Report From the Secondary Traumatic Stress San Diego Think Tank

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The Secondary Traumatic Stress Think Tank held in San Diego in January of 2015 had 3 main purposes: the first was for all participants to share their knowledge and involvement in current activities related to compassion fatigue (CF), secondary traumatic stress (STS), and vicarious trauma (VT). The current activities in the area of CF, STS, and VT included those related to: research, assessment, organizational resources, standards for psychological safety, and education and training. The second was to hold a roundtable discussion and debate surrounding the current nomenclature challenge. The group experienced difficulty agreeing upon a singular term to define the phenomena for the impact of working with people who are traumatized or in distress and it became clear that there was no consensus on the target population, scope of the issue, or on the actual impacts of this exposure. Working together to achieve more clarity related to nomenclature became a top agenda item for future directions. The final purpose was to discuss next directions and recommendations in order to create a roadmap for future activities. With the goal of identifying future directions and next steps for the field, agendas were created for organizational change, policy, training, and research. Overall, the discussions during this think tank highlighted the need for a more coordinated effort to ensure quality research, effective and timely knowledge exchange, and continued collaboration on this important topic.

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