In This Issue

Secondary trauma and burnout open call for manuscripts

Our journal will cover the complexity of psychological health for mental health providers.

The editorial staff at the APA Division 18’s journal, Psychological Services, is extending an invitation for manuscripts to be considered for a special section on secondary trauma and burnout Drs. Charles Benight, Roman Cieslak, Bret Moore and Jeffrey Burk have agreed to serve as our guest editors.

Understanding the complexity of psychological health for mental health providers is critically important. The challenges of secondary traumatic stress and burnout are frequently expressed, yet the issues are not clearly understood. Much of the research in this area has been non-empirical and without strong theoretically based frameworks. Additionally, the scientific evaluation of innovative intervention strategies to assist providers in managing these issues is clearly lacking. Therefore, this special section is devoted to enhancing the current knowledge base related to understanding secondary traumatic stress and/or burnout in mental health providers and what can be done to address these issues in public sector settings. Increasing numbers of veterans experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, more frequently occurring and more destructive natural disasters, and decreasing budgets resulting in increasing workloads all can take a toll on the psychological health of treatment providers, making this a critical issue for those who work in the public sector.

This special section is focused on four primary areas related to secondary trauma and/or burnout.

  1. Information on the prevalence of these issues in different contexts of mental health services is needed. Studies that utilize strong sampling strategies with solid measurement are particularly welcomed.

  2. Identification of critical predictors for secondary trauma and/or burnout that take into account the various domains for mental health providers is essential. Studies that utilize solid measurements and research designs (longitudinal) are especially desired.

  3. Investigations that focus on theoretical frameworks related to the dynamic interplay between secondary trauma and burnout are critically needed. Theory based studies with clearly delineated hypotheses are particularly important.

  4. Finally, information on differential approaches designed to reduce the effects of secondary trauma and/or burnout are desired. This area of research is in need of empirical studies that test well-designed support interventions. Such studies are strongly welcomed, especially as they relate to addressing burnout and/or secondary trauma of mental health providers in public sector settings.

Given the focal areas described above, as the APA Division dedicated to psychologists in public service, Division 18 welcomes manuscripts related to secondary trauma and/or burnout including but not limited to the following domains:

  • Psychologists working on military installations, within community based settings, or in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Psychologists working within police and fire populations.

  • Psychologists working in state hospitals.

  • Psychologists working with the vulnerable and minority communities

  • Forensic psychologists.

Meta-analytic papers, theoretical-based papers, and empirical papers are all welcomed for submission. To promote the utility of this special section, all papers submitted must have a clinical application section that outlines the importance of the findings for the health and wellbeing of public service psychologists. The deadline for receipt of papers for this special section is Nov. 1, 2012. Please follow the instructions to authors. Manuscripts must be submitted electronically through the Manuscript Submission Web Portal

Please specify in your cover letter that the submission is intended for the special section on secondary trauma and burnout and address your letter to Dr. Lisa Kearney. All papers submitted will be initially screened by the editorial board and then sent out for blind peer review, if evaluated as appropriate for the journal. For further questions related to this special section, please contact Dr. Kearney.