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Title: Living with military partners with PTSD : the phenomenon of secondary traumatization
Author: Cobley, Joanna Magdalena
ISNI:       0000 0004 5924 3031
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2015
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Objective: In the study the subjective experiences of UK partners of veterans and military personnel who were diagnosed with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how they cope with the impact of their experiences were explored. The study also examines the possible existence of the secondary traumatization (ST) phenomenon in this context. Method: This is a qualitative study which draws on Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six female participants, all of whom achieved a cut-off score of 30 on the PTSD Checklist for Civilians questionnaire (the PCL-C). The main findings: 1. Participants were, in general, negatively affected by their experiences of living with their military partners with PTSD, regardless of the length of their relationships. 2. Of the military partners’ PTSD symptom clusters, participants were mostly affected by avoidance and hyperarousal. 3. Participants, in general, were traumatised by their home experiences and this could be conceptualised as ST. 4. The most important element in ST development was ongoing, prolonged exposure to negative impacts of military partners’ PTSD. Conclusions: The study contributes to knowledge on the impacts of military-related PTSD on partners. By doing so it provides evidence of reciprocal effects of PTSD on all family members, suggesting that PTSD should be perceived as a family condition. The study also highlights the existence of ST phenomenon. Recommendations: 1. Recognition of ST, as a mental health condition or phenomenon, among professionals, general public and also partners themselves. 2. Recognition of PTSD as a family condition and its reciprocal impacts. 3. Introduction of early support in recognising, diagnosing and treating PTSD and ST.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Couns.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available