The Cost of Caring: Secondary Traumatic Stress and Practitioner Self-Care A one-day seminar with Christiane Sanderson London, 23 February 2018 (Friday) 10:00am - 4:00pm
Care provision and therapy for survivors of traumatic experiences, can inevitably be emotionally and physically draining. At each interaction, the practitioner is exposed to the risk of Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) – which can potentially shatter our own assumptions about the world, human nature and the meaning of life and death. It is essential that through self-care and preservation of their own well-being, professionals ensure that they remain compassionate and are truly able to accompany the survivor on his or her journey to recovery. Current research indicates that vicarious traumatisation is just one part of STS. Direct exposure to emotionally distressing Trauma narratives can severely impact practitioners at multiple levels, with STS symptoms being close in presentation to those seen in PTSD. Therapists at the risk of STS may experience re-enactments of their own personal trauma, experience hyper / hypo arousal, suffer from alterations to memory and depletion of self-confidence. They may potentially develop mistrust of client interactions and exhibit avoidance behaviour. Needless to say, STS can impact us both personally and professionally. It is critical that practitioners in a wide range of mental and physical health settings have a good understanding of the impact and long-term effects of STS and how this manifests in a range of clinical settings, so that they are able to respond appropriately. This seminar, which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists, aims to enhance our comprehension of STS, its impact and long-term effects on our personal and professional well-being, while explaining how, as practitioners, we can work to restore vitality, enthusiasm, and energy in ourselves, to restore control and to allow for the effective processing of the Trauma narrative.
Using illustrative case examples, the seminar will present a range of skills, experiential exercises and self-care strategies while helping us identify the first signs of STS. Specifically, we will consider: Differentiating between STS, Vicarious Trauma and Burnout The role and restoration of Compassion with a recognition of compassion fatigue Minimising the impact on our therapeutic relationships Who is at risk and are there specific forms of trauma with a higher correlation to STS? Assessment measures that can provide us with early warnings Identifying our own vulnerability to STS and ensuring we remain present and engaged in our work Striking the right balance between personal and professional lives – what does this mean for therapists? How do we ensure that we see clients with different presentations – does this really help? The impact of STS on individuals as well as organisations – can organisations take proactive steps to minimise such impact? Retaining our zest for life and assisting our clients with post traumatic growth About the speaker Christiane Sanderson BSc, MSc. is a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton, of London with 26 years of experience working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence. She has delivered consultancy, continuous professional development and professional training for parents, teachers, social workers, nurses, therapists, counsellors, solicitors, the NSPCC, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Committee, the Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Police Service, SOLACE, the Refugee Council, Birmingham City Council Youth Offending Team, and HMP Bronzefield. She is the author of Counselling Skills for Working with Shame, Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse, Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd edition, Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse, The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse, and Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has also written The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Sexual Violence; The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faiths and Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A pocket guide for professionals, partners, families and friends for the charity One in Four for whom she is a trustee.
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Continuing professional development through seminars, workshops and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists.