Presentation on theme: "Taking Care of Yourself, Your Staff, and Your Colleagues: A Workshop on Preventing and Addressing Secondary Trauma."— Presentation transcript:
1 Taking Care of Yourself, Your Staff, and Your Colleagues: A Workshop on Preventing and Addressing Secondary Trauma
2 A n g e r Manipulation Denial M I n I m I z a t I o n Lack of Empathy Victim Blaming PowerControl
3 What Causes Secondary Trauma? When sex offenders who are under supervision treat US as they treat their victims . . .in a manipulating,denying, andblaming fashion . . .WE may feel victimized and abused
4 What Causes Secondary Trauma? Dealing with sex offenders can distort our perceptions of normal behaviorListening to sex offender disclosures is emotionally draining and extremely difficult
5 What Causes Secondary Trauma? Recognizing and firmly confronting an offender’s manipulation and abuse of power is part of our workThe use of our own “official” power sometimes violates our own sense of how people should be treated
6 What Causes Secondary Trauma? Working constantly with deceit and manipulation, and being a frequent target of it, can create within us a sense of distrust of othersFeeling responsible for community safety can be very burdensome and taxing
7 What are the Signs of Secondary Trauma? Feeling distrustful of others, both inside and outside our jobsFeeling overly responsible for the safety of the communityOverusing our own coping skillsFeeling isolated
8 What are the Signs of Secondary Trauma? Denying our own needs in the face of “all the work that must be done to protect others”Relationship problems
10 Stress Resistance PERSONAL CONTROL: Improve problem-solving Identify problem(s)Develop & prioritize possible solution strategiesImplement one possible strategyEvaluate proposed solutions
11 Stress Resistance (cont’d) LIFE STYLE CHOICES:Healthy dietRegular exerciseRegular relaxationSENSE OF HUMORHave fun, laugh and joke but be careful about “morgue” humor
12 Stress Resistance (cont’d) DEVELOPING & MAINTAINING CARING ATTACHMENTSREALISTIC GOAL SETTINGMAINTAINING PURPOSEFUL MEANING IN LIFE
13 Burnout . . .“Burnout is the physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long-term involvement in emotionally-demanding situations and prolonged stress.”—Pines & Aronson (1988)RELENTLESS RESPONSIBILITY
15 Burnout Self-Test20-40: No indication of burnout potential (but if less than 30, not being challenged)41-50: Have good balance51-60: Got some warning signs61-70: Mild burnout; probably developing physical symptoms71-80: BURNOUT !!!
16 Burnout Warning Signs Depression Feelings of inadequacy or incompetence; self-criticalCynicism and pessimismLoss of compassionDiscouragementChronic fatigueIrritability and inflexibility
17 Combination of Factors Nature of workNature of the offenders and crimes worked withCumulative exposure to case factsOrganizational context of workSocial and cultural context of work
18 Personal Contributing Factors Unrealistic professional expectationsPersonal history of traumaCurrent stressful personal lifePersonal coping strategies that don’t help and carry heavy costsUnfounded belief about the value of stoicism at work
19 How Are We Affected?Everyday our jobs force us to see the human potential for crueltyWe experience strong reactions of grief, rage, and outrageReactions grow as we repeatedly hear about & see people’s pain & lossBegin to alternately experience over-whelming feelings & numb ourselves to get through the day
20 Secondary Trauma: Basic Elements Not traumatized directlySuffer gradual increase of exposureSecond-hand exposure (multiplied crime after crime, case after case) can be traumatizingParallels experience of PTSDCan potentially reduce effectiveness & shorten tenure
22 Most Common Methods Used to Reduce Anxiety & Depression EatingDrinkingMedicating (legal and illegal)SmokingSleepingExercise or frantic activityWithdrawal
23 Trauma Resilient Agencies How can we create agencies that are more supportive and trauma-resilient?
24 How Can the Effects of Secondary Trauma be Mitigated (by the agency)? Provide agency support for professionals who work with this populationProvide sex offender specific training for professionals who work with this population
25 How Can the Effects of Secondary Trauma be Mitigated (by the agency)? Train management staff to understand the dynamics of sex offending behavior and issues associated with secondary trauma
26 How Can the Effects of Secondary Trauma be Mitigated (by the agency)? Establish and maintain clear boundaries and expectations regarding issues of powerProvide a safe forum for professionals to discuss all aspects of sexual assault and sex offender management
27 How Can the Effects of Secondary Trauma be Mitigated (by the agency)? Create an environment in which staff members are not afraid to laughSend a clear message that an offender’s failure is NOT the officer’s failure
28 How Can the Effects of Secondary Trauma be Mitigated (by the agency)? Stay aware of changes in the fieldProvide a safe forum for professionals to air differences and resolve conflicts
29 How Can the Effects of Secondary Trauma be Mitigated (by the agency)? Be flexible in assigning officers to supervise sex offender caseloads
30 How Can the Effects of Secondary Trauma be Mitigated (by the agency)? Create a collaborative process so that decisions are team-basedMaintain clear work boundaries and policies
31 Trauma Resilient Employees What Can We Do As Individuals?
32 ABCs of Addressing Secondary Trauma: Awareness Be self aware; know your own trauma mapTake care of yourselfCreate a self-care list and post it prominently in your home or officeInventory your current lifestyle choices & make necessary changes
33 Sample Self-Care List Be creative Get “away” Get outside, appreciate the weatherEnjoy other environmentsHave funSocialize
34 ABCs of Addressing Secondary Trauma: Balance Give self permission to fully experience emotional reactionsMaintain clear work boundariesSet realistic goals for selfSeek out new leisure activity (non-job related)
35 ABCs of Addressing Secondary Trauma: Connection Listen to feedback from colleagues, friends & family membersAvoid professional isolationRemember your spiritual sideDevelop support systems
36 and take care of yourself! Don’t wait until you are suffering from secondary trauma or burnout to start taking care of yourself !CELEBRATE LIFEand take care of yourself!
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