Vicarious Trauma : Looking after your wellbeing

Lets talk self care strategies

“By developing the deep sense of awareness needed to care for ourselves while caring for others and the world around us, we can greatly enhance our potential to work for change, ethically and with integrity for generations to come.”
– Connie Burk and Laura van Dernoot Lipsky

Vicarious trauma, Secondary Trauma or Trauma Exposure is the emotional residue of exposure that people have from working with people as they are hearing their trauma stories and become witnesses to the pain, fear, and terror that trauma survivors have endured.

Vicarious trauma presents a really big risk for those of us working with vulnerable communities, indigenous communities and people who have experienced trauma.

Connie Burk and Laura van Dernoot Lipsky have written a fantastic book called Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others. Amongst other things, they discuss “The Five Directions” as a navigational tool in building our capacity for trauma stewardship in the work that we do. It is a valuable self-care tool which can support us to regularly assess how we are doing and what we need.

In this session we will talk about Vicarious trauma and together reflect on how we can best care for ourselves when working with people who have experienced trauma using the Five Directions framework.


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