SOS! Save Our Staff, Save Ourselves: Organizational and Individual Responses for Secondary Trauma

Secondary trauma is the process of change that happens in us, in response to others’ trauma, because we care about the people we serve. Over time, this can lead to changes in our psychological, physical, and spiritual life that also affect our family, our organization, and our clients. Qualities that make us effective with others—such as empathy, compassion or caring—may leave us more vulnerable to secondary trauma…and may provide us with significant protective factors as well.

In this 3-hour highly interactive session, we will explore the sources and individual/organizational impacts of secondary trauma, engage in self-reflection, and conceptualize coping strategies for healing as well as change plans to work proactively with sources of strain from secondary trauma. Each participant will emerge with specific and concrete ideas for healing and protecting from secondary trauma; those representing organizations will generate ideas they can implement in their settings.

As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • 1. Identify at least 3 sources of strain from secondary trauma
  • 2. Describe at least 3 coping strategies to reduce effects of secondary trauma
  • 3. Develop at least 3 personal commitments for reducing effects of secondary trauma
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