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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2013

Martine B. Powell, Belinda L. Guadagno and Peter Cassematis

The purpose of this study is to identify the nature and prevalence of workplace stressors faced by interviewers of child sexual assault victims.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the nature and prevalence of workplace stressors faced by interviewers of child sexual assault victims.

Design/methodology/approach

Totally, 68 professionals (police and child protection workers) were invited to anonymously post their perceptions of workplace stressors on an internet forum as part of an investigative interviewing online training course. Specifically, participants were asked to reflect on salient sources of stress encountered in their role of interviewing sexually abused children.

Findings

Three key stressors were identified across the study's professional groups: inadequate recognition of specialised skills; high‐workload demands; and interagency tensions. Consistent with previous research, exposure to child‐abuse reports was not raised as a stressor.

Research limitations/implications

The study generated suggestions for modifying management practices; however, future research should identify and trial strategies for improving workplace climate in child‐abuse investigation.

Practical implications

As the stressors isolated by participants related to workplace climate rather than exposure to victims’ accounts of child abuse, minimising negative consequences of work stressors requires changes to workplace culture and practice. Workplace climates need to be modified so that the demands are offset by resources.

Originality/value

Because of its online, anonymous nature, this was the first study to offer participants the opportunity to honestly disclose primary sources of stress in child‐abuse investigation. The research also makes a much‐needed contribution to an area of police practice that is vital yet often overlooked.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2011

Maile O'Hara and Adeyinka M. Akinsulure‐Smith

The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the important and unique challenges that arise when using interpreters while conducting psychotherapy with forced…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the important and unique challenges that arise when using interpreters while conducting psychotherapy with forced migrants who have experienced a range of human rights abuse.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a practice‐based evidence methodology that offers guidance to both clinicians and researchers.

Findings

Working with interpreters in the clinical setting is often a challenging and complex process for which mental health professionals are rarely prepared. This paper outlines key strategies to address these challenges and limitations.

Research limitations/implications

Empirically‐based research is lacking and is certainly warranted.

Practical implications

It is the responsibility of programs, training sites, supervisors, and institutions to help teach how to work with interpreters.

Originality/value

This paper addresses how to navigate the key issues that arise through the use of interpreters in a mental health setting with forced migrants, including: initiating a therapeutic relationship with an interpreter; common issues that arise around language; setting the therapeutic frame; and addressing boundaries; acknowledging the role of culture, transference, counter transference, and vicarious trauma; screening to assess competence; training to orient interpreters to clinical work with forced migrants; in vivo feedback; assessments; and an appropriate place to process their experience.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 15 July 2011

Nicola Graham-Kevan, Jane L. Ireland, Michelle Davies and Douglas P. Fry

Abstract

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Article
Publication date: 29 January 2018

Carol A. Ireland and Siona Huxley

Clinical professionals working with psychologically traumatised children in the care system can experience potential challenges maintaining their own positive…

Abstract

Purpose

Clinical professionals working with psychologically traumatised children in the care system can experience potential challenges maintaining their own positive psychological health, and when repeatedly being exposed to the traumatic histories of those in their care. The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding of vicarious trauma and provide a guide for focussing on future research.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a systematic literature review, considering 13 articles that met the criteria and identified five main themes linked to secondary traumatic stress/vicarious trauma in staff.

Findings

Five main themes were noted. These are: lack of organisational support; lack of health work-life balance; lack of appropriate training; failure to use self-care techniques; and staff failure to share when they are experiencing symptoms.

Practical implications

Various implications are noted from this review. These include: the importance of education and support for staff, to be mindful that newer staff may be considered an “at risk” group for the negative impact of such trauma, and to encourage staff in achieving an effective work-life balance.

Originality/value

This is a focussed systematic review on secondary and vicarious trauma on staff working with children exposed to psychological trauma, such as sexual and physical abuse.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2020

Adina Bozga, Almuth McDowall and Jennifer Brown

Against a background of increasing workload and external criticism, the purpose of this paper is to expose the indelible memories impressed on female police officers…

Abstract

Purpose

Against a background of increasing workload and external criticism, the purpose of this paper is to expose the indelible memories impressed on female police officers dedicated to investigating allegations of rape and sexual violence.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants (n = 15) were female police officers working in a specialist sexual offences investigation unit in a large English Metropolitan Police Force. A semi-structured interview was employed to elicit their experiences as an example of “extreme” police work. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to develop themes elucidating psychological and physical impacts on officers and their coping strategies.

Findings

Personal consequences were framed within the conceptualisation of secondary trauma. Emergent findings revealed profound and lasting vicarious traumatisation. Participants reported feelings of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, intrusive imagery, altered beliefs and cognitions as well as disrupted intimacy with partners. Coping adaptations included sensory shutdown, avoidance, dissociation and a reduction in victim care.

Practical implications

The findings support the need to consider occupational interventions to address risk factors associated with caseload, tenure, personal experience of neglect (e.g. in childhood), and the permeability of work and family boundaries for such exceptional policing tasks.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to a nascent literature on stress in “extreme” police work. The theoretical contribution is the focus on the emotional and physical aspects of vicarious trauma, which have been less well understood than cognitive aspects. The practice implications stress the need for targeted support activities given the profound psychological consequences of prolonged exposure to distressing material.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2011

Arturo Roizblatt, Niels Biederman and Jac Brown

This paper seeks to focus on the reflections of therapists who were working professionally in Chile during the time of human right violations in an attempt to inform and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to focus on the reflections of therapists who were working professionally in Chile during the time of human right violations in an attempt to inform and to develop ways of working professionally in similar circumstances around the world.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the experiences of therapists who were working in Chile at the time and extrapolates from these experiences to provide suggestions and guidance for other therapists who find themselves in similar circumstances.

Findings

After Dr Salvador Allende was overthrown, Chile was governed by a military dictatorship that engaged in massive human rights violations. From the reflections of therapists 30 years later, this paper summarizes some of the psychological consequences of the traumas that therapists faced when dealing with clients who were directly affected by the same trauma. This included feelings of terror following state treachery, amnesia, fear of political resistance and guilt.

Practical implications

Therapists in these countries are encouraged to seek the protection of international organizations who deal with human rights violations, work in professional groups rather than isolation, and when challenging human rights violations by conducting therapy, to work similarly to a resistance movement.

Social implications

Therapists in countries where there is no repression should form professional alliances with their colleagues in these repressive countries to help protect them and provide support for their ongoing work.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the extreme danger that ensues for therapists who simply continue with their work during state sanctioned repression, and how this may be perceived as political statements against the repressive regime. Ways of dealing with this professionally are discussed.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 November 2020

Christine Murray, Alexandra Lay, Brittany Wyche and Catherine Johnson

The purpose of this study is to explore the perspectives held by professionals affiliated with an FJC through a cross-sectional survey. The family justice center (FJC…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the perspectives held by professionals affiliated with an FJC through a cross-sectional survey. The family justice center (FJC) model is expanding rapidly in the USA and internationally. Despite the rapid growth of the FJC movement, there is a need for more research to document the impact of FJCs on victims and survivors, professionals working in FJCs and the broader community.

Design/methodology/approach

The current paper focuses on perspectives of professionals who serve victims of family and interpersonal violence and it includes the results of a four-year, cross-sectional survey of professionals working in a community that established an FJC. Data analyzes examined differences in perspectives of professionals based on timing (i.e. from before an FJC was established to the time when the center was in operation for three years) and based on whether professionals worked primarily onsite at the FJC location.

Findings

The findings demonstrated that although some statistically significant differences were identified that suggest a positive impact of an FJC for professionals, more research is needed to further explore how professionals’ perspectives and experiences are impacted through the establishment of an FJC.

Originality/value

This study is the first-known cross-sectional examination of the perspectives of professionals working within an FJC model over a multi-year period.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 September 2018

Mark Butler, Michael Savic, David William Best, Victoria Manning, Katherine L. Mills and Dan I. Lubman

The purpose of this paper is to examine the strategies utilised to facilitate the wellbeing of workers of an alcohol and other drug (AOD) therapeutic community (TC)

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the strategies utilised to facilitate the wellbeing of workers of an alcohol and other drug (AOD) therapeutic community (TC)

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports on the findings of a qualitative study that involved in-depth interviews with 11 workers from an Australian AOD TC organisation that provides both a residential TC program and an outreach program. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis

Findings

Three main interconnected themes emerged through analysis of the data: the challenges of working in an AOD TC organisation, including vicarious trauma, the isolation and safety of outreach workers and a lack of connection between teams; individual strategies for coping and facilitating wellbeing, such as family, friend and partner support and self-care practices; organisational facilitators of worker wellbeing, including staff supervision, employment conditions and the ability to communicate openly about stress. The analysis also revealed cross-cutting themes including the unique challenges and wellbeing support needs of outreach and lived experience workers.

Research limitations/implications

Rather than just preventing burnout, AOD TC organisations can also play a role in facilitating worker wellbeing.

Practical implications

This paper discusses a number of practical suggestions and indicates that additional strategies targeted at “at risk” teams or groups of workers may be needed alongside organisation-wide strategies.

Originality/value

This paper provides a novel and in-depth analysis of strategies to facilitate TC worker wellbeing and has implications for TC staff, managers and researchers.

Details

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-1866

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2018

Amy-Kate Hurrell, Simon Draycott and Leanne Andrews

Previous research has indicated that helping professionals working with traumatised individuals are susceptible to adverse effects which can be recognised as secondary…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous research has indicated that helping professionals working with traumatised individuals are susceptible to adverse effects which can be recognised as secondary traumatic stress (STS). The purpose of this paper is to explore STS in police officer’s investigating childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed a cross-sectional, quantitative design. An online questionnaire was completed by 101 Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU) police officers in England and Wales. STS, coping strategies, anxiety, depression and demographic information was collected for all participants.

Findings

It was indicated that increased exposure to CSA, measured by number of interviews in the past six months, was associated with higher levels of STS. Positive coping strategies, negative coping strategies, anxiety and depression all had a strong, positive relationship with STS.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is a first step to understanding STS in CAIU police officers in the England and Wales. This area of research remains under-developed and would benefit from further attention in the future.

Originality/value

This is the first known study of its kind in the UK.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 November 2010

Sharon Doherty, Anna MacIntyre and Tara Wyne

Approximately 42 million people worldwide are displaced due to persecution, war or natural disaster (UNHCR, 2008). Many seek refuge in countries far from their own. Where…

Abstract

Approximately 42 million people worldwide are displaced due to persecution, war or natural disaster (UNHCR, 2008). Many seek refuge in countries far from their own. Where host countries supply refugee mental health services, these services rely heavily on the work of interpreters. Despite interpreters being exposed to significant client distress, little attention has been paid to the impact of mental health interpreting on the well‐being of interpreters themselves. This study set out to build on limited previous work in this area.A total of 157 interpreters contracted by Glasgow Translating and Interpreting Service, UK, were surveyed in April 2007. Responses were analysed using grounded theory analyses. Of the 18 interpreters who responded, 56% reported having been emotionally affected by mental health interpreting, 67% reported that they sometimes found it hard to put clients out of their minds and 33% reported that interpreting for clients with mental health difficulties had had an impact on their personal life. Respondents experienced a range of emotions in relation to their work, including anger, sadness, hopelessness and powerlessness, and 28% reported sometimes having difficulty moving onto their next job due to distress associated with a previous client. These findings are discussed in relation to good practice guidelines.

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

Keywords

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