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The risk and protective factors related to vicarious traumatization and compassion fatigue for therapists in training

25 July 2005


In this study, risk and protective factors of therapists in training for vicarious traumatization and compassion fatigue were explored. Risk and protective factors were divided into three separate categories including therapist factors, client factors, and external factors. Therapist factors referred to dispositional optimism, gender, age, personal trauma history, and whether the therapist received personal therapy for the trauma history. Client factors included therapist identification with the client, the number of trauma clients seen, and whether the client improved during therapy. The external factors pertained to the amount of formal training of the therapist, use of supervision, and the level of supervisee development. Vicarious traumatization was measured with the Trauma & Attachment Belief Scale (TABS) (pearlman, 2003). Compassion fatigue was measured with the Compassion Satisfaction and Fatigue Test (CSFT) (Stamm & Figley, 1996). Personal trauma history was measured with the Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R) (Weiss & Marmar, 1997). Dispositional optimism was measured with the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R) (Scheier, Carver, & Bridges, 1994). The level of supervisee development was measured with Supervisee Levels Questionnaire-Revised (SLQ-R) (Stoltenberg, McNeil, & Delworth, 1998). Other therapist factors were measured with a demographic questionnaire.


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