Vicarious traumatization (VT) is a transformation in the self of a trauma worker or helper that results from empathic engagement with traumatized clients and their reports of traumatic experiences. It is a special form of countertransference stimulated by exposure to the client's traumatic material.
Agenda - Day Five
9:00 – 10:00
Opening Prayers, Drumming and Thanks
“What do you need” Exercise and Making of Intentions
Grounding, Centering and Focusing
10:00 – 11:00
Introduction to Vicarious Traumatization
11:00 – 11:15
11:15 – 12:15 PM
Internalised Oppression Explored: Multiple Loss
12:15 – 1:00
1:00 – 2:00
Introduction to Loss, Grief & Bereavement
2:00 – 2:30
Transforming the Therapist
2:30 – 2:45
2:45 – 3:45
Create your own self-care and future – experiential
3:45 – 4:00
Moving Forward / Closing Remarks
How do we best accompany those seeking care into this realm within and below the body? The shadow region, named “distressing: sick at heart.” There is only one way. We must go there ourselves.
Saki Santorelli : Author of Heal Thyself
The aim of this presentation is to explore the pervasive effects of vicarious trauma on the mind, body, psyche and spirit of the health-care provider. Vicarious Trauma, being the transformation of the self of the worker that comes about from the empathic engagement with traumatized clients will be explored. Participants will learn about the contributing factors, the related concepts, signs and symptoms, and mechanisms of vicarious trauma. The workshop will move beyond vicarious trauma to the exploration of vicarious transformation and it components. Participants will experience first hand the ancient concepts of transformation, mindfulness and healing that ultimately lead to deep spiritual growth.
- Identify and understand the pervasive effects of vicarious trauma on the workers identity, world view, psychological needs, beliefs and memory system
- Understand that the hallmark of vicarious trauma is disrupted spirituality, meaning or hope and that it affects a wide range of persons who assist trauma survivors
- Discuss and identify the mechanism of vicarious trauma, which is empathy and compassion for self and others
- Explore experientially various coping strategies that move suffering to healing through embracing awareness, balance and connection
- Move beyond vicarious trauma and embrace vicarious transformation, the process of transforming vicarious trauma into spiritual growth and internal transformation
Compassion is not just about feeling the pain of others; it’s about bringing of them in toward yourself. If we love what Creator loves, then, in compassion margins get erased.
“Be compassionate as Creator is compassionate.” Means the dismantling of barriers that exclude.
Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries
The Seven Grandfather Teachings
Among the Anishinaabe people, the Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers, also known simply as either the Seven Teachings or Seven Grandfathers, is a set of teachings on human conduct towards others. These were originally published in Edward Benton-Banai’s book The Mishomis Book. The following is an example of a contemporary Anishinaabe teaching presented in the form of a traditional teaching. These are used in contemporary situations.
- Nibwaakaawin – Wisdom: To cherish knowledge is to know Wisdom. Wisdom is given by the Creator to be used for the good of the people. In the Anishinaabe language, this word expresses not only wisdom, but also means prudence, or intelligence. In some communities, the word Gikendaasowin is used; in addition to wisdom, this word can also mean intelligence or knowledge.
- Zaagi'idiwin – Love: To know Love is to know peace. Love must be unconditional. When people are weak they need love the most. In the Anishinaabe language, this word with the reciprocal theme /idi/ indicates that this form of love is mutual. In some communities, the word Gizhaawenidiwin is used, which in most context means jealousy but in this context is translated as either love or zeal. Again, the reciprocal theme /idi/ indicates that this form of love is mutual.
- Minaadendamowin – Respect: To honor all creation is to have Respect. All of creation should be treated with respect. You must give respect if you wish to be respected. Some communities use the words Ozhibwaadenindiwin or Manazoonidiwin.
- Aakode'ewin – Bravery: Bravery is to face the foe with integrity. In the Anishinaabe language, this word literally means state of having a fearless heart, to do what is right even when the consequences are unpleasant. Some communities instead use either Zoongadikiwin that means, state of having a strong casing, or Zoongide'ewin, that means, state of having a strong heart.
- Gwayakwaadiziwin – Honesty: Honesty in facing a situation is to be brave. Always be honest in word and action. Be honest first with yourself, and you will more easily be able to be honest with others. In the Anishinaabe language, this word can also mean righteousness.
- Dabaadendiziwin – Humility: Humility is to know yourself to be a sacred part of Creation. In the Anishinaabe language, this word can also mean compassion. You are equal to others, but you are not better. Some communities instead express this with the word Bekaadiziwin, which in addition to humility can also be translated as calmness, meekness, gentility or patience.
- Debwewin – Truth: Truth is to know all of these teachings. Speak the truth. Do not deceive yourself or others.
Adapted from: Benton-Banai, E. (1988). The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway. Hayward, WI: Indian Country Communications.
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This site offers information on Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse (Najavits 2002) as well as the research projects completed and in progress using this model.
Sidran Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides information to support people with traumatic stress conditions and to help educate mental health professionals and the public.
PILOTS is a bibliographical database covering Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress.
International Society of Traumatic Studies
The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies offers fact sheets on traumatic loss and the emotional response both for professionals and for the public.
(Retrieved online from http://www.samhsa.gov/traumajustice/trauma definition/definition.aspx).
See example chapter 12 (Is this Abuse?) from my book: Enlightenment Is Letting Go! Healing from Trauma, Addiction, and Multiple