Who helps the helpers? Vicarious traumatisation in psychologists and their experiences as mandated reporters

dc.contributor.advisorMurphy, Mikeen
dc.contributor.advisorMoore, Philipen
dc.contributor.advisorexternalFlynn, Danielen
dc.contributor.authorPellegrini, Seán
dc.description.abstractSystematic Review: Systematic Review Exploring the Presence of Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue, and Secondary Traumatic Stress in Psychologists Abstract: Secondary trauma (ST), which is also referred to as secondary traumatic stress, vicarious traumatisation, and compassion fatigue are the emotional consequences that occur when an individual hears about the traumatic experiences of another person. The effects of ST are similar to the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and professionals who are exposed to hearing about traumatic experiences are at an increased risk of developing ST. Psychologists are one such group, and the aim of the current systematic review was to investigate the prevalence of and variables associated with ST in psychologists. The following databases were searched as part of the review: PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, Embase, MEDLINE, and Web of Science. Inclusion criteria required that psychologists were qualified and involved in therapeutic work. Nine articles were included for narrative synthesis. The included studies indicated that psychologists appear to be presenting with low levels of ST, although a single figure for the prevalence of ST could not be determined. Potential reasons for this are discussed. An exception to this finding was observed for psychologists working directly with trauma as ST was indicated with this cohort. Limitations and implications of the findings are outlined. Empirical Study: Experiences of Psychologists in Applying Mandatory Reporting (Children First) Abstract: Background: To address child protection concerns countries often implement mandatory reporting (MR) laws. This ensures that relevant professionals alert child protection services of children who are at risk of or are currently experiencing abuse. However, these well-intended mandatory requirements can sometimes have unintended negative consequences that affect all those who are involved in the process. Objective: The current research investigated the experiences of Irish psychologists in implementing MR and examined if there was any personal or professional impact resulting from this process. Participants & Setting: All participants were qualified psychologists of various disciplines working in the HSE, the national health service of Ireland. Methods: A mixed-methods research design was implemented that consisted of thematic analysis of focus group transcripts and survey data descriptive statistics. Results: Three focus groups (n = 18) were conducted. Three major themes were identified within the data; the unintentional harm that is caused by MR, the contexts where reporting is needed, and the issues with the current MR system. Survey data (n = 40-53) illustrated how MR can have undesired impacts on victims, mandated people, and therapeutic outcomes. Conclusions: Some benefits to MR exist but these advantages need to be considered within a greater context. The findings of the current study outlined how participants perceived MR as having significant detrimental consequences that put people at risk. The need for a review of Irish MR legislation is indicated by the current study to examine the reported issues so that vulnerable people can be protected without additional harm being done to them or the people that support them.en
dc.description.statusNot peer revieweden
dc.description.versionAccepted Versionen
dc.identifier.citationPellegrini, S. 2021. Who helps the helpers? Vicarious traumatisation in psychologists and their experiences as mandated reporters. DClinPsych Thesis, University College Cork.en
dc.publisherUniversity College Corken
dc.rights© 2021, Seán Pellegrini.en
dc.subjectMandatory reportingen
dc.subjectChildren firsten
dc.subjectMandated reportersen
dc.subjectSecondary traumaen
dc.subjectVicarious traumatisationen
dc.subjectCompassion fatigueen
dc.subjectSecondary traumatic stressen
dc.titleWho helps the helpers? Vicarious traumatisation in psychologists and their experiences as mandated reportersen
dc.title.alternativeSystematic Review: Exploring the presence of vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and secondary traumatic stress in psychologistsen
dc.title.alternativeEmpirical Study: Experiences of psychologists in applying mandatory reporting (children first)en
dc.typeDoctoral thesisen
dc.type.qualificationlevelPractitioner Doctorateen
dc.type.qualificationnameDClinPsych - Doctor of Clinical Psychologyen
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