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March 12, 2014 Terri Poore National Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project

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Presentation on theme: "March 12, 2014 Terri Poore National Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project"— Presentation transcript:

1 March 12, 2014 Terri Poore National Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project

2 “Taking care of ourselves while taking care of others allows us to contribute to our society with such impact that we will leave a legacy informed by our deepest wisdom and greatest gifts instead of burdened with our struggles and despairs.” (van Dernoot Lipsky, 2009)

3  Defining vicarious trauma and how it differs from burnout.  Understanding the personal impact of vicarious trauma and strategies for personal resiliency especially in a rural context.  Identifying organizational solutions for mitigating vicarious trauma including rural contexts.

4 “As professionals dedicated to the fair and compassionate treatment of victims in society, we have been strong in vocalizing concerns that those who are abused and battered not be blamed for their victimization and their subsequent traumatic response. Yet when addressing the distress of colleagues, we have focused on the use of individual coping strategies, implying that those who feel traumatized may not be balancing life and work adequately and may not be making effective use of leisure, self-care, or supervision.” (Bober and Regehr, 2005)

5 And how does it relate to burnout?

6  Describes a severe state of exhaustion or lack of energy, that is usually brought on by unreasonable work expectations or environmental work related stress.  Perceived demands outweighing perceived resources

7 The Transformation of the helper’s inner experience as a result of empathic engagement with survivors and their traumatic experiences.

8  Intrusive experiences  Avoidance or numbing of the pain  Experiences of “arousal”

9  Creates a permanent, subtle or marked change in the personal, political, spiritual, and professional outlook of the advocate  Affects the advocate’s view of the world and their relationships and connections to family, friends, and community (Richardson, 2001)

10  Diminished capacity to listen  Subtle cues to clients to void traumatic material  Loss of confidence

11 Both an individual and organizational challenge

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13  24-hour crisis intervention and response  Multiple roles and responsibilities  Little opportunity to know in the long term whether we made a difference

14  Survivors describe their abuse, pain, and humiliation  Going from session to session

15  Stress or crisis in our personal life  Our own trauma history

16  Lack of clarity about the advocate’s role  Rescuing  Personal identification with the survivor  Caretaking  Expectations

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19  Fewer people to share the work  Thin wall between personal and professional life  Values

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21  Compassion Fatigue/Satisfaction Self-Test for Helpers

22 What are some of the ways you see yourself and/or your co-workers being impacted by vicarious trauma?

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24 Heart & Mind Body Spirit Professional Relationships

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26  Address all 5 areas of personal impact  Reframing  Activism  Make time for fun  Stand strong together  Establish boundaries  Take care of yourself

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28 How would you like your organization to respond to vicarious trauma?

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30  Recognize the deep impact of working with trauma  Show concern – through words and action – for the general well being of staff not just the quality of their work  Support staff in outside participation in volunteer activities and social justice work

31  Set a good example by the way you take care of yourself  Create an open door environment for communication

32  Provide access to medical and mental health services  Offer adequate salaries and time off for all staff  Incorporate flexible work schedules  Create a safe, comfortable, and private work environment

33  Provide sufficient orientation and professional training for staff to feel comfortable and supported in their jobs  Provide continuing education as a way to increase staff knowledge and empowerment

34  Diversify advocate’s workload  Diversify supervision style; at times, some workers may need extra supervisory support or extra down time  Provide opportunities for group support through peer supervision and staff meetings

35  Encourage connections, morale and relationships through: working in teams, social activities, and peer support networks  Celebrate successes together

36 Let’s discuss dynamics for rural organizations related to vicarious trauma.

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39 Bell, H., Kulkarni, S., & Dalton, L. (2003). Organizational prevention of vicarious trauma. Families in Society, 84 (4), Bober, T., & Regehr, C. (2006). Strategies for reducing secondary or vicarious trauma: Do they work? Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention, 6 (1), 1 – 9. Pearlman, L.A. & McKay, L. (2008). Understanding and Addressing Vicarious Trauma. Headington Institute. Richardson, J. I. (2001). Guidebook on vicarious trauma: Recommended solutions for anti ‐ violence workers. Van Dernoot Lipsky, L. (2007). Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others. Wasco, S., Campbell, R., and Clark, M. (2002). A multiple case study of rape victim advocates’ self-care routines: The influence of organizational context. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30(5),


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