Self Care For Mental Health Professionals
A One-Day Experiential Training Session
Vicarious trauma and its impact on us and how we work is little understood or acknowledged. Social work and the helping professions involve working in a range of emotionally, intellectually and spiritually challenging areas. Being exposed to the distressing and traumatic life experiences of many of our clients over time, impacts on us in ways that we are often not conscious of, and shapes our capacity for effectiveness. This presentation will introduce discussion of the dynamics of traumatic experience to assist recognition, understanding and effective intervention with vulnerable clients and heighten awareness of our personal coping, through exploration of dynamics of vicarious trauma and counter transference.
What topics are covered?
The High Cost of Caring including:
- Discussion of effects of empathetic engagement with clients and exposure to their traumatic material
- Defining Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue, and Burnout
- Identifying relevant variables and factors contributing to vicarious trauma
- Exploration of emotional processes experienced by service providers
The Impact of Exposure:
There will be discussion of ‘what to expect’, and the ‘normalising’ of individual reactions as professionals dealing with clients and their traumatic material.
Self-care and debriefing:
Will involve discussion of the need for self-care strategies including:
- The need for reviewing one’s own experience;
- Look at options and opportunities for support, peer review and discussion at personal, group and organisational levels;
- The importance of accessing structured (external) support for processing work experience.
What will you get out of the workshops?
The workshop will be interactive with a practical focus. Using role-plays and experiential learning exercises in a supportive learning environment you will gain:
- Understanding of the effects on human service workers of exposure to traumatic client experience
- Insight into personal reactions and coping
- Enhanced skills for managing workloads
- Develop constructive self-care strategies and techniques
- Discuss recommendations for agency response