Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Secondary traumatic stress, Secondary traumatic stress-Prevention, Secondary traumatic stress-Treatment, Social workers-Psychology, Burn out (Psychology), Social work education, Social workers-In-service training, Burnout, Compassion fatigue, Compassion satisfaction, Vicarious trauma, Prevention, Agency training


This study was undertaken to determine what training trauma-focused clinicians are receiving at the graduate or professional level to prevent burnout, secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma, as well as what individual, agency, and institutionallevel interventions clinicians find effective in preventing or ameliorating these phenomena and promoting compassion satisfaction. Thirteen trauma-focused clinicians with a broad diversity of clinical, professional, and educational backgrounds participated in a semi-structured interview which sought more information about individual self-care practices and clinicians' assessment of information and training received at the graduate and professional level related to vicarious trauma. These interviews were followed by the completion of the Professional Quality of Life survey with subscales for burnout, compassion fatigue, and compassion satisfaction. This study found that, although trauma clinicians are uniquely at risk for secondary traumatic stress or vicarious trauma, little information on preventative factors, awareness, or support is being presented to students at the graduate or professional level. Nearly every participant identified the need to create a "culture of support" at the agency level through information, training, and trauma-informed supervision, and at the graduate level through meaningful integration of information about vicarious trauma in graduate-level curricula.




vi, 123 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 103-107)