Understanding and Addressing Vicarious Trauma
This seminar is offered to individuals who work in a number of humanitarian settings, including schools, hospitals, legal clinics, shelters, and first responder and emergency response teams. While individuals choose to work in these fields for a number of different reasons, some are drawn to this work due to an individual passion for promoting social change. While individuals often seek out this work expecting meaningful experiences and the opportunity to make a difference in the world, what often gets overlooked is the fact that their experiences in the helping profession may also have a profound impact on their identity, well-being and their understanding of the world around them. It is important to recognize that sharing in the adversity and needs of others can often pose a challenge to one’s emotional well-being, leading, at times, to vicarious or secondary traumatization. This seminar will address what vicarious traumatization is and will explore strategies to reduce its’ impact by encouraging individuals to engage in self-reflection. Participants will be prompted to look inwards to recognize their agency in maintaining healthy boundaries and emotional safety in their field. Participants will have an opportunity to complete an individual plan focused on boundaries and self-care, and will identify an accountability partner for support in maintenance of this plan.