University of Leicester
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Secondary Traumatisation and Adversarial Growth: the Effects of Clinical Psychologist’s Work on Their Well-being

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posted on 2010-11-10, 15:32 authored by Joanne Claire Ablett
It has been increasingly recognised that there are costs to caring for health professionals who help individuals who have experienced trauma within their work. There has also been recognition, in recent years, that there are factors that may have an influence on positive or negative effects of the work for these professionals. A review of relevant literature found that whilst there are interesting developments in the area, methodologies have had several limitations and results have been equivocal in terms of identifying factors of influence. There is a lack of UK-based studies, and none which focus exclusively on Clinical Psychologists as a professional group. The thesis attempts to build on the previous evidence base, with an exclusive focus on the positive and negative effects of a Clinical Psychologists work on their well-being. These are conceptualised as Secondary Traumatisation and Adversarial Growth, and measures chosen accordingly. A National Survey design is used targeting Clinical Psychologists throughout the UK, recruited through BPS DCP email lists. Particular factors of social support, organisational support, team support and the supervisory alliance are focused on and their relation to outcomes. In addition, use of primary therapeutic model is assessed against outcomes, using hierarchical multiple regression analyses. Findings suggest that Clinical Psychologists are experiencing Secondary Traumatisation and Adversarial Growth, though the latter perhaps at lower levels than may be expected. There were not significant findings in relation to the specific factors explored, but trends are discussed, overall implications from the findings, and reflection on the research process.


Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy


Some sections of the appendices are not available in the electronic copy of this thesis due to their format. The full version is available for consultation at the University of Leicester Library.



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