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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Secondary traumatic stress (STS) is among various stress responses to which therapists who work with traumatized clients are susceptible. In the broad sense of the term, it refers to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other symptoms of stress stemming from exposure to traumatized survivors. The chapter begins with a discussion of why therapists who work with traumatized clients are susceptible to STS and the main mechanisms by which it is transmitted. It then goes on to indicate the repercussions of STS on therapists’ effectiveness. The remainder of the chapter is devoted to the self-help methods that therapists can use to build up their resilience and manage STS. It highlights the need to normalize and identify the symptoms, then goes on to discuss what needs to be done at work, what can be done in the therapist’s personal life, and the importance of making meaning.

Keywords: secondary traumatic stress, secondary traumatization, self-care, self-help, therapist effectiveness, gender differences, making meaning

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