Considering Developmental Concepts From Attachment Theory to Inform Graduate Student Training in Global Trauma and Disaster Psychology


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Abstract

Graduate student training in global trauma and disaster psychology requires engagement with stressful learning contexts of both an academic and practical nature. These learning contexts require exposure to traumatic academic and practical material, and considerations of vicarious traumatization of graduate students are crucial. In this article, literature describing the potential negative impact of trauma exposure in the mental health field and in training is presented. Developmental concepts from attachment theory such as felt security that is enhanced by a secure base are then suggested to inform graduate training approaches of this nature. These concepts shed light on educational (i.e., teaching and supervision) strategies that may buffer against the negative impact of trauma exposure and promote student resilience, learning engagement, and skill development in global trauma and disaster psychology. Recommendations that may further graduate student trainee felt security in classroom and in supervision contexts domestically and internationally are suggested that may inform a trauma-informed educational approach to graduate training in this challenging global field.

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