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Abstract

This article illustrates a mode of inquiry for reaping the benefits of experiencing vicarious trauma that can be utilized in interpreter education, mentoring and supervisory relationships, debriefing, and personal reflection. An adaptation of constructivist self-development theory and a narrative therapy approach are described. The latter approach includes the uncovering of what is absent but implicit, the uncovering of actions reflective of one’s personal agency, the relevant skills that one utilizes, and the social/relational history of these skills. Mitigating the risks and reaping the benefits of vicarious trauma may catalyze significant professional and personal growth such as clarification of values, self-identity, and skills, and provide interpreters with the essential fuel to sustain their passion for the work they do and the lives they live.

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