Bianka Hardin — Session II

The importance of resiliency and healing for therapists: A workshop to help therapists examine and prevent vicarious trauma

Bianka Hardin, PsyD (Centered Therapy Chicago)

“Trauma stewardship is a concept that encompasses how, as people working for justice, we engage with the amount of pain and traumatic responses that we hold collectively in our communities and society” (Lipsky, 2009). As therapists, we must be mindful of the personal and professional impact of our work. Institutionalized racism, marginalization, and oppression impact both clients and service providers. Additionally, working with individuals who have experienced violence in marginalized communities can negatively impact mental health providers personally and professionally. Vicarious trauma, “the process in which persons who work with victims may experience profound psychological effect” (McCann & Pearlman, 1990, p. 133) is an occupational hazard for mental health providers. Clinicians who care about their work and are empathic are at risk of experiencing vicarious trauma (Figley, 1995). Self-care and prevention of vicarious trauma is not stressed enough in graduate training. This presentation will identify warning signs of vicarious trauma and assist participants in developing a plan to manage and prevent vicarious trauma.