October 2019 Wellness Newsletter

secondary trauma

what is it?

It is the emotional duress that results when an individual hears about the firsthand
trauma experiences of another. For therapists, child welfare workers, case managers, and other helping professionals involved in the care of traumatized children and their families, the essential act of listening to trauma stories may take an emotional toll that compromises professional functioning and diminishes quality of life. [Source]

what are the symptoms?

Secondary traumatic stress refers to the presence of PTSD symptoms caused by at least one indirect exposure to traumatic material. The primary symptoms of vicarious trauma are disturbances in the professional’s cognitive frame of reference in the areas of trust, safety, control, esteem, and intimacy.

“We have an obligation to our clients, as well as to ourselves, our colleagues and our loved ones, not to be damaged by the work we do.”
Transforming the Pain: A Workbook on Vicarious Traumatization

Being curious helps us in a lot of different ways. It keeps our minds active, increases our desire for learning, inspires innovation, and so much more. A big benefit that comes from being curious is that it can help strengthen our relationships, helping us to be more connected by being invested in our family and friends lives. What ways will you be more curious this month?

More info:

NCTSN Secondary Trauma Fact Sheet

Watch a Ted Ed About PTSD

download pdf