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Exposure to the elements : Secondary stress for lawyers

Moore, Lee and Gerry, Felicity (2015). Exposure to the elements : Secondary stress for lawyers. Solicitors Journal,159(34).

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Exposure to the elements : Secondary stress for lawyers
Author Moore, Lee
Gerry, Felicity
Journal Name Solicitors Journal
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 159
Issue Number 34
ISSN 0038-1047   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wilmington Publishing & Information Ltd.
Abstract The letter had begun: ‘Dear Lee Moore, my grandmother used to sew my clothes into my skin with yellow cotton…’. These words, written in black biro, on narrow, lined paper torn from a notebook, plus the intrusive imagery which accompanied them, prevented me from sleeping. I went downstairs at three in the morning, ate some hot-buttered toast, tried watching TV, then reading, but the imagery and words would not leave me.

I could not concentrate. Self-medication was not a successful antidote. Abandoning my resolve not to bring work home or into my marriage, I woke my husband and asked him to talk to me. It proved a temporary solution for neutralising what I was shortly to discover was a symptom of secondary traumatic stress (STS). This is a natural stress that can occur in those exposed to traumatic material on a regular basis. STS strikes suddenly and without warning. It is an event, unlike burnout, which is a slow process.
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Created: Mon, 10 Oct 2016, 11:57:15 CST by Marion Farram