Many professions, including law firms, customer call centres, banks, financial and insurance companies, and emergency services, respond to people who are in crisis and highly distressed. Vicarious trauma (VT) describes the impact of exposure to the extreme stress and trauma of another person, group, community, or country. It can occur via direct contact, phone consultation, report reading or transcribing, images or any medium.
Bearing witness to the suffering of others and exposure to traumatic material can shift and change our worldview, leading to a reassessment of assumptions and beliefs about our personal safety and the safety of loved ones. It may precipitate an existential crisis, loss of meaning and purpose. Common experiences related to VT include intrusive thoughts / images related to trauma material, feelings of overwhelm, numbness, irritability, cynicism, disengagement, sleeping difficulties, changes in eating behaviour, misuse of substances, depression, anxiety and PTSD. Unaddressed, VT can lead to compassion fatigue, burnout and traumatic grief, impacting work, relationships, physical and emotional wellbeing. It is also true that working closely with clients or communities that have experienced trauma can have a profoundly positive impact and enhance personal growth. Described as vicarious resilience, witnessing the triumphs of victim-survivors navigating adverse circumstances can deepen and enrich our lives.
Support to address the potential adverse impacts of work on your health and wellbeing is a vital aspect of your professional rights and responsibilities. This training will explore the personal impact of your work, providing guidance, support and strategies for maintaining self-care and enhancing resilience.
Participants will be able to:
This training will be tailored to address particular stressors, situations and circumstances of your team, department or organisation.