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Compassion Fatigue & Vicarious Trauma

This training is for people in caring professions and for those who are exposed to the distress of others.   It is suitable for those in social services and social care roles as well as ancillary functions which may involve reading or seeing distressing material or scenes.  Vicarious trauma, also known as secondary trauma, is a potential outcome of exposure to the traumatic experiences of others. Although people working at the ‘sharp end’, for example emergency responders, military personnel  and war correspondents,  are clearly exposed more than most,  many categories of employee can be at risk and are easily overlooked when providing appropriate training.   For example, junior and administrative employees working in social services may be regularly exposed to distressing written reports or required to attend court where they hear unfiltered testimony.    At the other end of the spectrum, seasoned social workers can reach a breaking point experiencing compassion fatigue as a first stage towards secondary stress and traumatisation.   For these people, it can be harder to acknowledge what’s happening because they feel that they are supposed to be able to cope. 

What does the training cover? 


  • Developing an understanding of how compassion fatigue, secondary stress and vicarious trauma arise

  • Spotting the risk factors

  • Self-management techniques to prevent early signs developing into full-blown trauma

  • Creating a peer support system so that all participants have a partner who can act as a first point of reference for minor symptoms

  • Knowing when to seek professional help

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