As a Registered Psychologist who specializes in trauma, I regularly bear witness to difficult and painful stories. At the same time, I have found a number of ways to protect myself from becoming traumatized by the work I do every day. I have spoken with other helping professionals such as doctors and nurses, social workers, educators, and other therapists about how do we do this. How do we stand alongside the people we help and the sometimes horrifying situations they face without becoming traumatized ourselves?
The effects of vicarious trauma can be physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. And it can truly happen to anyone. Research tells us that the primary cause of vicarious trauma is, simply put, exposure to trauma in the workplace. At the same time, there is reason for hope. The tools I'm sharing with you are evidence-based and I use them every week in my practice with clients.
In this course, I'll provide some information on the signs of vicarious trauma and how anyone who works in a helping field can be affected by it. Through a series of short videos you can complete within an hour, you'll receive 5 specific ideas to protect yourself from vicarious trauma. I’m hoping that by sharing what I’ve leaned it will contribute to a dialogue that continues even after today. After all, our lives are so much more than the pain we witness. We can change the way we approach work and begin listening to what our bodies need. We can learn to stay regulated in the face of traumatic events.
"In 2012 I took a sabbatical, and I realized that I wasn’t upholding my end of the sacred bargain: My life is a miracle that cannot be recreated. I can never get these hours, weeks, years back”
- ADRIENNE MAREE BROWN
Sign up and you'll receive:
This mini-course contains a total of 6 pre-recorded videos, beginning with an overview of vicarious trauma and then diving into 5 tools you can use to help prevent it. The entire course can be completed in just under an hour.
Overview of Vicarious Trauma
What is VT, What Causes it, and Why Am I Only Learning About This Now? (15:31)
Tool 1: Notice the Signs
Learn How to Spot VT So You Can Attend to it Early (11:27)
Tool 2: Orient to the Here and Now
Use Grounding Exercises to Help Your Nervous System Stay Regulated (11:13)
Tool 3: Stay Curious
Learn a More Sustainable Way of Engaging in Empathy (4:39)
Tool 4: Set Boundaries
Listen to Your Limits and Take Care of Your Own Needs Along with Others (6:39)
Tool 5: Let Go of Guilt & Shame
Practice Self-Compassion and Try Out Some Shame-Free Beliefs (7:58)
How to Prevent Vicarious Trauma is your science-backed guide to working in your field sustainably
Frequently Asked Questions
When does the course start and finish? Since the course is all pre-recorded, it starts as soon as you're ready! This mini-course is designed so that it can be completed within an hour (like you're attending a workshop with me :)), though you're welcome to spread it out over a longer period if you like.
How long do I have access to the course? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for 60 days - across any and all devices you own. Even though this sounds like a long time, I know how quickly it can fly by. My suggestion is that as soon as you register, mark it in your calendar when you're going to sit down for an hour and do the course. Don't wait until you have "extra time" - trust me, that day never comes!
What if I am unhappy with the course? I definitely don't want you to be unhappy with a course you've signed up for with me! In order to help prevent this, I've done as much as I can to be transparent about what's included in this mini-course so that there aren't any surprises once you sign up. I also encourage people who don't already know me to have a listen to some of the podcast interviews I've recorded over the years or read articles I've written in order to get a sense of my style and my take on boundaries in order to make sure that we're a good match. I want you to be happy with the course and to feel like this is a full body yes! All that said, if you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me in the first 48 hours of your purchase and I will give you a full refund.
Is this therapy? This mini-course is a non-interactive educational experience, which means it's not the same as therapy. It's not a substitute for therapy. If you find that the material brings up strong feelings or is connected with unprocessed trauma, I strongly encourage you to follow up with a therapist in your area. You may be able to find one through Inclusive Therapists or Therapy Den (US only).
Online Portal for Clients
Once we are working together, please use the Owl Practice Client Portal to
I'd love to give you the chance to get to know me better before choosing to work with me. One of the best ways to do that (in addition to making your way through all the resources I've posted right here on the website) is by signing up for my newsletter.
Once you sign up, you can expect to receive newsletters about every two weeks with handy guides I've created, information about the latest workshops or groups I'm offering, and a curated collection of the best articles and resources related to mental health from a feminist counselling perspective. You are also welcome to sign up as a fellow helping professional or just because you have an interest in mental health! I'd love to connect with you.