Presentation on theme: "Managing Vicarious Trauma in Behavioral Health"— Presentation transcript:
1 Managing Vicarious Trauma in Behavioral Health Artwork courtesy of the International Child Art Foundation (www.icaf.org)1
2 ObjectivesIdentify burnout/stress, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma and how they differThe impact on providers of behavioral health services,How to identify it in yourself andWhat to do
3 Managing Vicarious Trauma in Behavioral Health Working with addicts is a high-intensity profession.Staff may empathize with victims; feelings of helplessness, anger, and fear are common.Staff who are parents, or who have histories of childhood trauma, might be at particular risk for experiencing such reactions.33
4 Impact of Working in a High Intensity Profession Burnout:Physical or emotional exhaustion, especially as a result of long-term stress.Compassion Fatigue:A state of tension and preoccupation with individual or cumulative trauma of clients.Vicarious Trauma:The transformation or change in a helper’s inner experience as a result of responsibility for an empathic engagement with traumatized clients.
5 Vicarious Trauma Compassion Fatigue Burnout can impact people in the following ways: Coping mechanisms become overwhelmed;The effectiveness as a caregiver is reduced;Feeling helpless;Detachment from co-workers not involved in the work;Detachment from family and friends;Shortened tenure as service provider.
6 Vicarious trauma/Compassion Fatigue/Burnout can negatively affect your work, your colleagues, the overall functioning of the organization, and the quality of assistance being provided to those you are working to help.They influence the way you act and interact with people you love. This affects your family and friends.
7 Vicarious Trauma Compassion Fatigue Burnout These terms are often used interchangeably. Also, these conditions often look the same. But, they mean different things. And, because they mean different things, they can be treated differently. And, finally, they all look a bit like PTSD.
8 Symptoms of PTSD Feelings of fear, hopelessness, anger, rage, horror Sleep disturbancesChanges in memoryDifficulty concentratingDifficulty maintaining boundaries
9 Burnout DefinitionBurnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first placeBurnout can happen with any job.
10 Define Compassion Fatigue A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by suffering or misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the pain or remove its causeIs a problem for counselors, and can limit their effectiveness.
11 Before Vicarious Trauma Comes Secondary Trauma – ‘the stress resulting from helping or wanting to help a traumatized or suffering person.’ This can occur with any professionals working with victims of trauma. This means lawyers, judges, court staff or interpreters.
12 Vicarious TraumaVicarious trauma-The "cumulative transformative effect of working with survivors of traumatic life eventsis a natural reaction resulting from exposure to experiences and feelings of a traumatic event experienced by another person. THIS IS MUCH MORE SERIOUS THAN BURNOUT OR COMPASSION FATIGUE.Not direct trauma;Caused by second hand exposure;Accrual of exposure to other people’s trauma
13 What are the results of Vicarious Trauma? It contributes to feeling burdened, overwhelmed, and hopeless in the face of need and suffering.It leads people to extend themselves beyond what is reasonable for their own well-being.It can bring changes in spirituality which can, in turn, deeply impact the way a people see the world and their deepest sense of meaning and hope.
14 What is Vicarious Trauma? A gradual process that may unfold over timeCumulative effect of contact with survivors of violence or disaster or other traumaHappens because a person cares (empathizes with people who are hurting )An individual feels committed or responsible to help and at times, cannot help.
15 Common Signs of Vicarious Trauma Difficulty managing your emotions;Difficulty accepting or feeling okay about yourself;Difficulty making good decisions;Problems managing the boundaries between yourself and others (e.g., taking on too much responsibility, having difficulty leaving work at the end of the day, trying to step in and control other’s lives);
16 OR Sleeping problems; Nightmares; Intrusive thoughts, memories and flashbacks;Hyper-vigilance;General anxiety and anxiety attacks;Isolation and disconnectionSubstance abuse and high risk behaviors;Changes in appetite and sex drive;Irritability and depression;Cynicism, negativity, and apathy about life and the world.
17 Who may be most at Risk for Vicarious Trauma? People Who:Tend to avoid problems or difficult feelingsBlame others for their difficulties,Withdraw from others when things get hardHave experienced trauma themselvesLack connection with a source of meaning, purpose, and hopeHave stress in multiple areas of life
18 Can you identify the signs in Yourself?Other Staff?The Clients?
21 Self - Care Should address the whole person physically, emotionally, behaviorally,spiritually andinclude stress reducing activities in which you will regularly and habitually engage.
22 Self - Care Know your own triggers and warning signs. Be alert to what you expose yourself to outside of work.Set boundaries.Add variety to your work.Maintain your relationships outside of work.Build self-care into your routine – at work and at home.
23 Self- Care Develop a personalized self-care plan that fits into your: Lifestylepersonality,resources,Interests
24 What to do with burnoutThe easiest to address – that ‘s why you get a vacationUse the “Three R’ ApproachRecognize: Watch for the warning signs of burnoutReverse: Undo the damage by managing stress and seeking supportResilience: Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health
25 Coping StrategiesEscape: Getting away from it all, physically or mentally (books or films, taking a day or a week off, playing video games, talking to friends about things other than work);Rest: Having no goal or time-line, or doing things you find relaxing (lying on the grass watching the clouds, sipping a cup of tea, taking a nap, getting a massage); andPlay: Engaging in activities that make you laugh or lighten your spirits (sharing funny stories with a friend, playing with a child, being creative, being physically active).
26 Coping StrategiesRemind yourself of the importance and value of humanitarian work;Stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues;Notice and deliberately pay attention to the “little things” that really aren’t so little – small moments of quiet, the sound of the wind in the trees, or brief connections with others;
27 Coping StrategiesMark transitions, celebrate joys, and mourn losses with people you care about through traditions, rituals, or ceremonies;Take time to reflect (e.g., by reading, writing, prayer, and meditation);Identify and challenge your own cynical beliefs; andUndertake growth-promoting activities (learning, writing in a journal, being creative and artistic).
28 TAKE CARE OF YOURSELFWrite/journal Meditate Tell your story Relax Exercise Play Educate yourself Get a hobby Dream/hope Take Risks Sing Dance Make music
29 OR Enjoy nature Eat well Meet basic needs Raise plants Seek help Name the abuseRead or listen to Take vacationsbooks on tapeWatch sunrises and Weigh your optionsand sunsetsLive ‘ one day at a time’ Use affirmations
30 AND Watch movies Do what you enjoy Say ‘no’ Find listeners Set boundaries Feel safePlay with animals LaughPray Make artTalk
31 Managing Stress: What You Can Do Utilize peer support.Consider therapy for unresolved trauma, which your work may be activating.31
32 Consistency and Predictability How can you increase consistency and predictability in your work?
34 CONTACT INFORMATIONKay M. Doughty, MA, CAP, CPPVP, Family and Community ServicesOperation PAR, Inc.th St. N.Pinellas Park, FL 33781(727)Renee Carter-Guru, LMHC, CAPAdministrator, WEI, PREPth Avenue North,Clearwater, FL 33760(727)