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Title: Navigating the Challenges of Indirect Trauma: Thriving and sustaining in trauma counselling work
Contributor(s): Ling, Joycelyn (author); Maple, Myfanwy  (supervisor)orcid ; Hunter, Sally  (supervisor); Hussain, Rafat  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2011
Copyright Date: 2010
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Abstract: This thesis presents a qualitative study of counsellors' experiences of indirect trauma exposure, the factors that facilitate counsellors to thrive personally and professionally, and sustain their engagement in trauma counselling work. The existing literature details the challenges of indirect trauma exposure in trauma work. However, the ways that counsellors are able to derive rewards and maintain their engagement in trauma counselling work are less well recognised. The current study examines these factors using a grounded theory approach, with semi-structured interviews conducted to explore the issues. The findings of this study demonstrate that multiple interrelating factors influence the impact of indirect trauma exposure on counsellors. These factors were conceptualised into a three-component model linked by the process of self-reflexivity. This model, termed the Self-Reflexive Model, refers to how counsellors manage the impact of indirect trauma experiences, and consists of three main components: 'developing perspectives'; 'empathic balance'; and 'sustaining capacity'. Under these three components, the model encompasses new insights about the influence of the subjective interpretation of indirect trauma experiences, the rewarding aspects of trauma counselling work, the strategies that maintain empathic boundaries, and the pivotal role of self-reflexivity. The model demonstrates an integrated perspective of these influencing factors, and how the risks and rewards of indirect trauma exposure can be effectively managed. This study builds on existing research about the impact of indirect trauma exposure, while offering greater insight into the processes, practices, and strategies that promote the rewarding and sustaining aspects of trauma counselling work. This information may be applicable to counsellors across different areas of practice that may experience indirect trauma exposure, regardless of whether they are employed in trauma specific or non-trauma specific roles. The findings provide important information for the counselling profession as increased knowledge of these issues will guide clinical practice, education and training, and address issues that influence the sustainability of counsellors in trauma counselling work.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research (FoR): 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
Rights Statement: Copyright 2010 - Joycelyn Ling
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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Appears in Collections:School of Rural Medicine
Thesis Doctoral

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