Secondary traumatic stress in Canadian school counsellors: presence and prediction

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Moore, Andrea D.
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A non-experimental survey design was used to study participant self-identified presence of secondary traumatic stress (STS) in Canadian school counsellors (N = 57) in relation to counsellors’ education and training, trauma-specific training, work experience, supervision, number of trauma clients and coping strategies. Counsellors were not necessarily protected from STS if they spent time using coping strategies, but were much less likely to be affected by STS if they engaged in supervision. Many school counsellors (59.6%) who participated in this research do engage in supervision, and those with trauma-specific training were less likely to have a peer-identified trauma disorder. Peer-identified trauma disorder played a large role in the results of this study. Participants identified as suffering from a trauma disorder were very likely to have a formal trauma diagnosis and were also likely to have higher traumatic stress scores. Implications for future research and education and training are discussed.
secondary traumatic stress, supervision, Canadian school counsellors, education, training, trauma-specific training, coping strategies, number of trauma clients, peers