Secondary trauma from working with Vietnam veterans

Roger Clarke Pierce (2000)

This paper presents a study exploring how therapists describe their experience of coping with the impact of providing treatment to individuals who have experienced severe trauma. Research suggests that those who work with severe trauma are vulnerable to becoming traumatized themselves (Kluft, 1989; Talbot, 1990, Genest, Levine, Ramsden & Swanson, 1990, McCann & Pearlman, 1990, Pearlman & Saakvitne, 1995, Figley, 1995, Briere, 1997). Therapists who continue to work effectively with traumatized populations must find ways to reduce the impact of the traumatic material on themselves. This study explored therapists' narratives about their encounters with vicarious traumatization from working with Vietnam veterans and how these therapist can continue to provide treatment for this population.