevent or respond to its manifestation. Themes found in participant answers included experiencing negative feelings, anxiety, not having enough time for effective self-care and needing support from others in the field. It is important for social workers to be aware of secondary trauma so they can recognize it happening in themselves and others. Findings in this study can help arm social workers with important self-care strategies and the awareness necessary to address secondary trauma.

Keywords

secondary trauma, trauma counseling, self-care

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.