Vicarious Trauma – avoid reliving your client’s experience

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Dr Wendy McIntosh

  • Duration: 120 minutes

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  • Cost: £25

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"Have just watched this webinar. Totally blown away by it. Gave me lots of food for thought". - Judith

Vicarious trauma, also referred to as compassion fatigue or secondary traumatization (Figley, 1995), is the emotional residue or strain of exposure to working with those suffering from the consequences of traumatic events. 

Vicarious trauma differs from burn-out, but can co-exist. Vicarious trauma can occur due to exposure on one case or can be due to a “cumulative” level of trauma. This webinar will discuss vicarious trauma, further explore why it happens and strategies to avoid or minimise it.

Charles Figley a prominent writer of vicarious trauma noted in 1995 – “We have not been directly exposed to the trauma scene, but we hear the story told with such intensity, or we hear similar stories so often, or we have the gift and curse of extreme empathy and we suffer. We feel the feelings of our clients. We experience their fears. We dream their dreams. Eventually, we lose a certain spark of optimism, humor and hope. We tire. We aren’t sick, but we aren’t ourselves.”

Learning outcomes:

1. Understand what is meant by the term Vicarious Trauma
2. Explore the risk factors for developing vicarious trauma
3. Learn strategies to avoid or decrease the risk of Vicarious trauma
4. Reflect on individual coping strategies and develop a plan to avoid developing vicarious trauma

You can read more about Wendy on her trainer page.

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