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Dissertation

Vicarous Trauma and Therapists: An Exploration of Influential Factors

16 March 2011

Abstract

The current study was designed as a follow-up study and explored factors influencing the development of vicarious trauma in licensed clinicians including a personal history of trauma, work experience, trauma-specific training, and defense style. Doctoral and Master’s level licensed clinicians (N= 77) completed an Experience and Demographic questionnaire, the Trauma and Belief Scale (TABS), and the Defense Style Questionnaire-40 (DSQ-40). In comparison to the previous study which found significant results, no significant results were found. Licensed clinicians reported an overwhelming use of mature defense styles (97%) with mean scores within the Average Range (45-55) on the 5 TABS subscales of self psychological needs. The results may indicate that in comparison to those in training, licensed clinicians are not experiencing significant levels of vicarious trauma as a result of treating victims of trauma.


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