Vicarious trauma: The Effects on Female Counselors of Working with Sexual Violence Survivors

Laura J. Schauben, Patricia A Frazier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

327 Scopus citations


The primary purpose of this study was to assess the effects on counselors of working with sexual violence survivors. Members of a women psychologists' organization and a group of sexual violence counselors completed questionnaires regarding the extent of their work with survivors and their psychological functioning. Counselors who had a higher percentage of survivors in their caseload reported more disrupted beliefs, (particularly about the goodness of other people), more symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and more self-reported vicarious trauma. Symptomatology was not related to counselors' own history of victimization. Qualitative data regarding difficult and enjoyable aspects of working with survivors also were gathered, along with data on the strategies used by counselors to cope with work-related stress. Implications for counselor training are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-64
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1995

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Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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