The Cost Of Professional Helping In Higher Education

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jason Lynch, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Higher Education (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: It is estimated that over half of college student affairs practitioners support students through traumatic life events on at least a monthly basis. This level of trauma exposure leaves professionals at risk of experiencing secondary traumatic stress (STS), or the distress that results from helping, or wanting to help, a person experiencing trauma. Unfortunately, little is known about the impact of this phenomenon within the context of student affairs work. This article seeks to shed light on the nature and impact of STS within the context of college student affairs work, as well as explore ways to identify and address the negative impacts of professional helping. The article ends with practical recommendations for individual practitioners, supervisors, organizational leaders, and the profession at-large.

Additional Information

Lynch, R. J. (2022). The cost of professional helping in higher education. In T.R. Shalka & W.K. Okello (Eds.), Trauma-informed practice in student affairs: Multidimensional considerations for care, healing, and wellbeing (New Directions for Student Services, 177, 69–80). Wiley. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2022
higher education, college, college students, crisis intervention, mental health, health services, caring, stress

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