The Pain of Helping: Psychological Injury of Helping by Patrick J. Morrissette

By Patrick J. Morrissette

The aim of The soreness of aiding is to supply a resource that identifies, condenses, and consolidates info bearing on mental damage. as well as supplying information relating to build definition, details concerning symptomatology, evaluate tools (e.g. established interview, questionnaires), cures, prime theoreticians, journals, books, and sites also are incorporated. This publication will function a first-rate resource and listing for additional info relating mental harm. to this point, there has no longer been a concerted attempt to synthesize and consolidate the literature of mental damage and current this necessary info in a scientific and methodological style.

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Being nonintrusive by nature, significant others avoid infringing on personal space by remaining respectful of interpersonal boundaries and personal choice. Therefore, in many cases, victims tend to fragment away from the larger community and their own families. As the traumatized counselors withdraw and isolate themselves, intimate and family relationships can be disrupted. For example, it is not uncommon for an intimate partner of the traumatized counselor to assume that a relationship problem exists when his or her partner becomes increasingly distant and exhibits mood fluctuations.

Fm Page 11 Friday, June 4, 2004 1:35 PM Traumatology 11 Chiasmal Effects Originally termed secondary catastrophic stress response, chiasmal effect refers to a process whereby significant others are emotionally touched when attending to the victimization of a close friend, relative, or family member. Significant others are affected through their efforts to help. Referring to an earlier study regarding crime victims and their supporters, Figley (1989a) wrote, … as expected, the major predictor of supporter distress was victim distress [and] it is clear that a pattern of effects emerged in both the victim and supporter.

Simultaneous Effects The simultaneous effect refers to when an entire family experiences a traumatic event. In general families who are traumatized, “… are relatively free of disaster-related emotional difficulties” (Figley, 1989a, p. 19). According to Figley this response could be attributed to the fact that the event is shared by a group whose members can provide mutual support. Vicarious Effects It was Figley’s (1989a) contention that individuals could be vicariously traumatized when learning about events experienced by significant others.

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