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THE CONTRIBUTION OF THERAPIST BELIEFS TO PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS IN THERAPISTS: AN INVESTIGATION OF VICARIOUS TRAUMATIZATION, BURNOUT AND SYMPTOMS OF AVOIDANCE AND INTRUSION

  • Sara McLean (a1), Tracey D. Wade (a1) and Jason S. Encel (a2)
Abstract

The present study surveyed a sample of 116 Australian therapists who identified themselves as working primarily with traumatized clients. Outcome variables were measures of vicarious traumatization (VT), burnout and trauma symptomatology (intrusion and avoidance). A measure of beliefs about the therapeutic process was constructed for the present study and examined along with other predictor variables, namely years of experience as a therapist, percentage of time spent in clinical work with clients, predominant client group, and recent and direct exposure to trauma in the therapist. Therapist beliefs were found to predict vulnerability to VT and burnout, supporting a cognitive model of therapist distress. Implications of the findings for maintaining therapist health are discussed.

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Corresponding author
Reprint requests to Tracey Wade, School of Psychology, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, SA, Australia. E-mail: tracey.wade@flinders.edu.au
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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
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