Is Secondary Traumatization a Negative Therapeutic Response?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to challenge the current conception of secondary traumatization (ST) as a pathological response of therapists working with trauma victims. One hundred two experienced therapists in both public and private practice, treating adult victims of childhood sexual abuse, participated in the study. The results support the main premise of the study; namely, high levels of posttraumatic growth (PTG) are positively associated with therapist ST symptoms, with levels of both positive and negative experiences related to exposure to the abuse in the context of therapy. These results imply that trained therapists might anticipate and process ST and other personal negative responses as a beneficial and empowering phase of therapy, thus ultimately perceiving them positively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-416
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Issue number5
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • posttraumatic growth
  • secondary traumatization
  • therapists
  • therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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