Helpers regularly encounter stories and symptoms of trauma in their roles. There is growing evidence that the impact of directly supporting others through experiences of trauma goes beyond burnout or fatigue. The toll of witnessing intense human experiences and emotions can contribute to a negative transformation of a helper’s own sense of safety, and of being competent and purposeful. This workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to examine their own experiences and become aware of the signs of both vicarious trauma and vicarious growth. Participants will have the opportunity to develop a personalized plan to repair negative effects as well as accelerate their resilience.

Some of the Topics Reviewed

  • Signs of Vicarious Trauma
  • Anchor Points that Keep You Solid and Steady
  • Empathy – A Vicarious Experience
  • Building Self-Awareness of the Impact of Working with Trauma
  • External Factors Impacting the Effects of Trauma Work
  • Individual Factors Impacting the Effects of Trauma Work
  • Recognize the Sound and Feel of Your Alarm
  • Strategies for Building Empathic Resilience
  • Practicing Vicarious Resilience
  • Building a Personalized Plan

Target Audience

This is an introductory-intermediate level workshop for social service and health care professionals, counselors, social workers, school personnel, and anyone working in the helping profession.

Method of Delivery

Presentation, video, case study exercises, personal reflection, and small group discussions.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the process of vicarious impact on a helper from working with trauma
  • Distinguish between the concepts of secondary stress, vicarious trauma, and vicarious resilience
  • Identify key vulnerabilities and strengths in one’s own practice as a helper
  • List strategies for the transformation of vicarious impact into resilience