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ERIC Number: EJ1038554
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1089-5701
Helpers in Distress: Preventing Secondary Trauma
Whitfield, Natasha; Kanter, Deborah
Reclaiming Children and Youth, v22 n4 p59-61 Win 2014
Those in close contact with trauma survivors are themselves at risk for trauma (e.g., Bride, 2007; Figley, 1995). Family, friends, and professionals who bear witness to the emotional retelling and re-enacting of traumatic events can experience what is called "secondary trauma" (Elwood, Mott, Lohr, & Galovski, 2011). The literature uses many terms to describe the distress that helping professionals who work in this field may experience, including vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, burnout, vicarious traumatization, empathic strains, traumatoid states, and counter-transference. The term secondary trauma is being used here to describe this unique and important challenge. Although professionals and caregivers are becoming more trauma-informed, they can be unknowingly drawn into the emotional distress experienced by those they seek to help. Causes and prevention of this secondary trauma are reviewed.
Reclaiming Children and Youth. PO Box 57 104 N Main Street, Lennox, SD 57039. Tel: 605-647-2532; Fax: 605-647-5212; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A