Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Kenneth Logan, PsyD

Second Advisor

William Buhrow, PsyD

Third Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD


Research reflects correlations between trauma history and motivation to pursue a career in clinical psychology and mental health professions. Professional longevity is a concern for clinicians in general, especially for clinicians with a trauma history who work with people suffering with trauma conditions. Trauma histories measured by adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), are likely to be present within students of doctor of psychology training programs, and may influence doctoral trainee readiness and ability to engage clients in clinical work. Self-care is thought to not only support overall well-being, but to also mitigate the negative consequences of stress associated with clinical work. A survey to evaluate the prevalence of vicarious trauma within doctoral trainees, self-care practices, and program curriculum was distributed via electronic survey to graduate students in three Doctor of Psychology programs in the United States. Results were analyzed using descriptive statistics, comparison of means, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and hierarchical linear regression. Overall results indicated that doctoral trainees experience vicarious trauma in the course of their clinical training, and trainees with trauma histories may be more likely to experience vicarious trauma in the course of their training.