Vicarious Trauma on Mental Health Counselors
Dr. Johnathan Lent
In March, 2011, those people living in Japan experienced the devastation and impact of an earthquake and tsunami which ended in the result of causing nearly 20, 000 deaths. The tragedy caused those individuals whom survived to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression amongst the Japanese. Not only did the Japanese population suffer but the effects and devastation was felt in other environments as well, such as Hawaii. Hawaii underwent a substantial amount of collateral damage which caused anxiety to run rampant amongst Hawaii’s population. This sort of traumatic situation ...view middle of the document...
This awareness could prove to be beneficial in protecting themselves against the effect of helping clients suffering from traumatic experiences. A personal awareness of VT can assist the counselor in the implementation of self-care methods to prevent unethical situations that could occur (Trippany, White Cress, and Wilcoxon, 2004, p. 36). Support groups that focus on education of the signs and symptoms of vicarious traumatization could help alleviate the problems which exist with VT. It can be very difficult for counselors having personal information about oppression, abuse, violence, and injustice. This awareness can easily cause emotional numbness for the therapist.
The organization and supervisor should work hard to minimize this problem by investing in alternative workloads and by providing extensive mental health benefits for their employees. This could turn out to be costly however, if VT is not considered it could in turn cost the agency as it pertains to low staff morale and excessive turnover rates. Supervisor need to be aware of the signs of VT, so that they can help with getting the employee the help and assistance...