Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Psychological and Quantitative Foundations
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Fifth Committee Member
For some people, exposure to trauma results in the development of psychological maladjustment in the form of posttraumatic stress disorder. Veterans returning from combat zones tend to meet criteria for PTSD at rates significantly higher than what is observed in the general population. Mental health professionals, particularly those working with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, play an important role in the recovery of these Veterans. Research suggests that facilitating trauma therapy and/or being exposed second-hand to traumatic material can have negative consequences for the therapist. The current study focuses on the impact of trauma therapy on therapists who work with combat veterans through the VA. The study includes seven psychologists in the state of Iowa employed by VA. Findings support previous research by highlighting the impact therapy has on the clinician providing it. The impact of facilitating trauma therapy or working with traumatized populations is not wholly positive or negative, but often both. The current study suggests that what clinicians do in response to hearing trauma narratives that is of key importance.
Secondary Traumatic Stress, Veterans, Vicarious Trauma
v, 110 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 100-110).
Copyright 2014 Kari Finnegan
Finnegan, Kari Luan. "The impact of therapy : a qualitative analysis of clinicians working with combat veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, 2014.