This article describes the personal and professional experiences of the author as a result of her direct exposure to the World Trade Center Disaster.The author proposes the use of the term shared trauma to describe the experience of clinicians exposed to the same collective trauma as their clients.Shared trauma can result in the blurring of clinician-client roles and increased clinician self-disclosure and emphasis on the shared nature of the experience.Posttraumatic growth can also occur, including in the professional realm where clinicians develop a renewed appreciation for the value of the profession, learn to initiate greater safeguards in protecting personal time, and gain an intimate understanding of patients' traumatic experiences.The results of her 9/11 research as well as plans for collaborative research in environments characterized by chronic acts of terrorism or exposure to natural disasters are summarized.
- human-affected disasters
- sources of trauma
- work-related primary trauma
- work-related secondary trauma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health