The Effects of Trauma on Clients and Mental Health Counselors

2042 Words Oct 27th, 2013 9 Pages
Introduction
Anyone who deals regularly with victims of trauma or is exposed to graphic pictures or text of trauma, can experience the effects of secondary or vicarious trauma. Vicarious trauma (VT) will affect thinking, while secondary traumatic stress (STS), or compassion fatigue, affects feelings and behavior of the counselor. The purpose of this paper is to discuss man-made or natural disasters as well as personal trauma, and the counselor’s role in these situations. Skills to help the counselor deal with the effects of vicarious trauma will also be discussed in this assignment.
Trauma Examples
Man-made and natural disasters are traumatic to both the client and to the counselor. Oftentimes, the counselor is also feeling the
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In the case of sexual abuse, the child may feel he is betraying the person who abused him, by reporting the abuse, since oftentimes the abuser is someone he trusts and loves. The child may also feel powerless, untrusting, may react outwardly with anger, exhibit sexualized behaviors, be withdrawn from friends and family, or develop eating disorders. Anxiety disorders and PTSD, along with suicidal ideation may be present as well.
Children who have suffered physical abuse are less likely to be attached to their parents and may be fearful of family interactions. They may develop anger issues in the future and could possibly become abusers to their own children. Some signs of physical abuse can be dangerous behaviors towards themselves and violence towards others, and may have ADHD, depression and/or conduct disorders and high levels of anxiety. A good sign for counselors to watch for is how the child interacts with other children—oftentimes, an abused child may resolve issues through violence and aggression, which is a behavior oftentimes learned from a trusted adult.
When working with victims of abuse, it is important for the counselor to allow the child to move at her own pace and not push her to speak until ready. The counselor should not angrily place blame on the perpetrator—since oftentimes this is person the child loves and respects. The counselor, when dealing
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