Lack of safe environment: Emotional difficulties and coping among clinicians treating traumatized patients within a terrorized society-Israel 2006

Shaul Shalvi, Diana Luzzatto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the experience of clinicians living in a terrorized society, and who treat traumatized victims of terror attacks. It focuses on their emotional reactions and coping behavior. Qualitative data, collected by means of semi-open interviews with 10 clinicians, are the main source of information. The position of the clinicians between two statuses, therapist and potential victim, is examined, in reference to its influence on the therapists' state of mind and behavior vis-à-vis their patients. Findings indicate that clinicians stress a humanistic and sensitive approach in their work; however, they find the task of constructing a safe environment for themselves and their patients to be exceptionally difficult. They also tend to minimize use of customary professional social-support techniques. The social-anthropological concept of "liminality," as descriptive of the therapists' state of mind and coping behavior, is employed as a useful analytical tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-292
Number of pages11
JournalTraumatology
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Compassion fatigue
  • Coping
  • Israel
  • Liminality
  • Stress
  • Terror
  • Terrorism
  • Trauma
  • Trauma treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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