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Counselor Education and Supervision


Tina Jaeckle


Vicarious trauma poses a risk factor for clinicians. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study is to examine the individual and organizational resources used by counselors who have self-reported vicarious trauma and have continue practicing their profession effectively. Two theories that comprised the framework of this study were: the social cognitive theory and the constructivist self-development theory. The sample consisted of 10 counselors who self-reported vicarious trauma. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, observations, and then were analyzed using thematic analysis. NVivo software was utilized to come up with distinct similarities in each of the participants. These similarities were then further analyzed to reveal concrete coping strategies that helping professionals can utilize to prevent the effects of vicarious trauma. The top coping skills were discovered to be as follows: effective transition time, spiritual practices, psychological preparedness, wellness, and self-control. Furthermore, organizational skills were also examined to see the effects the organization had on vicarious trauma. The leading organizational coping skills that were acknowledged were: co-workers and supervisor involvement, self-care evenings, weekly wellness meetings, and consultation groups. This study will provide positive social change implications by enabling present and future mental health professionals to gain insight into the coping strategies used to manage vicarious trauma successfully.

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