Study text resources
This module provides an introduction to the topic of vicarious trauma and humanitarian work. It is intended to provide you with some basic information about vicarious trauma, and to guide you towards additional resources. Other helpful websites and books are listed below.
If you would like more information, or if you wish to speak to a mental health professional or desire a professional referral, please contact the Headington Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (626) 229 9336.
On the internet
Traumatic Stress & Secondary Traumatic Stress, Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Traumatization
Beth Hudnall Stamn’s reference page on secondary traumatic stress.
Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL R-IV)
Compassion satisfaction and fatigue subscales – revision IV.
Transforming the pain: A workbook on vicarious traumatization (1996). By Karen Saakvitne and Laurie Anne Pearlman. Published by W.W. Norton and Company.
Written for any professional, paraprofessional, or volunteer working in a helping role with traumatized individuals, there is much in here that is useful for humanitarian workers seeking a deeper understanding of vicarious trauma.
Stress and trauma handbook: Strategies for flourishing in demanding environments (2003). Edited by John Fawcett. Published by World Vision International.
The humanitarian companion (2004). Written by John Ehrenreich. Published by IDTG Publishing.
Additional references that informed this module
Batson, C.D., Fultz, J., & Schoenrade, P.A. (1987). Distress and empathy: Two qualitatively distinct vicarious emotions with different motivational consequences. Journal of Personality, 55(1), 19–39.
Blaque-Belair, M. 2002. Being knowledgeable can help enormously. In Y. Danieli (Ed.), Sharing the front line and the back hills: Peacekeepers, humanitarian aid workers and the media in the midst of crisis (pp. 53-63). Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.
Bowlby, J. (1977). The making and breaking of affectional bonds: I. Aetiology and psychopathology in the light of attachment theory. British Journal of Psychiatry, 130, 201-210.
Danieli, Y. (1984). Psychotherapists’ participation in the conspiracy of silence about the Holocaust. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 1, 23-42.
Danieli, Y. (Ed.) (2002). Sharing the front line and the back hills: International protectors and providers: Peacekeepers, humanitarian aid workers, and the media in the midst of crisis. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company.
Ehrenreich, J.H. (2005). The humanitarian companion: A guide for international aid, development and human rights workers. Bourton-on-Dunsmore, UK: ITDG Publishing.
Eriksson, C.B., Vande Kemp, H., Gorsuch, R., Hoke, S., & Foy, D.W. (2001). Trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms in international relief and development personnel. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 14, 205-212.
Fawcett, J., (Ed). (2003). Stress and trauma handbook: Strategies for flourishing in demanding environments. Monrovia, CA: World Vision International.
Foa, E.B., Friedman, M.J., & Keane, T.M. (2000). Effective treatments for PTSD: Practice Guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. New York: Guilford Press.
Figley, C. (1995). Compassion fatigue: Coping with secondary traumatic stress disorder in those who treat the traumatized. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
Hanh, T.N. (1987). The miracle of mindfulness: An introduction to the practice of meditation. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
Herman, J.L. (1992). Trauma and recovery: The aftermath of violence–from domestic violence to political terror. New York: BasicBooks.
Halle, C. (2002). Quoted in Y. Danieli (Ed.) (2002). Sharing the front line and the back hills: International protectors and providers: Peacekeepers, humanitarian aid workers, and the media in the midst of crisis (pp. 17). Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company.
Hernandez, P., Gangsei, D., & Engstrom, D. (2007). Vicarious resilience: A new concept in work with those who survive. Family Process, 46(2), 229-241.
Levine, O., & Levine, S. (1989). Who dies? An investigation of conscious living and conscious dying. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday.
Mayo Clinic web site, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-symptoms/SR00008_D. Accessed March 5, 2007
McCann, I.L., & Pearlman, L.A. (1990). Psychological trauma and the adult survivor: Theory, therapy, and transformation. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
Munroe, J.F. (1999). Ethical issues associated with secondary trauma in therapists. In B.H. Stamm (Ed.), Secondary traumatic stress: Self-care issues for clinicians, researchers, & educators, second edition, pp. 211-229. Lutherville, MD: The Sidran Press.
Norcross, J.C., & Guy, Jr., J.D. (2007). Leaving it at the office: A guide to psychotherapist self-care. New York: The Guilford Press.
Ostberg, V., & Lennartsson, C. (2007). Getting by with a little help: The importance of various types of social support for health problems. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 35, 197-204.
Pearlman, L.A., & Caringi, J. (in press). Vicarious traumatization andtherapist self-care. In C.A. Courtois & J.D. Ford (Eds.), Complex traumatic stress disorders: An evidence-based clinician’s guide. New York: Guilford Books.
Pearlman, L.A., & Saakvitne, K.W. (1995). Trauma and the therapist: Countertransference and vicarious traumatization in psychotherapy with incest survivors. New York: W.W. Norton.
Rodrigo, W.D. (2005). Conceptual dimensions of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. Master’s Thesis, Simon Fraser University.
Rothschild, B. (2006). Help for the helper: The psychophysiology of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. New York: W.W. Norton.
Saakvitne, K.W., Gamble, S.G., Pearlman, L.A., & Lev, B.T. (2000). Risking connection: A training curriculum for working with survivors of childhood abuse. Lutherville, MD: Sidran Foundation and Press.
Saakvitne, K.W., Pearlman, L.A., & the Staff of the Traumatic Stress Institute (1996). Transforming the pain: A workbook on vicarious traumatization. New York: W.W. Norton.
Schoen, K. (1998). Caring for ourselves: Understanding and minimizing the stress of HIV caregiving (527-536). In D. Aronstein & B.J. Thompson (Eds). HIV & Social Work: A Practitioners Guide.
Wellman, B., & Wortley, S. (1990). Different strokes from different folks: Community ties and social support. The American Journal of Sociology 96(3), 558-588.
Wilson, J.P., & Thomas, R.B. (2004). Empathy in the treatment of trauma and PTSD. New York: Brunner-Routledge.