Working in a human service profession is inherently stressful. It is unrealistic to think that those of us working in roles that are regularly confronted with other people’s trauma will not be impacted by the lives and stories of those we are assisting. The fact that we are affected is not a function of skill level, experience, or intelligence, but is instead a consequence of caring about the lives of those we work with. As workers, the impact on ourselves can sometimes be hard to acknowledge. However to deny, dismiss, or minimise our experiences will not only heighten our own sense of trauma but will lead to a lessening of our ability to effectively perform our roles over time. This workshop will utilise the vicarious trauma framework to assist in understanding the factors that contribute to workers experiencing work related trauma or secondary traumatic stress. A key message within the workshop will be that both organisations and individual workers have responsibilities to ensure that workers can develop and sustain resiliency in the workplace.
The workshop will cover the following topics:
1. What is vicarious trauma.
2. Identifying factors that contribute to vicarious trauma.
3. Identifying the potential impact on workers.
4. Exploring strategies to modify the effects of vicarious trauma.
5. Defining resiliency.
6. Identifying strategies that increase resiliency.
7. Development of individual resiliency plans for participants.