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Overview

Vicarious traumatization is the pervasive and cumulative effect on an individual that results from working with traumatized individuals due to having an empathic connection with these individuals (McCann & Pearlman, 1990).

Vicarious traumatization is understood as the changes a professional experiences in his or her inner world due to the cumulative effect of exposure to a client’s traumatic material (Pearlman & Saaktvine, 1995). This phenomenon is an occupational hazard that has been found to affect human service providers (Pearlman & Saaktvine, 1995; Hammerslough, 2005).

Sign language interpreters are not exempt from the pervasive effects of vicarious traumatization (Harvey, 2001; Harvey, 2015; Barreto Abrams, 2018). Interpreters work in trauma-influenced settings where both hearing and deaf consumers may discuss traumatic content, affecting the interpreter’s life in personal and occupational contexts (Barreto Abrams, 2018).

This study is an expansion of a pilot study and a pre-dissertation project that investigated the effects of vicarious trauma in sign language interpreters. This study will sample interpreters’ vicarious trauma and coping strategies through well-established psychometric measures.

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Vicarious Trauma in Interpreters

Helen Thumann

202-250-2043

202-448-7067

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