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Social workers deal with intense situations daily. It is important that social workers are aware of how they are affected by these interactions. Priscilla Dass-Brailsford explains in her book, that countertransference, vicarious trauma (VT), secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue and satisfaction, and burnout are all different ways that counselors can be affected (Dass-Brailsford, 2007). This is where it is important for social workers to have a plan of self-care and stress management resources to use.
Countertransference first introduced by Freud, “as a therapist’s unconscious reaction to a patient’s transference” (Dass-Brailsford, pg. 293, 2007). This concept has since become known as a normal emotional reaction to a client. This reaction that comes from the therapist is a resolved or unresolved conflict within the therapist (Dass-Brailsford, 2007). This has nothing to do with the client but something the client said or did triggered the therapist. If this goes unnoticed, it can be detrimental to the client’s recovery. The therapist may begin to overidentify with the cli…