“Vicarious Trauma” Phenomen in the Psychotherapeutic Practice

Rumyana Krumova-Pesheva


Working with various personal stories provokes a variety of countertransference “responses” in psychotherapists. Patients’ words “awaken” feelings and experiences with discrete or intense affective resonance for the specialist. They are associated with extremely painful emotions that cause strong sensations and threaten ones’ feeling for stability, safety and security. The purpose of the material is to present the interpretation of vicarious trauma, which is expressed in intense or cumulative traumatism that could lead to serious emotional and personal consequences. It is provoked by extremely stressful material from patients in the clinical practice. It is important to be distinguished from the burn-out - syndrome, acute stress reaction, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.


psychotherapy, trauma, vicarious trauma.


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