Professionals' double exposure in the shared traumatic reality of wartime: Contributions to professional growth and stress

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Abstract

Professionals working in shared traumatic realities-that is, in disasters in their home communities-are doubly exposed: as individuals and as professionals. This study examines the impact of the double exposure of sixty-three Israeli social workers who lived and worked in communities exposed to missile attacks during the Gaza War on their subsequent distress and personal growth. It does so by examining the contribution of five key features of professionals' double exposure: intrusive anxiety, lapses of empathy, immersion in professional role, role expansion, and changes in place and time of work. The findings show that intrusive anxiety, lapses in empathy and changes in place and time of work correlated significantly with the professionals' distress and that all the features except lapses of empathy correlated significantly with their personal growth. The findings highlight the unique contribution that lapses of empathy made to the professionals' distress and that immersion in role made to their growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2113-2134
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume44
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2013.

Keywords

  • Communal disaster
  • Double exposure
  • Post-traumatic growth
  • Secondary traumatisation
  • Social worker

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