Thesis

Treating Clients with Sexual Abuse Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Purpose: The focus of the study is on the response and symptoms of counselors when treating clients who have experienced Posttraumatic Stress Disorder related to sexual abuse. Research question: The research question discusses the connection between treating clients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder related to sexual abuse and the risk of secondary trauma of counselors. Methods: The study was conducted on (N=30) counselors from a non-profit agency in the San Fernando Valley. The sample of counselors range in age from 18 to 64 years of age (M=2.20, SD=.887) male (20 %) female (80%). Results: The correlation between the length of practice and secondary trauma, r=.308, n=30, p=.098 is not statistically significant at .05., it is significant at .10. The data exhibits a statistical significance when examining the relationship between counselor’s length of practice and their development of secondary trauma. There is a negative correlation between the two variables, r=-.385, n=30, p=.036. The negative value between supervisor support and secondary trauma states that as counselor’s level of supervisor support decreases, secondary trauma increases. Discussion: The literature findings report that secondary trauma is higher among counselors who work closely with clients that present symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Another finding in the research revealed the negative effects that counselors are presenting for lack of supervision support. The data exhibits a statistical significance when examining the relationship between counselors’ length of practice and their development of secondary trauma. This means the length of practice is associated with secondary trauma. Keywords: counselors, secondary trauma, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, self-care.

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