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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