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Type: Journal article
Title: Vicarious resilience and vicarious traumatisation: experiences of working with refugees and asylum seekers in South Australia
Author: Puvimanasinghe, T.
Denson, L.
Augoustinos, M.
Somasundaram, D.
Citation: Transcultural Psychiatry, 2015; 52(6):743-765
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1363-4615
Statement of
Teresa Puvimanasinghe, Linley A. Denson, Martha Augoustinos, Daya Somasundaram
Abstract: The negative psychological impacts of working with traumatised people are well documented and include vicarious traumatisation (VT): the cumulative effect of identifying with clients' trauma stories that negatively impacts on service providers' memory, emotions, thoughts, and worldviews. More recently, the concept of vicarious resilience (VR) has been also identified: the strength, growth, and empowerment experienced by trauma workers as a consequence of their work. VR includes service providers' awareness and appreciation of their clients' capacity to grow, maintaining hope for change, as well as learning from and reassessing personal problems in the light of clients' stories of perseverance, strength, and growth. This study aimed at exploring the experiences of mental health, physical healthcare, and settlement workers caring for refugees and asylum seekers in South Australia. Using a qualitative method (data-based thematic analysis) to collect and analyse 26 semi-structured face-to-face interviews, we identified four prominent and recurring themes emanating from the data: VT, VR, work satisfaction, and cultural flexibility. These findings-among the first to describe both VT and VR in Australians working with refugee people-have important implications for policy, service quality, service providers' wellbeing, and refugee clients' lives.
Keywords: asylum seeker; cultural competence; mental healthcare; qualitative research; refugee; service provider; thematic analysis; vicarious resilience; vicarious traumatisation
Rights: © The Author(s) 2015
RMID: 0030025430
DOI: 10.1177/1363461515577289
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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