Indigenous trauma volunteers : survivors with a mission
Data collection was chiefly qualitative, using focus group and individual interviews. The Professional Quality of Life: Compassion Satisfaction and Fatigue Subscales (Stamm, 2002) were administered in order to determine risk for burnout, risk for compassion fatigue and potential for compassion satisfaction. The Stressful Life Experiences Screening Short Form (Stamm, 1997) was administered in order to gather descriptive information regarding personal trauma histories. Project documentation was reviewed. Analysis and interpretation of qualitative data involved a combination of both etic (theory-based) and emic (data and context-based) techniques.
The volunteers’ experiences were co-constructed in interaction with three settings: 1) Experiences of training and supervision were affirming and empowering; 2) Experiences of the school context were mediated by the degree of access and integration into the school environment; 3) Experiences of the community context were mediated by the dynamics of identification, role fluidity and inter-setting negotiation.
The primary cost of involvement was distress relating to limitations on capacity to help fellow community members with whom they strongly identified, and whom they felt intrapsychically, interpersonally and socially pressured to assist. These limitations included limited client resources, limited personal resources, limited occupational resources and limited systemic resources. Other sources of distress included context-related boundary management difficulties, institutional (school-related) stressors, difficulties in persuading children to disclose abuse and material costs of volunteering. Coping was facilitated by empowering training, supervision, peer support, and self-care practices. Benefits included acquisition of psychological, interpersonal and occupational skills, improved personal relationships, social support, validation, personal healing and role satisfaction.
School Location:South Africa
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2005