course »Vicarious Trauma

Date: 2/8/2017, 9:00 am—4:30 pm
County: Alameda County
CEUs: 6
Location: Oakland
Sponsor: Fred Finch Youth & Family Services
Phone: 510-482-2244
Vicarious Trauma is an occupational hazard for anyone that lives with, works with and regularly supports traumatized individuals. Trauma is toxic. There is no way that Mental Health professionals can avoid absorbing certain aspects of another’s person’s traumatic experience. Witnesses and listeners, even when exposed to traumatic events (in an indirect and/or vicarious manner) will be seriously affected – either in the moment or over time.

Most often the symptoms of vicarious trauma emerge in a gradual fashion. As a result, they are quite difficult to recognize. Many of the symptoms of vicarious trauma are not the same as those described in DSM-V for primary or direct contact with traumatic events and materials, as is the case with PTSD. It is, therefore, essential that those working with and supporting victims of trauma learn how to regularly and accurately detox the deleterious effects of vicarious trauma. To accomplish this they must learn to diagnose vicarious trauma and utilize a number of self-care protocols that will benefit themselves, other people and the organizations they work with. Failure to do so usually results in becoming disillusioned, burned out, compassionately exhausted, emotionally numb and relationally detached as human beings and Mental Health professionals. In addition, remaining unaware of and avoiding self-care will inevitably lead to a loss of one’s humanity and capacity to be professionally attuned and effective.