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Stress on local and international psychotherapists in the crisis region of Iraq

Authors
  • Kizilhan, Jan Ilhan1, 2, 3
  • 1 Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychotraumtology, University of Duhok, Zakho Street, Duhok, Iraq , Duhok (Iraq)
  • 2 Institute of Transcultural Health Science State University Baden-Württemberg, Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse 30, Villingen-Schwenningen, D-78054, Germany , Villingen-Schwenningen (Germany)
  • 3 MediClin Donaueschingen, Donaueschingen, Germany , Donaueschingen (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
BMC Psychiatry
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Mar 10, 2020
Volume
20
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s12888-020-02508-0
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

BackgroundLocal and international Psychotherapists working with war survivors are confronted with a whole variety of burdens. The close contact to their clients and the conversations about terror, flight and genocides, they are frequently subject to vicarious traumatization resulting from these events and reveal a risk of developing secondary traumatization.MethodsWe interviewed 54 local psychotherapists and 28 psychotherapists originating from abroad who were treating survivors of ISIS terror in refugee camps organised by non-government organisations (NGOs).ResultsThe results show that local and non-local psychotherapists who work in a context of humanitarian crises reveal a risk of developing secondary traumatization. The results of this present study would also indicate that the secondary traumatization depends both on individual characteristics such as bonding styles and personal experiences and also on the ambient characteristics such as the degree of traumatization of the patients.ConclusionThe study revealed that the local and non-local psychotherapists had a range of different pressure factors and helpful resources which indicated that better caring/support, supervision and organization are needed to enable psychotherapists to perform more effectively in war regions from the point of view of preventive healthcare.

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