Spirituality and Religion as Mitigating Factors in Compassion Fatigue Among Trauma Therapists in Romania

Volume
Volume 44
Issue
Summer 2016
Title
Spirituality and Religion as Mitigating Factors in Compassion Fatigue Among Trauma Therapists in Romania
Abstract

Emerging research suggests that, among trauma therapists, religiousness and spirituality may (a) buffer against compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout and (b) bolster spiritual growth and compassion satisfaction (Newmeyer et al., 2014). Despite findings that indicate spirituality and religion are sources of hope for people coping with painful circumstances (Pargament, 2013), research investigating the role of religion and spirituality as a protective factor (Weaver, Flannelly, Garbarino, Figley, & Flannelly, 2003) or as potentially promoting wellness for trauma therapists is limited. This study (N = 46) replicated a previous finding in which trauma therapists who endorsed a strong spiritual orientation reported increased compassion satisfaction when engaged in shortterm (1–2 weeks), cross-cultural trauma work. Additionally, these short-term trauma therapists were compared to equally trained professionals working in the same context for 2 to 5 months and 6 months to 1 year (intermediate and long-term trauma therapists, respectively). The selfreport instruments evidenced statistically significant increases in secondary trauma in both the intermediate and long-term trauma therapists when compared with shortterm therapists. An unanticipated effect of the short-term trauma therapists’ presence was revealed: On pre- and post-measures the long-term trauma therapists reported statistically significant increases in resilience. This implies that the presence of the short-term therapists was beneficial to the long-term therapists. Thus, “respite care” for trauma therapists in long-term trauma settings might increase their capacity to thrive professionally.

Authors
Dr. M. Newmeyer, Dr. B. Keyes, K. Palmer, V. Kent, S. Spong, F. Stephen and M. Troy
Pages
142 - 151
Price
Add to Cart $5.00