Secondary traumatic stress: the cost of trauma caring

Secondary traumatic stress: the cost of trauma caring (pp. 215-231)

Bernardo Moreno-Jiménez, María Eugenia Morante, Eva Garrosa, and Raquel Rodríguez

Autonoma University of Madrid (Spain)

6 €

In recent years, a theoretical body on the effects of the stress in victims and in their caregivers, voluntary and professional, has been elaborated (Stamm, 1999). The approach is “Who cares for the caregivers?”. Vicarious traumatization or compassion fatigue are some of the terms used to name the secondary traumatic stress produced by highly stressful and/or traumatic situations handled by the sanitary personnel, police, psychologists or other professionals involved in the management of these situations. Depending on the situation of these workers, they can experience a secondary traumatic stress or they can find it difficult to continue with their work. Since 1995, authors such as Figley, Janoff-Bulman, Stamm, Dutton, etc. have been proposing the theoretical basis of the secondary traumatic stress. In this article, both a global view of this topic and some reflections on the latest theoretical models are offered, together with an account of the symptoms and the effects that this syndrome causes on the health of people.