Description: Little empirical research has been done to examine the effects that working with traumatized individuals has had on their therapists. It is known that mental health professionals often do suffer ill effects, especially symptoms of secondary traumatic stress disorder. The present investigation tested predictors of secondary traumatic stress disorder in the therapists who provided services for the Oklahoma City bombing. Predictors were therapist social network involvement, years of counseling experience, and amount of self-reported empathy experienced from others. Indicators of secondary traumatic stress were the Frederick Reaction Index-A, the Compassion Fatigue Self-test for Helpers, and the SCL-90R. Hypotheses were tested using a series of hierarchical multiple regressions. Results demonstrated no significance for years of experience or social network, but perceived empathy accounted for 11% of the variance on the SCL-90 and the Compassion Fatigue Self-test for Psychotherapists with social network and years of experience controlled.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Landry, Lisa Pinkenburg