The impact of poetry therapy on symptoms of secondary posttraumatic stress disorder in domestic violence counselors
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This study examines the effectiveness of internet-based poetry therapy on symptoms of secondary posttraumatic stress disorder (SPTSD) in domestic violence counselors, and explores correlations between demographic, workplace and personality variables with SPTSD symptoms in this population. Domestic violence counselors, at risk for SPTSD due to their exposure to the traumatic material of clients, need effective interventions that combat symptoms of SPTSD. Poetry therapy is a form of expressive arts counseling used increasingly by psychologists and mental health counselors. Expressive writing therapies in general have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of stress, and in increasing mental and physical health and well-being. In this study, data was collected from 97 participants who participated anonymously by completing some assessments and activities accessed via the website set up for the study. Results of t tests indicate that in this sample, participants in the internet poetry therapy group showed a decrease in symptoms of SPTSD following treatment, though additional analyses also show that there was a decrease in symptoms on post tests for all participants in the study. Regression analyses indicate that openness to experience and years working with trauma significantly predicted symptoms of SPTSD in this sample.
Boone, Beth Carol (2006). The impact of poetry therapy on symptoms of secondary posttraumatic stress disorder in domestic violence counselors. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from