Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 415–430 | Cite as

Secondary Trauma: A Team Approach

  • Janet A. Geller
  • Libbe H. Madsen
  • Lynn Ohrenstein


Bearing witness to trauma stories can evoke in clinicians the confusion and emotional turmoil their clients experience, known as secondary trauma. Given the complexities of trauma work, practitioners need help to clarify issues and feel more effective. The terror attacks of September 11, 2001 further compound the task, as therapists may themselves be feeling the impact of those events. Presented here is a team model for structured case discussion which can help workers identify and deal with their reactions to both client trauma stories and their own experiences. The model is explained and illustrated with examples, and the process by which it was piloted and evaluated is discussed.

secondary trauma team case discussion collegial responsibility 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet A. Geller
    • 1
  • Libbe H. Madsen
    • 2
  • Lynn Ohrenstein
    • 3
  1. 1.Director, Family Violence Prevention CenterJewish Board of Family and Children's Services (JBFCS)New YorkNY
  2. 2.Director of Staff DevelopmentCenter for Trauma Program Innovation, JBFCSNew YorkNY
  3. 3.Director of Specialized Training ProgramsJBFCSNew YorkNY

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