Vicarious Trauma and Self Care

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I enjoyed spending the day with chaplains and ministers at Christ College, Sydney, for the inaugural Jericho Road Chaplains Conference. I was asked to facilitate a day exploring the impact of secondary traumatic stress on caregivers.  Notes and resources are listed below.

Main message of the day:
Everyone one who cares for others with empathy will be impacted by what others share.  If they are sharing trauma, the carer is likely to also experience elements of this trauma.  This is not in itself a problem or a fault of the carer, it a normal part of meaningful engagement and care.  It is however cumulative and potentially debilitating for a carer if not managed well.  Secondary traumatic stress needs to be understood and dealt with wisely and well.   

4 outcomes:

  • For carers to do a check-in on what elements of secondary trauma they are currently experiences
  • For carers to identify the symptoms which indicate they may be hitting the red line (overload)
  • For carers to have couple of strategies to use in responding to traumatic stories shared with them
  • For carers to have develop some self care strategies to stay healthy and become more resilient.

Group Brainstorm – impacts of caring for others

Main Presentation – Primary and Secondary Traumatic Stress

ProQOL Questionnaire

ProQOL Excel self calculating version

Whole Person Health

7 Elements of Resilience

Mirroring and Un-mirroring