Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Secondary traumatic stress, Psychotherapists-Mental health, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, Meditation-Psychological aspects, Yoga-Psychological aspects, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Self-care, Health, Secondary trauma, Mindfulness, Yoga, Meditation, Compassion fatigue, Vicarious trauma, Trauma, PTSD, Trauma therapist, Self-care


This qualitative study investigated the use of mindfulness by therapists treating trauma victims. The purpose of this study was to better understand ways in which a mindfulness practice, such as yoga and/or meditation, can affect the experience of secondary trauma in trauma therapists working with clients who are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Six female trauma therapists working with the VA system in Colorado were interviewed. Each participant was asked to reflect upon their experiences with secondary trauma and how their mindfulness practice has impacted both their personal and professional lives. Participants were all at least Master level clinicians from a range of professional backgrounds, working with clients who are diagnosed with PTSD. Participants identified both rewards and challenges of working as a trauma therapist and were asked how they manage and/or address the impact of their work. In addition, they were asked to discuss specifically how their mindfulness practice impacts their work as a trauma therapist. While each participant defined their own personal mindfulness practice, all six participants stated that their mindfulness practice has impacted their ability to manage and/or address the effects of working with trauma survivors. The findings of this study are relevant to clinicians and practitioners who are concerned about preventing and/or managing the effects of secondary trauma.




iv, 73 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 64-66)