Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project


Tatyana Avdeyeva, PhD, LP and Len Jennings, PhD, LP


The goal of this qualitative study was to understand the impact of working with traumatized clients on the student clinician. Eight graduate student clinicians, who were currently providing mental health services to clients who had experienced trauma, participated in this study. They represented the fields of clinical and counseling psychology and social work. Interviews of participants utilized an interview guide approach. Data was analyzed using grounded theory. In describing the impact of trauma work and their coping with vicarious trauma, the participants’ personal stories shared the following common themes: understanding the importance of social support, recognizing personal changes such as developing a more nuanced view of humanity and the world, developing a deeper appreciation of personal circumstances and personal growth, and acknowledging the importance of self-care. The participants also provided suggestions for training programs related to preparing students for facing the challenges involved in working with traumatized clients. Results are discussed in relation to current literature, and ideas for future research and implications for the field are examined.


Trauma, graduate, student, clinician, self-care

Creative Commons License

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