“Secondary exposure to the trauma histories of others.”
From the media release:
We’ve all heard about the stress experienced by victims of 9/11, but have we ever paused to think about the effect of those terrorist attacks on mental health clinicians who provided care to the victims? A new study by Mary Pulido, Ph.D., from the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the US, provides a sobering account of what it was like for these professionals and reports on the lack of support they received. Her exploratory study, published in Springer’s Clinical Social Work Journal, highlights the critical need to develop training and expand support systems for clinicians in order to combat secondary traumatic stress.
People may suffer symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder through secondary exposure to the trauma histories of others. Disaster mental health workers may be at particularly high risk of this co-called secondary traumatic stress. Not only are they exposed to the stressors and psychic pains experienced by their clients, they carry the professional burden of being expected to remain open and available to their clients on an emotional level. In the case of 9/11, these clinicians were also exposed to the same disaster as those they were helping…