Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award


Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project


Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Prof. Erin Trine

Honors Program Director

Dr. Gavin Keulks


Vicarious trauma is a serious issue for signed language interpreters. Education, training, and support related to vicarious trauma are often provided to other practice professionals who engage in trauma work. This paper addresses these practices in relation to the profession of sign language interpreting. Exposure to emotionally-charged and traumatic situations has been shown to result in symptoms of vicarious trauma, and findings of the current literature demonstrate that vicarious trauma significantly impacts interpreters. The author aims to take a closer look at the current literature on vicarious trauma as applied to the interpreting profession, as well as provide an analysis of the current approaches to managing vicarious trauma. The author addresses why vicarious trauma occurs, preventative education and training, and post-traumatic care. The author features some of the risk factors associated with an interpreter’s likelihood of experiencing vicarious trauma, as well as some of the preventative education and training and post-traumatic care techniques currently employed by interpreters. Following, the author emphasizes recommendations from the research for the interpreting profession to utilize in supporting its practitioners as they navigate this issue. These recommendations aim to assist interpreters in their goal of producing work of the highest standard while also reducing their risk of experiencing vicarious trauma while on an assignment. Finally, the author shares personal reflections from her perspective as a student of sign language interpreting.