Date of Conferral
Therapists who specialize in trauma therapy are indirectly exposed traumatic events presented by clients within the therapeutic relationship. The potential consequences for trauma therapists may be the risk of vicarious trauma. Effective coping and self-care are essential in the practice of trauma work. The research question for this study is: Do coping skills and self-care practices in trauma therapists moderate the disruptive effect of vicarious trauma on the fulfillment of their psychological needs (trust/dependence and control)? The purpose of this research study was to examine quantitatively, the role of trauma therapists' beliefs in the effectiveness of coping skills and time spent devoted to self-care practices as moderators of the disruptive effect of vicarious trauma on their fulfillment of psychological needs of trust/dependence and control. Based on the constructive self-development theory, this study explored 2 psychological needs areas including trust/dependence and control. A sample of therapists with 10 years or more experience in the field and who primarily treated traumatized populations were recruited. A survey design methodology via a customized internet-based system was used to administer the trauma and attachment belief scale and the coping inventory scale. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was completed to address the research question and hypotheses. The results of regression analysis supported the research question. Contributions to positive social change include increased awareness of the risk of vicarious trauma and potential coping strategies necessary to address this phenomenon. Therapists may then enhance their therapeutic effectiveness and organizational service delivery to traumatized client populations.