STS Practice Laboratory


Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) is a condition that develops in response to indirect exposure to traumatic material that includes symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  This indirect exposure can occur through the process of working with direct trauma survivors in a variety of roles.

The University of Kentucky Center on Trauma and Children has conducted research in this area for over two decades to increase awareness of the ways STS impacts diverse populations of employees, organizations and clients.  A review of the literature and suggested research agenda is available at

The Secondary Traumatic Stress Practice Lab is a place to develop and test practices, policies, data management systems, tools and protocols to prevent, assess and intervene in STS.  The STS Practice Lab also examines critical implementation and sustainability issues with regard to these strategies.

Key activities of the STS Practice Lab include:

  • Conducting Research
  • Developing Translational Tools
  • Increasing Awareness through Training and Education
  • Providing Evaluation and Consultation Service (click here for more information)

CTAC  seeks to increase awareness and response to STS through translational research activities that:

  • Develop and Test
  • Compare and Learn
  • Replicate and Adapt
  • Apply and Improve


The Secondary Traumatic Stress Informed Organization Assessment (STSI-OA) is a tool to understand how STS-informed organizations are in a variety of areas.  Access the STSI-OA is available here.